Technology, organization, and work in the fourth industrial revolution: Two comparative case studies in the manufacturing sector

Author/s Lino Codara, Francesca Sgobbi
Publishing Year 2020 Issue 2020/157 Language Italian
Pages 15 P. 225-239 File size 244 KB
DOI 10.3280/SL2020-157012
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

This paper questions the existence of a one best way towards digitalisation by con-trasting the success stories of two Italian middle-size manufacturing companies. Both companies boast a history of excellence in technological innovation and in economic performance and recently launched important projects of digital tran-sformation. However, one company seems to perceive digitalisation as a further step in the "traditional" sequence of efficiency-enhancing innovations aimed at substituting for human effort. In contrast, the other company frames digital tech-nologies as means of stronger process integration, whose success is enabled by formal organisational tools in support of change management.

Keywords: Digital transformation, organizational change, work, case studies

  1. Autor D.H. (2013). The “task approach” to labor markets: an overview. Journal of Labour Market Research, 46: 185-199.
  2. Autor D.H. (2015). Why Are There Still So Many Jobs? The History and Future of Workplace Automation. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 29(3): 3-30.
  3. Autor D.H., Katz L.F., Kearney M.S. (2006). The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market. American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings, 96(2): 189-94. DOI: 10.1257/000282806777212620
  4. Autor D.H., Levy F., Murnane R.J. (2003). The Skill Content of Recent Technological Change: An Empirical Exploration. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 118(4): 1279-1333. DOI: 10.1162/003355303322552801
  5. Brynjolfsson E., McAfee A. (2014). The second machine age: Work, progress, and prosperity in a time of brilliant technologies. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
  6. Butera F. (2017). Lavoro e organizzazione nella quarta rivoluzione industriale: la nuova progettazione socio-tecnica. L’industria, 37(3): 291-316.
  7. Butollo F., Jürgens U., Krzywdzinski M. (2018). From lean production to Industrie 4.0. More autonomy for employees?. WZB Discussion Paper, No. SP III 2018-303. Berlin: Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung.
  8. Cainarca G.C., Sgobbi F. (1998). New Production Model: Myth and Reality of the New Employment Relation. Industrial and Corporate Change, 7(3): 557-580.
  9. Cominu S. (2018). Tutti knowledge worker? Ricchezza e impoverimento dei lavori al tempo del digitale. Sociologia del lavoro, 151: 174-189.
  10. Daft R.L. (2015). Organization Theory & Design (12a ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning.
  11. Di Nunzio D. (2018). Il lavoro informatico: individualizzazione, flessibilità e azione sindacale nelle professioni qualificate dell’economia digitale. Sociologia del lavoro, 151: 117-135. DOI: 10.3280/SL2018-151007
  12. European Commission (2019). Report of the HLEG on the Impact of the Digital Transformation on EU Labour Markets. Brussels: European Commission, Directorate-General for Communication Networks, Content and Technology.
  13. Fosfuri A., Rønde T. (2009). Leveraging resistance to change and the skunk works model of innovation. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 72: 274-289.
  14. Frey B.C., Osborne M.A. (2017). The Future of Employment: How Susceptible Are Jobs to Computerisation?. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 114(1): 254-280.
  15. Goos M., Manning M. (2007). Lousy and Lovely Jobs: The Rising Polarization of Work in Britain. Review of Economics and Statistics, 89(1): 118-133.
  16. Goos M., Manning M., Salomons A. (2009). Job Polarization in Europe. The American Economic Review, 99(2): 58-63.
  17. Hirsch-Kreinsen H. (2016). Digitization of industrial work: development paths and prospects. Journal of Labour Market Research, 49: 1-14.
  18. Lijphart A. (1975). The Comparable-cases Strategy in Comparative Research. Comparative Political Studies, 8: 158-77. DOI: 10.1177/001041407500800203
  19. Loonam J., Eaves S., Kumar V., Parry G. (2018). Towards digital transformation: Lessons learned from traditional organizations. Strategic Change, 27(2): 101-109.
  20. Negrelli S., Pacetti V. (2018). Tecnologie, lavoro, organizzazione nell’Industria 4.0. In: Cipriani A., Gramolati A., Mari G., a cura di, Il lavoro 4.0. La Quarta Rivoluzione industriale e le trasformazioni delle attività lavorative. Firenze: Firenze University Press.
  21. Ponzellini A.M. (2018). Cinque parole-chiave e una decina di storie per riprendere la discussione sulla qualità del lavoro. In: Cipriani A., Gramolati A., Mari G., a cura di, Il lavoro 4.0. La Quarta Rivoluzione industriale e le trasformazioni delle attività lavorative. Firenze: Firenze University Press.
  22. Rubery J., Wilkinson F., a cura di (1994). Employer Strategy and Labour Market. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  23. Scholz T., Schneider N., a cura di (2017). Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, A New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet. New York: OR Books.
  24. Shaba E., Guerci M., Gilardi S., Bartezzaghi E. (2019). Industry 4.0 technologies and organizational design. Evidence from 15 Italian cases. Studi Organizzativi, 1: 9-37. DOI: 10.3280/SO2019-001001
  25. Taplin I.M. (2006). Strategic change and organisational restructuring: How managers negotiate change initiatives. Journal of International Management, 12(3): 284-301.
  26. Westerman G. (2019). The First Law of Digital Innovation. MIT Sloan Management Review, April 8th. -- Testo disponibile al sito:
  27. Westerman G., Tannou M., Bonnet D., Ferraris P., McAfee A. (2012). The Digital Advantage: How digital leaders outperform their peers in every industry. MIT Center for Digital Business and Capgemini Consulting.
  28. Yin R.K. (2018). Case Study Research and Applications: Design and Methods (6a ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

  • Resilience in a Digital Age Francesca Sgobbi, Lino Codara, pp.309 (ISBN:978-3-030-85953-4)
  • Resilience, complexity and digital transformation: three case studies in the valves industry Lino Codara, Francesca Sgobbi, in Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management /2023 pp.1
    DOI: 10.1108/JMTM-05-2022-0214

Lino Codara, Francesca Sgobbi, Tecnologia, organizzazione e lavoro nella quarta rivoluzione industriale: due studi di caso comparati nel settore manifatturiero in "SOCIOLOGIA DEL LAVORO " 157/2020, pp 225-239, DOI: 10.3280/SL2020-157012