Coordinating Knowledge Creation: A Systematic Literature Review on the Interplay Between Operational Excellence and Industry 4.0 Technologies

  • Toloue MiandarEmail author
  • Ambra Galeazzo
  • Andrea Furlan
Part of the Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning book series (IAKM, volume 9)


In the process of creating new knowledge, literature has scarcely studied how bodies of knowledge arising from different sources should be coordinated to enhance performance. In particular, the present research focuses on two sources of newly created knowledge, i.e., operational excellence and Industry 4.0, to understand whether they should be implemented sequentially or simultaneously. Operational excellence refers to the implementation of practices such as just in time, total quality management, and Six Sigma that help a firm to create knowledge that facilitates waste reduction and customer value improvement. Industry 4.0 refers to the implementation of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, Internet of Things, and laser cutting that help a firm to create knowledge to improve overall business performance. We identified and analyzed 30 papers published in 13 peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings in the field of operations management. Our findings based on the systematic literature review suggest that the interplay between operational excellence and Industry 4.0 can be categorized into four groups: (1) Industry 4.0 supports operational excellence; (2) operational excellence supports Industry 4.0; (3) complementary; and (4) no interdependence. Majority of the papers under study are in the first category, suggesting Industry 4.0 technologies as enabler of operational excellence.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and Management ‘Marco Fanno’University of PadovaPadovaItaly

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