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Ecosystem transformation in the industry 4.0 context: an investigation of changing interrelations and structural organizations

Stegehuis, X. (2018) Ecosystem transformation in the industry 4.0 context: an investigation of changing interrelations and structural organizations.

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Abstract:The fourth industrial revolution or “industry 4.0” is often praised for its potential to impact different societal and ecological matters for the better. Even though an essential part of industry 4.0 is the digital integration across firm boundaries, only little is known about interfirm collaboration from an organizational perspective. Therefore, this research investigates industry 4.0 induced ecosystem transformation in terms of system level interrelations and firm level reactions in terms of structural organization of ecosystems. To do so, this research uses an abductive research design and conducts a single case study in the industrial automation ecosystem. This research adds to our understanding by providing a theoretical lens through which ecosystems can be analyzed. This lens was developed through operationalization of interrelations by interdependence and co-specialization. Moreover, structural organization was operationalized by firm boundary setting, organizational coupling and modularity. Next, this theoretical lens was applied to the industry 4.0 context. From this analysis it appeared that ecosystem actors become increasingly reciprocally interdependent and increasingly cospecialized. As a response, actors appeared to react in different and contradicting ways of boundary setting. In terms of organizational coupling and modularity, opposing trends were observed as well. This could be explained by differentiating between commodity-based and specialism-based exchanges.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/76599
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