Authors: Roger Strange and Antonella Zucchella 


Publisher: Emerald

Year of Publication: 2017-05-10
Rights: cc_by_nc_nd_4
Terms of Re-use: CC-BY-NC-ND
Content Provider: Anglia Ruskin University: Anglia Ruskin Research Online (ARRO)
The paper aims to provide an assessment of how the widespread adoption of new digital technologies (i.e. the internet of things, big data and analytics, robotic systems, and additive manufacturing) might affect the location and organisation of activities within global value chains (GVCs). Design/methodology/approach: The approach in this paper is to review various sources about the potential adoption and impact of the new digital technologies (commonly known collectively as Industry 4.0), to contrast these technologies with existing technologies, and to consider how the new technologies might lead to new configurations involving suppliers, firms and customers.
We report that the new digital technologies have considerable potential to disrupt how and where activities are located and organized within GVCs), and who captures the value-added within those chains. We also report that Industry 4.0 is still in its infancy, but that its effects are already having an impact upon the nature of competition and corporate strategies in many industries.
Research limitations/implications
Practical implications: Social implications: In particular, we draw attention to the potential cyber-risks and implications for the privacy of individuals, and hence the need for regulation. Originality/value: This is the first published paper to consider the likely separate and joint impacts of the new digital technologies on the practice and theory of international business. 
This paper is published under license Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Illustration Photo: NASA's 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge is advancing the additive construction technology needed to create sustainable housing for deep space exploration. (credits: NASA / Joel Kowsky / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))


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