Industry 4.0 – The Evolution of Business Models

Kainer, Leonard (2017) Industry 4.0 – The Evolution of Business Models. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

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Business models need to change over time if companies want to sustain their value creation and value capture. Examples such as Kodak and Nokia, which have failed in digitisation, have shown that companies need dynamic capability incorporating the adaption and renewal of their business models to stay competitive. German companies, especially those forming the backbone of the German economy – small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) – are confronted by more volatile as well as competitive markets and suffer as a result of pressure from abroad. According to a large number of scientific authors and all types of consultancies, SMEs need to adapt their digitisation strategies to stay competitive in future.

However, previous academic literature has neglected to examine how such technological developments, such as Industry 4.0 (I4.0), impact German SMEs business models (BMs). This dissertation is therefore not only interesting for academic research but also for business practice.

For this reason, a cross-case analysis enabled the author to analyse I4.0-related BM changes in six German SMEs from different industries. These findings from the data analysis demonstrate how I4.0-related technologies influence SME BMs in the German manufacturing industry. With the help of the Business Model Canvas (BMC) ontology, the empirical findings demonstrate how such SME BMs change if SMEs implement I4.0-related technologies. Furthermore, similarities and differences in such changes across various industries were included in the specific findings of the data analysis.

The empirical findings demonstrate that each of the German SMEs has already implemented I4.0-related technologies. After the implementation, these German SMEs have dealt with incremental BM changes more than BM innovations. No German SME has changed its entire BM, but could improve at least one BM component because of I4.0. In particular, all these SMEs are influenced in the following BM components: customer relationships, key resources and cost structure.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Depositing User: Kainer, Leonard
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 14:22
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2018 14:54

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