Sustainable performance through digital supply chains in industry 4.0 era: amidst the pandemic experience

Joshi, Sudhanshu and Sharma, Manu (2022) Sustainable performance through digital supply chains in industry 4.0 era: amidst the pandemic experience. Sustainability, 14 (24). pp. 1-25. ISSN 2071-1050


Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic disruption, industry 4.0 technologies (I4TEs) and digital supply chains (DSCs) are reinforcing businesses to gain economic stability and agility to enrich their sustainable performance (S.P.). Survey methods have been deployed based on the constructs obtained from the literature. Data collection through a survey resulted in 202 valid responses. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) confirms the constructs and the mediating effect of the DSCs through partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). The study is among the few studies that examine the I4TE impact on DSCs and S.P. The results show that industry 4.0 technologies enhance the sustainable performance of firms. Results also show a complete mediation of DSCs on the inter-relationship between I4TEs and S.P. Those DSCs with I4TE inclusion can transform an organization’s strategic decision-making. For the authors, this study is the first of its kind. Although some of the literature explored different aspects of the concept of industry 4.0 and digitalizing supply chains, studies have yet to specifically evaluate the potential impacts of digital supply chains on sustainable performance. The novelty of DSCs is their support of firms in improving their preparedness, agility, and transparency to strengthen their sustainable performance. These DSCs will provide agile, collaboration, responsiveness, end-to-end visibility, and resilient supply chains to diminish supply risk and enrich preparedness and responsiveness to recuperate quickly from uncertainty amidst the pandemic. The study will help managers re-designing their strategic planning, resulting in new cost reduction and resilience models for supply chains. The study calls for firms to employ multiple DSCs once they have set clear strategic priorities. The overall findings of the work fill the literature gaps of studies in the digitalization of supply chains.

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