A framework to measure readiness and barriers for the implementation of Industry 4.0: A case approach

Kannan Govindan*, Georgios Arampatzis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Large businesses perceive the vital usefulness of Industry 4.0. They recognize how beneficial its implementation is to reinforce business competitiveness and to conserve, or even better, to increase their market share. Hence, top business management has embraced the challenge of the time: to evaluate the current level of digitization with the objective of proceeding to a full digitization phase in the future. With this concern, this paper proposes a framework to assist industries in promoting Industry 4.0 through two phases. In the initial phase, the case company's level of readiness is evaluated, and in the second phase, the barriers that exist within the implementation of Industry 4.0 (based on the company's readiness, obtained from the previous phase) are analyzed. Both phases have been carried out at a Danish case industry which is a third-tier supplier of anti-noise shims and back plates for manufacturers of disc brake linings. In the first phase, the assessment of readiness for Industry 4.0 demonstrates that the case industry is not fully ready; instead, they reside in the position of Industry 3.5 (in the middle of 3.0 and 4.0 revolutions). The limiting barriers to change for Industry 4.0 implementation are identified during the systematic literature review and analyzed using the DEMATEL method based on the industrial decision-makers’ responses in the second phase. Moreover, the analysis demonstrates the most influential barrier category is the policy & organization category. The barrier “leadership” is considered the greater influencer of all since it responds in some way to almost all 21 barriers. Thus, leadership is the most significant barrier a company must overcome to adopt the Industry 4.0 concept. In addition, firms are challenged by the organizational changes that the adoption of Industry 4.0 will bring, and the tool of organizational change management will be handy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101249
JournalElectronic Commerce Research and Applications
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Barriers
  • Denmark
  • Industry 4.0
  • MCDM
  • Readiness


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