Digitalization of Products, Processes & Supply Chains: Emerging Research Frontiers

Organizers: Nitin Joglekar (Boston University), Geoffrey Parker (Dartmouth College), Jag Srai (Cambridge University)

Industry 4.0 digital technologies, such as sensors and AI tools, have the potential to transform almost all aspects of product development, process delivery and supply chains configurations. These technologies have also engendered new business model creation through capabilities such as distanced work, eCommerce, and platforms that create two-sided markets. Yet, in many sectors, diffusion of technologies, and allied changes in processes and innovative practices, have been limited to pilot scale experimentation and point solutions. We have been observing these phenomena at 54 ‘Lighthouses’, the world’s most advanced factories, which are leading the way in the adoption of i4.0 technologies through our work with World Economic Forum. We have also been collecting primary data on operating and business model evolution in some of these sites through the course of recent pandemic. This professional development workshop will highlight some of our observations. The second half the workshop will raise theory and methodological issues that seem to be emerging at this research frontier.