Study in cooperation with the VDI - Digital technologies in the corporate context

Key Info

Basic Information

Lehrstuhl für Betriebswirtschaftslehre, insbesondere Technologie- und Innovationsmanagement
Funding Body:
The Association of German Engineers (VDI)


Digital technologies have become increasingly important for the manufacturing industry in recent years. A phenomenon commonly associated with the terms "digitization", "Industry 4.0" or the "Fourth Industrial Revolution". In the course of the digital transformation, established technologies in companies are replaced by new, digital technologies such as additive manufacturing (AM) or artificial intelligence (AI). While corresponding investment decisions are made top down, the actual adoption happens at the employee level, where the technologies and solutions are worked with in operations. Current management research has shown that adoption success in companies, especially in the case of technologies with a high disruptive potential, is strongly dependent on the perception of the corresponding technologies by the employees. The individual perception of technologies as "threats" or "opportunities" has proven to be a particularly important influencing factor in this context. In this study we investigate the role of threat and opportunity perception of potentially disruptive digital technologies by employees as bottom-up drivers of technology adoption in companies. For this purpose, the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management of the RWTH Aachen University and the VDI are conducting two surveys on the perception of AI and AM technologies among employees in the manufacturing industry. The two surveys provide information on the use and current status of the diffusion of AM and AI technologies in German industry and also convey an understanding of important success factors of digital transformation.