Smart industry and the pathways to HRM 4.0: implications for SCM

Lara Bartocci Liboni, Luciana Oranges Cezarino*, Charbel José Chiappetta Jabbour, Bruno Garcia Oliveira, Nelson Oliveira Stefanelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

173 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to address the potential impacts of Industry 4.0 on human resource management (HRM) – with a particular focus on employment, job profile and qualification and skill requirements in the workforce – which can have implications for supply chain management (SCM). Consequently, exploratory relationships among Industry 4.0, HRM and SCM are presented based on a systematic review.
To explore Industry 4.0 literature and its impact on employment, the authors used a systematic literature review to identify, classify and analyze current knowledge, flagging trends and proposing recommendations for future research in this area. Using the Web of Science database, the authors utilized co-citation software to visualize the networks which emerged from recurrent terms and which were then used to develop the categories of analysis.
The authors can affirm that the literature in this field is in a transition process, from the early studies of German academics to the current development of new impacts worldwide. Industry 4.0 is the central theme of the literature analyzed and is accomplished through the development of employment, qualifications, skills and learning frameworks. The results reveal that most papers are conceptual, with quantitative studies still lacking. Developed countries have a leading role in terms of research production, while Latin America and Asia are far behind. Clustering reveals four dominant themes (educational changes, employment scenario, work infrastructure resources and work meaning and proposal). The first refers to labor changes around working conditions, the work environment and new skills which are required. The second main theme concerns the potentially unstable shift in the labor market has toward a high-level context. The third is about the technical interface of humans and machines, and finally, the fourth understands the German industry as a starting point for global industrial improvements and work proposal changes. Furthermore, socio-technical systems cover the implications of HRM for SCM in three different dimensions: qualification and education (human competences), collaboration and integration of SCM (organizational competences) and data and information management (technical competences).
Research limitations/implications
An original research agenda for further development of the topic. Additionally, the implications of the findings for SCM practitioners are presented.
Practical implications
SCM managers can benefit from the results of this paper by developing adjusted polices for organizational and human aspects. Specially about training programs to improve technology skills and education programs for cyber-human new plataforms.
So far, Industry 4.0, HRM-related topics and implications for SCM have generally been considered separately. This paper elucidates the few important studies on the impacts of Industry 4.0 on human-related topics, such as the labor market, building a research framework using the main contributions highlighted in the literature. An original research agenda is presented, as well as potential implications for SCM.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalSupply chain management
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)124-146
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - 04.03.2019
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • Human factors
  • SCM competency
  • SCM practices
  • Supply-chain management
  • 512 Business and Management


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