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Empirical investigation of supply chain 4.0 adoption in Vietnam

Nguyen, Giang; Soares, Anabela; Duong, Linh; Kuma, Vikas


Giang Nguyen

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Dr Linh Duong
Senior Lecturer in Operations Management


The emergence of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) technologies has transformed traditional supply chains into digital Supply Chain 4.0 (SC4.0). Despite the recognition of I4.0 as a catalyst for sustainable economic development, the implementation of SC4.0 in developing countries is limited. In-depth studies identifying conditional factors determining the pursuit of SC4.0 within organisations in developing nations remains scarce. Additionally, despite the consistently increasing number of general articles on digital SC, there is no consensus on a conceptual framework to measure SC4.0, and the impact of different organizational culture types on SC4.0 adoption remains unexplored. Furthermore, a severe lack of holistic theories exploring SC4.0 exist. To address these gaps, this paper integrates the Technology-Organisation-Environment (TOE) framework and the Competing Value Framework (CVF) model, providing a widely-applicable theoretical basis for SC4.0 research. The study aims to offer practical insights into policies, strategies, and organisational changes, while also building a theoretical framework for SC4.0 adoption in both Vietnam and other emerging countries.

Research design/methodology/approach
The research employed a mixed-methods approach to gain initial insights into the enablers and barriers of SC4.0 adoption while testing a conceptual framework/model and assessing the impact of SC4.0 implementation. The study consisted of two stages:
Stage 1 involved qualitative research conducted through semi-structured interviews with 14 managers from various companies using Teams. Additionally, a systematic literature review (SLR) of 153 selected articles contributed to the generation of 21 hypotheses, 3 main themes, and 7 subthemes, which were further explored in the 14 semi-structured interviews. Thematic analysis supported by Nvivo software was utilised for qualitative data analysis, involving transcribing, comparing, contrasting, and categorising the results to identify common themes.
In Stage 2, the conceptual framework and hypotheses were assessed through a questionnaire distributed to multiple Vietnamese organizations, yielding 292 responses. Quantitative data analysis encompassed descriptive statistics, factor analysis, correlations, and regressions using SPSS.

As the Vietnamese market differs in SC development and I4.0 maturity, critical implementation factors are expected to differ from existing literature focused on developed countries. The study unveils internal and external factors encountered by firms in Vietnam during SC4.0 implementation. It provides practitioners with insights on leveraging different organizational culture types to encourage innovation and accelerate the transformation process. As a result, a framework of determinant factors which influence this implementation will be built to foresee the successful digital SC transformation.

Research limitations
This research investigates SC4.0 adoption among all Vietnamese firms. However, organisations of different sizes and industries can encounter varying challenges and motivations in adopting SC4.0. Additionally, SLR of this research was conducted in 2021; leading to the selection of papers published between 2011 and 2021. Notably, technical challenges related to SC4.0 were not identified or included in this study as papers heavily emphasizing technical views were excluded. Additionally, papers lacking full-text access were also excluded from the review.

This research aims to provide an initial foundation and assist these managers and politicians to more effectively make long-term strategic decisions regarding SC4.0 adoption and implementation. With this approach, the knowledge and principles gained within this work will support the optimised development of SC4.0 in Vietnam; allowing for more effective resource allocation and initial guidance for the planning and implementation of companies’ development plans. It will also provide future guidance when establishing SC4.0 centres of excellence or knowledge exchange networks, facilitating the growth of a fully-connected and future-proof SCs within Vietnam.

This research contributes to the field by being the pioneer study to investigate the enablers and barriers of SC4.0 implementation in Vietnam through the application of theoretical models. It presents a novel and comprehensive approach to SC4.0 adoption, addressing existing gaps in the literature. By enhancing the comprehension of SC4.0 adoption constructs and dimensions, this study lays a strong foundation for future research in the realm of SC4.0.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name The 4th Asia Pacific International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management
Start Date Sep 12, 2023
End Date Jun 14, 2024
Deposit Date Jun 11, 2024
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