Logistics 4.0 and corporate sustainability: an organizational theory perspective


  • Nayra Vasiulis Ferreira Rodrigues UFSCar - Universidade Federal de São Carlos
  • Paula De Camargo Fiorini School of Engineering, São Paulo State University (Unesp) - Campus Bauru https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9192-9904
  • Éderson Luiz Piato Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) - Campus Sorocaba https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6403-3288




Intelligent Logistics, Fourth Industrial Revolution, Industry 4.0, Sustainable Supply Chains, Sustainable Development, Management Theories.


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate how organizational theories can contribute to understanding the implications of Logistics 4.0 for the sustainable development of corporations.

Theoretical framework: The application of Logistics 4.0 technologies can be a great ally in the implementation of measures that aim at sustainable development in organizations. There is evidence in the literature that different organizational theories or perspectives can contribute to understanding the implications of these technologies for corporate sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach: A systematic literature review identified 26 eligible articles and applied extensive qualitative data analysis. To analyze the results, Excel software and content analysis were used.

Findings: The theories and approaches explored in the studies were the dynamic capabilities view, the diffusion of innovation theory (Bass model), the ecosystem theory, Porter’s value chain theory, and the organization information processing view theory. The findings revealed that Logistics 4.0 enhances organizational capabilities, optimizes scarce and critical resources, and supports the development of sustainable initiatives in the supply chain.

Research, Practical & Social implications: This study provides implications by demonstrating possible changes in the logistics industry from an environmental, economic, and social perspective. In addition, the results can be a reference for logistics professionals while driving competitive initiatives in Industry 4.0 and facilitating their strategic decisions.

Originality/value: The main contribution of this study is to address the application of several organizational theories to understand how Logistics 4.0 can improve the corporate sustainability, developing a research agenda to steer the progress of the research field.

Keywords: Intelligent Logistics; Fourth Industrial Revolution; Industry 4.0; Sustainable Supply Chains; Sustainable Development; Management Theories.

Biografia do Autor

Nayra Vasiulis Ferreira Rodrigues, UFSCar - Universidade Federal de São Carlos



AGUEZZOUL, Aicha. Third-party logistics selection problem: A literature review on criteria and methods. Omega, v. 49, p. 69-78, 2014. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.omega.2014.05.009

AHMAD, Tahir; VAN LOOY, Amy. Business process management and digital innovations: A systematic literature review. Sustainability, v. 12, n. 17, p. 6827, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176827

BAG, Surajit et al. Industry 4.0 and the circular economy: resource melioration in logistics. Resources Policy, v.68, p. 101776, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resourpol.2020.101776

BAG, Surajit; PRETORIUS, Jan Harm Christiaan. Relationships between industry 4.0, sustainable manufacturing and circular economy: proposal of a research framework. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOA-04-2020-2120

BAG, Surajit; GUPTA, Shivam; KUMAR, Sameer. Industry 4.0 adoption and 10R advance manufacturing capabilities for sustainable development. International journal of production economics, v. 231, p. 107844, 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpe.2020.107844

BANSAL, Pratima. Evolving sustainably: A longitudinal study of corporate sustainable development. Strategic management journal, v. 26, n. 3, p. 197-218, 2005. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/smj.441

BARDIN, Laurence. Análise de Conteúdo. Grupo Almedina, 2011.

BARRETO, L.; AMARAL, A.; PEREIRA, T. Industry 4.0 implications in logistics: an overview. Procedia Manufacturing, v. 13, p. 1245–1252, 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.promfg.2017.09.045

BUNTAK, Krešimir; KOVAČIĆ, Matija; MUTAVDŽIJA, Maja. Internet of things and smart warehouses as the future of logistics. Tehnički glasnik, v. 13, n. 3, p. 248-253, 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31803/tg-20190215200430

CENTOBELLI, Piera et al. Designing business models in circular economy: A systematic literature review and research agenda. Business Strategy and the Environment, v. 29, n. 4, p. 1734-1749, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.2466

CHEN, Zhiming; LIU, Fanglong. Multi-outsourcing supply chain coordination under yield and demand uncertainties. Expert Systems with Applications, v. 181, p. 115177, 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eswa.2021.115177

CIMINI, Chiara et al. How human factors affect operators' task evolution in Logistics 4.0. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries, v. 31, n. 1, p. 98-117, 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/hfm.20872

CORRÊA, Jobel Santos; SAMPAIO, Mauro; BARROS, Rodrigo de Castro. An exploratory study on emerging technologies applied to logistics 4.0. Gestão & Produção, v. 27, n. 3, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1590/0104-530x5468-20

DE VASS, Tharaka; SHEE, Himanshu; MIAH, Shah J. Iot in supply chain management: a narrative on retail sector sustainability. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, p. 1-20, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13675567.2020.1787970

DEV, Navin K.; SHANKAR, Ravi; QAISER, Fahham Hasan. Industry 4.0 and circular economy: Operational excellence for sustainable reverse supply chain performance. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, v. 153, p. 104583, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.104583

DEV, Navin K.; SHANKAR, Ravi; SWAMI, Sanjeev. Diffusion of green products in industry 4.0: Reverse logistics issues during design of inventory and production planning system. International Journal of Production Economics, v. 223, p. 107519, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpe.2019.107519

DRATH, Rainer; HORCH, Alexander. Industrie 4.0: Hit or hype?[industry forum]. IEEE industrial electronics magazine, v. 8, n. 2, p. 56-58, 2014. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/MIE.2014.2312079

DYLLICK, Tho mas; HOCKERTS, Kai. Beyond the business case for corporate sustainability. Business strategy and the environment, v. 11, n. 2, p. 130-141, 2002. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/bse.323

EDMONDSON, A. M., MCMANUS, S. E. Methodological fit in management field research. Academy of Management Review, v. 32, n. 4, pp. 1155–1179. 2007. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2007.26586086

EJSMONT, Krzysztof; GLADYSZ, Bartlomiej; KLUCZEK, Aldona. Impact of Industry 4.0 on Sustainability— Bibliometric Literature Review. Sustainability, v. 12, n. 14, p. 5650, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145650

ELKINGTON, John. The triple bottom line. Environmental management: Readings and cases, v. 2, 1997.

ELKINGTON, John. Accounting for the triple bottom line. Measuring Business Excellence, 1998. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/eb025539

GLASER, Barney G.; STRAUSS, Anselm L. The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Routledge, 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203793206

GUPTA, Anchal; SINGH, Rajesh Kumar. Applications of emerging technologies in logistics sector for achieving circular economy goals during COVID 19 pandemic: analysis of critical success factors. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, p. 1-22, 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13675567.2021.1985095

HILPERT, Hendrik; KRANZ, Johann; SCHUMANN, Matthias. Leveraging Green IS in logistics. Business & Information Systems Engineering, v. 5, n. 5, p. 315-325, 2013. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12599-013-0285-1

HOFMAN N, Erik; RÜSCH, Marco. Industry 4.0 and the current status as well as future prospects on logistics. Computers in industry, v. 89, p. 23-34, 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compind.2017.04.002

IVANOV, Dmitry. The Industry 5.0 framework: viability-based integration of the resilience, sustainability, and human-centricity perspectives. International Journal of Production Research, p. 1-13, 2022. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2022.2118892

JUNGE, Anna Lisa. Digital transformation technologies as an enabler for sustainable logistics and supply chain processes–an exploratory framework. Brazilian Journal of Operations & Production Management, v. 16, n. 3, p. 462-472, 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.14488/BJOPM.2019.v16.n3.a9

KAGERMANN, Henning; WAHLSTER, Wolfgang; HELBIG, Johannes. Securing the future of German manufacturing industry: Recommendations for implementing the strategic initiative INDUSTRIE 4.0. Final report of the Industrie, v. 4, n. 0, 2013.

KODYM, Oldřich; KUBÁČ, Lukáš; KAVKA, Libor. Risks associated with Logistics 4.0 and their minimization using Blockchain. Open Engineering, v. 10, n. 1, p. 74-85, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/eng-2020-0017

LASI, Heiner et al. Industry 4.0. Business & information systems engineering, v. 6, n. 4, p. 239-242, 2014. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12599-014-0334-4

LIU, Weihua et al. Influencing factors on organizational efficiency of smart logistics ecological chain: a multi-case study in China. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-06-2020-0371

MALTZ, Elliot; PIERSON, Kawika. Maximizing corporate social innovation to enhance social and shareholder value: A systems thinking model of industry transformation. Journal of Business Research, v. 138, p. 12-25, 2022. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2021.08.071

MOORE, James F. Predators and prey: a new ecology of competition. Harvard business review, v. 71, n. 3, p.75-86, 1993.

MUNSAMY, Megashnee; TELUKDARIE, Arnesh; DHAMIJA, Pavitra. Logistics 4.0 Energy Modelling. International Journal of Business Analytics (IJBAN), v. 7, n. 1, p. 98-121, 2020. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4018/IJBAN.2020010106

NAGY, Judit et al. The role and impact of Industry 4.0 and the internet of things on the business strategy of the value chain—the case of Hungary. Sustainability, v. 10, n. 10, p. 3491, 2018. DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103491

NANTEE, Natnaree; SUREEYATANAPAS, Panitas. The impact of Logistics 4.0 on corporate sustainability: a performance assessment of automated warehouse operations. Benchmarking: An International Journal, 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-11-2020-0583

NASCIMENTO, Daniel Luiz Mattos et al. Exploring Industry 4.0 technologies to enable circular economy practices in a manufacturing context. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/JMTM-03-2018-0071

PARHI, Shreyanshu et al. Reflecting on an empirical study of the digitalization initiatives for sustainability on logistics: The concept of Sustainable Logistics 4.0. Cleaner Logistics and Supply Chain, p. 100058, 2022. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clscn.2022.100058

PEDOL, Miriam; BIFFI, Elena; MELZI, Simone. Sustainability game. Corporate social responsibility and environmental management, v. 28, n. 5, p. 1540-1548, 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/csr.2182

PORTER, Michel. Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance; Free Press: New York, NY, USA, 1985

SELES, Bruno Michel Roman Pais et al. Do environmental practices improve business performance even in an economic crisis? Extending the win-win perspective. Ecological economics, v. 163, p. 189-204, 2019. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2019.04.013

STRANDHAGEN, Jan Ola et al. Logistics 4.0 and emerging sustainable business models. Advances in Manufacturing, v. 5, n. 4, p. 359-369, 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40436-017-0198-1

SINGH, Manvendra Pratap; CHAKRABORTY, Arpita; ROY, Mousumi. Entrepreneurial commitment, organizational sustainability and business performance of manufacturing MSMEs: Evidence from India. Int. J. Appl. Bus. Econ. Res, v. 14, n. 6, p. 4615-4631, 2016.

STOCK, Tim; SELIGER, Günther. Opportunities of sustainable manufacturing in industry 4.0. procedia CIRP, v. 40, p. 536-541, 2016. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.procir.2016.01.129

SUN, Xu et al. The application of Industry 4.0 technologies in sustainable logistics: A systematic literature review (2012–2020) to explore future research opportunities. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, p. 1-32, 2021. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-021-17693-y

TEECE, David J. Explicating dynamic capabilities: the nature and microfoundations of (sustainable) enterprise performance. Strategic management journal, v. 28, n. 13, p. 1319-1350, 2007. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/smj.640

TRAB, Sourour et al. A communicating object’s approach for smart logistics and safety issues in warehouses. Concurrent Engineering, v. 25, n. 1, p. 53-67, 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1063293X16672508

TRAN, Dat Tien et al. Speculating environmental sustainability strategy for logistics service providers based on DHL experiences. Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences, v. 22, n. 4, p. 415-443, 2019.

TRANFIELD, David; DENYER, David; SMART, Palminder. Towards a methodology for developing evidence‐ informed management knowledge by means of systematic review. British Journal of Management, v. 14, n. 3, p. 207-222, 2003. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-8551.00375

VAN MARREWIJK, Marcel. Concepts and definitions of CSR and corporate sustainability: Between agency and communion. Journal of Business Ethics, v. 44, n. 2, p. 95-105, 2003.

VELEVA, Vesela; ELLENBECKER, Michael. Indicators of sustainable production: framework and methodology. Journal of Cleaner Production, v. 9, n. 6, p. 519-549, 2001. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0959-6526(01)00010-5

WINKELHAUS, Sven; GROSSE, Eric H. Logistics 4.0: a systematic review towards a new logistics system. International Journal of Production Research, v. 58, n. 1, p. 18-43, 2020 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00207543.2019.1612964


Arquivos adicionais



Como Citar

Vasiulis Ferreira Rodrigues, N., De Camargo Fiorini, P., & Luiz Piato, Éderson. (2022). Logistics 4.0 and corporate sustainability: an organizational theory perspective. Revista Gestão Da Produção Operações E Sistemas, 17(4), 108. https://doi.org/10.15675/gepros.v17i4.2950