Industry 4.0: Whose Revolution? The Digitalization of Manufacturing Work Processes

Keywords: Health, Working Environment & Wellbeing, Learning & Competencies, Innovation & Productivity, Organization & Management


The ongoing digitalization of manufacturing work processes resulting from Industry 4.0—defined as digitalization, automation, and data exchange in manufacturing—challenges how we see and define the role of operators and managers. Consequently, this study investigates the extent to which digital tools are used and available to managers and operators in manufacturing who are experiencing digitalization due to Industry 4.0 movements. A cross-sectional study of production managers and operators (n = 417) was conducted among 10 Norwegian manufacturing companies. Results from independent t-tests and Chi-square tests indicate that, compared with operators, production managers report higher satisfaction with different digitalization experiences, more extensive use of digital systems for registration and documentation, and greater availability of digital tools. Thus, digitalization and digital tools based on the Industry 4.0 concepts seem to have only reached the managerial level, and the revolution seems to be top down.

Author Biographies

Sylvi Thun, SINTEF Digital


Research Scientist, Ph.D., Technological Management. E-mail:

Pål F. Kamsvåg, SINTEF Digital


M.Sc., Technological Management

Birgit Kløve, SINTEF Digital


Research Scientist, M.Sc., Technological Management

Eva A. Seim, SINTEF Digital


Senior Research Scientist, Ph.D.,Technological Management

Hans Y. Torvatn, SINTEF Digital


Research Manager, Ph.D., Technological Management

How to Cite
Thun, S., Kamsvåg, P., Kløve, B., Seim, E., & Torvatn, H. (2019). Industry 4.0: Whose Revolution? The Digitalization of Manufacturing Work Processes. Nordic Journal of Working Life Studies, 9(4).