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Title: Adoption of emerging technologies in Chinese supply chains of Industry 4.0 : how past experiences assist in shaping the future
Author: Yan, Zengwen
ISNI:       0000 0005 0288 0205
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2020
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Practitioners and scholars have observed an increase in the importance of the supply chain at a fast pace, especially in the context of Industry 4.0. The supply chain provides a competitive advantage to collaborative corporations, which may result in higher profitability and a leading market position. However, a basic issue of the supply chain is efficient information sharing, which can be dealt with through technology adoption (TA). TA has a significant influence on the principles and practices of the supply chain. Emerging and advanced technologies are the foundation and driving forces of Industry 4.0, which is closely linked with, and rarely separate from, TA. Thus, it is natural to merge TA, the supply chain and Industry 4.0, and to research issues related to TA in supply chains under Industry 4.0. In a review of the extant literature, some major gaps were identified: (1) insufficient and inconsistent research on the environmental context of Technology-Organization-Environment Framework; (2) little and vague empirical evidence related to TA in Chinese supply chains; (3) the call for verification of results from developed countries in developing countries; (4) application of interdisciplinary theories. This thesis aims to fill these gaps and identify some lessons learnt from the past experience in Chinese supply chains in terms of TA. Thus, the authors mainly explore three research questions for achieving the targets: (1) whether the TA in Chinese supply chains could contribute significance and importance; (2) what detailed environmental factors exert their impacts on the TA in Chinese supply chains under the context of Industry 4.0; (3) how do the external and internal factors interact and syntegrate to exert their impacts on the TA in Chinese supply chains under the context of Industry 4.0. To answer these questions, this thesis adopted both qualitative and quantitative approaches with systematic review method and structural equation modelling method. The results revealed that the extant research proved the value of conducting the research regarding TA in Chinese supply chains under the context of Industry 4.0, and the expected benefits in Chinese supply chains led by emerging or advanced technologies have been confirmed; it is significant to explore the barriers and enablers in order to help Chinese corporations avoid failure and unnecessary losses as much as possible. Further, this thesis practically explored and examined the constrains from the aspects of environment, organization, and supply chain features; and discussed how they interact and impact the TA in Chinese supply chains. The results contribute to the literature in the environment context and suggest that the business innovation environment is an independent indicator in the environment context that affects TA in Chinese supply chains. Moreover, the results highlight the importance of these three aspects in corporations’ intention and capability of TA in Chinese supply chains under Industry 4.0, and they propose a new perspective to examine the causal relationship between firms’ performance and TA.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral