Thematic Section - Advances in Production Research

Flexibility of operations in developing countries with Industry 4.0. A systematic review of literature

Diana C. Tascón; Gonzalo Mejía; Daniel Rojas-Sánchez

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Paper aims: To provide guidelines on current state of the literature on aspects related to the implementation of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) for operations flexibility in emerging economies, and derived from this, propose a conceptual framework for the analysis of the main topics studied.

Originality: Based on previous literature reviews on related topics (I4.0 and flexibility), we recognized an opportunity to focus on developing countries which until now has not been documented.

Research method: We carried out a systematic review of the literature together with a topic cluster analysis.

Main findings: The study revealed that there is a perceived consensus on how Industry 4.0 technologies can impact flexibility in emerging countries. Cloud computing is by far the most adopted technology despite the fact that there is a wide concern about security issues. The use of other technologies and their impact appears to be incipient.

Implications for theory and practice: The study presented here can be used as a starting point for new directions of research in terms of adoption of these technologies and new applications developed and/or customized to the realities of emerging countries.


Industry 4.0, Developing countries, Flexibility, Supply chain, Enterprises


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