Companies across the globe have intensified the digital interconnectedness of their manufacturing processes. Much attention was devoted to how industrial employment will be affected in this new production paradigm. In this paper, we use survey data collected from German industrial workers in 2014 and 2020 to contribute to the literature on digitalisation and industrial employment. This is the first scientific study on Industry 4.0 that empirically deals with the development of key parameters of industrial employment over time. Our findings support the argument that whilst increased digital interconnectedness creates more opportunities for highly skilled workers, the extent to which manual workers will be substituted is often overestimated. Second, our data suggests that the operations of larger companies tend to be more highly digitally interconnected than those of smaller firms. We also provide evidence that German industrial workers are less likely to expect substantial job losses through digitalisation than in 2014.
- Publication Year
- Publication Type
- Academic Articles
Shuttleworth, L., Schmitz, S., & Beier, G. (2022). Impacts of Industry 4.0 on industrial employment in Germany: A comparison of industrial workers’ expectations and experiences from two surveys in 2014 and 2020. Production & manufacturing research, 10(1), 583-605. doi:10.1080/21693277.2022.2104400.
- Staff involved
- Projects involved
- Junior Research Group ProMUT: Sustainability Management 4.0 - Transformative Potentials of Networked Manufacturing for Humans, the Environment and Technology Sustainability in a Digitalized Industry: a Comparative Study from China, Germany and Brazil