The Impact of COVID-19 on Industry 4.0 Adoption: An Emerging Economy Perspective


  • Said Usman1 (University of Roehampton, London, UK)

The disruptions that COVID-19 precipitated on the world economy made it hard for companies to maintain their operations and achieve sustainable supply chain management. To address these challenges, companies had to leverage a new set of resources. This study, employing a desk-based qualitative research approach, investigated how COVID-19 drove companies to adopt Industry 4.0 technologies in their supply chain management and how these technologies, including artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, in turn, drove supply chain resilience among firms in emerging countries. Through a comprehensive review of scholarly articles and publications from various organizations, the study employed the triangulation method to ensure the validity and reliability of the findings. The data collection adhered to specific criteria, including relevance, credibility, and publication date post-2020, aligning with the period when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Through a content analysis of these diverse data sources, mainly capturing the sentiments of industry players, three main findings emerged. First, the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies has had a significant impact on the resilience of supply chain management in emerging economies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Second, the characteristics of emerging economies, such as limited infrastructure and a lack of technological proficiency, significantly influence the effectiveness of Industry 4.0 in enhancing supply chain resilience. Third, the long-term implications of Industry 4.0 adoption on supply chain resilience in emerging economies post-COVID-19 are multifaceted, encompassing both positive and negative effects. Based on these findings, the study recommends that companies in emerging economies invest in infrastructure, training and development, seek government support, address data privacy and security concerns, and plan for the long-term implications of Industry 4.0 adoption. This research, anchored in a robust dataset, provides valuable insights into the role of Industry 4.0 technologies in enhancing supply chain resilience in emerging economies during the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges that companies in these economies may face in implementing these technologies.

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