Industry 4.0: limitation or benefit for success?

  • Isidora Miloje Milošević University of Belgrade, Technical Faculty in Bor
  • Sanela Arsić
  • Maja Glogovac
  • Ana Rakić
  • Jelena Ruso
Keywords: Industry 4.0, digitalization, attitude, limitations, benefits, performance outcomes


The fourth industrial revolution is a significant driving force framing companies' digital, social, and economic needs. This concept considerably influences the outcomes of businesses by increasing cost-effectiveness, quality, and effectiveness. However, studies on performance outcomes of Industry 4.0 in Serbia are still scarce. The available literature mainly deals with papers that observe Industry 4.0 from only one point of view, most often positive or negative effects on business success. A literature gap was observed that would fulfil the observed Industry 4.0 from two opposite aspects, positive or negative. To overcome the literature gap, this paper aims to observe if Industry 4.0 is perceived as facilitating or limiting for business success. The study provides a more objective approach to observing and decision-making in Industry 4.0 acceptance. To support this contribution, the paper provide a deeper analysis of the factors that impact the financial, operational, and strategic performance outcomes associated with Industry 4.0. Considered factors are attitude toward digitalization, limitations of digitalization, and expected benefits of digitalization. The results gathered through 134 valid questionnaires are evaluated using Structural Equation Model. These results show that all relationships and impacts are confirmed except the influence of internal limitations on performance outcomes. These findings are encouraging for companies wanting to transfer to Industry 4.0.


Anshin, V., & Bobyleva, A. (2021). The digital transformation program management in medium-sized businesses: A network approach. Serbian Journal of Management, 16 (1), 147- 159.
Antonucci, Y.L., Fortune, A., & Kirchmer, M. (2020). An examination of associations between business process management capabilities and the benefits of digitalization: all capabilities are not equal. Business Process Management Journal, 27 (1), 124-144.
Breunig, M., Kelly, R., Mathis, R., & Wee, D. (2016). Getting the most out of Industry 4.0. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved from
, L.S., Benitez, G.B., Ayala, N.F., & Frank, A.G. (2018). The expected contribution of Industry 4.0 technologies for industrial performance. International Journal of Production Economics, 204, 383-394.
Eller, R., Alford, P., Kallmünzer, A., & Peters, M. (2020). Antecedents, consequences, and challenges of small and medium-sized enterprise digitalization. Journal of Business Research, 112, 119-127.
Faraj, S., Renno, W., & Bhardwaj, A. (2021). Unto the breach: What the COVID-19 pandemic exposes about digitalization. Information and Organization, 31 (1), 100337.
Forcadell, F.J., Aracil, E., & Úbeda, F. (2020). The impact of corporate sustainability and digitalization on international banks' performance. Global Policy, 11 (S1), 18-27.
Fornell, C., & Larcker, D.F. (1981). Evaluating Structural Equation Models with Unobservable Variables and Measurement Error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18 (1), 39-50.
Fragapane, G., Ivanov, D., & Peron, M. (2022). Increasing flexibility and productivity in Industry 4.0 production networks with autonomous mobile robots and smart intralogistics. Annals of Operations Research, 308 (1-2), 125–143.
Ganzarain, J., & Errasti, N. (2016). Three stage maturity model in SME's towards Industry 4.0. Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 9 (5), 1119-1128.
Garske, B., Bau, A., & Ekardt, F. (2021). Digitalization and AI in European Agriculture: A Strategy for Achieving Climate and Biodiversity Targets?. Sustainability, 13 (9), 4652.
Glogovac, M., Ruso, J., & Maricic, M. (2020). ISO 9004 maturity model for quality in industry 4.0. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, in press.
Hair, J.F., Black, W.C., Babin, B.J., & Anderson, R.E. (2014). Multivariate Data Analysis (Seventh Edition). Pearson Education Limited. Harlow, England.
Hofmann, E., & Rüsch, M. (2017). Industry 4.0 and the current status as well as future prospects on logistics. Computers in Industry, 89, 23-34.
Horváth, D., & Szabó, R.Z. (2019). Driving forces and barriers of Industry 4.0: Do multinational and small and medium-sized companies have equal opportunities?. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 146, 119-132.
Ichimura, Y. (2021). Evaluating the impacts of digitalization on ship operation: examining how to enhance maritime safety (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from
, D., Arnold, C., & Voigt, K.I. (2017). The influence of the Industrial Internet of Things on business models of established manufacturing companies–A business level perspective. Technovation, 68, 4-19.
Kiel, D., Müller, J.M., Arnold, C., & Voigt, K.I. (2020). Sustainable Industrial Value Creation: Benefits and Challenges of Industry 4.0. International Journal of Innovation Management, 21 (8), 1-34.
Kiraz, A., Canpolat, O., Özkurt, C., & Taşkın, H. (2020). Analysis of the factors affecting the Industry 4.0 tendency with the structural equation model and an application. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 150, 106911.
Koch, V., Kuge. S., Geissbauer, R., & Schrauf, S. (2014). Industry 4.0: Opportunities and Challenges of Industrial Internet, Strategy& PwC. Retrieved from
, A. (2018). Smart manufacturing. International Journal of Production Research, 56 (1-2), 508-517.
Lasi, H., Fettke, P., Kemper, H. G., Feld, T., & Hoffmann, M. (2014). Industry 4.0. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 6 (4), 239-242.
Lee, J., Bagheri, B., & Jin, C. (2016). Introduction to cyber manufacturing. Manufacturing Letters, 8 (C), 11-15.
Lin, B., Wu, W., & Song, M. (2019). Industry 4.0: driving factors and impacts on firm's performance: an empirical study on China's manufacturing industry. Annals of Operations Research, in press.
Loke, W., Abu, N.H.B., & Lim, F. (2018). Electrical and Electronics Global Supply Chain: The Significance Effect of Psychological Empowerment on Organizational Business Performance. International Journal of Supply Chain Management, 7 (1), 65-76.
Masood, T., & Sonntag, P. (2020). Industry 4.0: Adoption challenges and benefits for SMEs. Computers in Industry, 121, 103261.
Milošević, I., Ruso, J., Glogovac, M., Arsić, S., & Rakić, A. (2021). An integrated SEM-ANN approach for predicting QMS achievements in Industry 4.0. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, in press.
Mohamed, M. (2018). Challenges and Benefits of Industry 4.0: An overview. International Journal of Supply and Operations Management, 5 (3), 256-265.
Müller, J.M., Kiel, D., & Voigt, K.I. (2018). What Drives the Implementation of Industry 4.0? The Role of Opportunities and Challenges in the Context of Sustainability. Sustainability, 10 (1), 247.
Nunnally, J. C. (1978). Psychometric theory (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill, New York.
Raj, A., Dwivedi G., Sharma, A., de Sousa Jabbour, A.B.L., & Rajak, S. (2019). Barriers to the Adoption of Industry 4.0 Technologies in the Manufacturing Sector: An Inter-Country Comparative Perspective, International Journal of Production Economics, 224, 107546.
Rosin, A.F., Proksch, D., Stubner, S., & Pinkwart, A. (2020). Digital new ventures: Assessing the benefits of digitalization in entrepreneurship. Journal of Small Business Strategy, 30 (2), 59-71.
Sahlin, J., & Angelis, J. (2019). Performance management systems: reviewing the rise of dynamics and digitalization. Cogent Business & Management, 6 (1), 1642293.
Schlichter, B.R., & Nielsen, I.J. (2022). Diversity of Seniority in a Digital Innovation Challenge Experiment. Procedia Computer Science, 196, 142–150.
Șerban, R.A. (2017). The impact of big data, sustainability, and digitalization on company performance. Studies in Business and Economics, 12 (3), 181-189.
Stolarick, K. (1999). IT spending and firm productivity: Additional evidence from the manufacturing sector. Working Papers 99-10. Center for Economic Studies, US Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census
Udo, G.J., Bagchi, K.K., & Kir, P.J. (2010). An assessment of customers' e-service quality perception, satisfaction and intention. International Journal of Information Management, 30 (6), 481-492.
Valdeza, A.C., Braunera, P., & Schaara, A.K. (2015). Reducing Complexity with Simplicity - Usability Methods for Industry 4.0. Proceedings 19th Triennial Congress of the IEA, Melbourne.
Yin, H., & Huang, S. (2021). Applying structural equation modelling to research on teaching and teacher education: Looking back and forward. Teaching and Teacher Education, 107, 103438.

Original Scientific Paper