SI.20.007 – Smart industry and responsible management

Route: Smart industry

Cluster question: 107 How can we anticipate the impact of new technologies on humans and society, and understand and evaluate the influence of existing technologies?

New technologies like artificial intelligence, big data, machine learning are propellants for the Smart Industry (aka Industry 4.0), and have enormous impact on enterprises, individuals, customers, policy makers and society at large. Customer value creation is happening through digitization and servitisation, so production shifts from physical goods towards SMART products and services. As a result efficient personalization and the ubiquity of customer-specific services and solutions are changing the game for the Smart Industry. Furthermore, digital transformation in Smart Industries must take place responsibly, and with regard to wellbeing of individuals, customers, and society at large. Challenges and risks associated with new technologies impact many areas, such as future job security, the environment, individual’s right for privacy, quality of life and social relationships. Therefore enterprises are currently faced with an unprecedented complexity of decisions about the new technologies, their social and ethical implications. Responsible smart enterprises must anticipate the impact of new technologies on key stakeholders; understand how they affect them; and evaluate their impact on key stakeholders. This leads to several critical questions. How can we design and implement new technologies to account for their potential social and ethical challenges? Can Smart Industry become more responsible by finding the right balance between efficiency gains from new technologies and their corporate responsibility efforts in the digital domain? How would customers perceive corporate social responsibility efforts within the digital context? Would more responsible enterprises be rewarded and see a positive response from customers? To stay at the forefront of these challenges, there is a need for boundary-breaking interdisciplinary approach because new technologies are blurring the boundaries between ‘the physical’ (product), ‘the digital’ (content), and ‘the biological’ (people).


corporate responsibility, digitalization, ethical and social challenges, new technologies, Smart Industry


Organisation University of Twente (UT)
Name Dr. A. (Agata) Leszkiewicz