• ISSN: 2010-0248 (Print)
    • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Innov.  Manag. Technol.
    • Frequency: Quarterly
    • DOI: 10.18178/IJIMT
    • Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Jin Wang
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IJIMT 2024 Vol.15(1): 22-28
doi: 10.18178/ijimt.2024.15.1.958

A Roadmap for Digitally Transforming the Operations of Labour-Intensive Organisations

Tiaan A. Loots1,2,*, Konrad H. von Leipzig3, and Vera Hummel4
1. The University of Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa
2. Reutlingen University, Reutlingen, Germany
3. Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa
4. ESB Business School, Reutlingen University, Reutlingen, Germany
Email: tiaan.loots@gmail.com (T.A.L.); kvl@sun.ac.za (K.H.L.); vera.hummel@reutlingen-university.de (V.H.)
*Corresponding author

Manuscript received September 25, 2023; revised October 24, 2023; accepted December 12, 2023; published March 12, 2024

Abstract—In this paper, a roadmap for the incremental digital transformation of operations in labour-intensive organisations is presented. The roadmap utilises a developed reference architecture that takes into account the various areas of value creation in these organisations. It focuses on achieving practical and value-adding levels of digital transformation incrementally in all aspects of a labour-intensive organisation, not just the labour processes. The reference architecture is developed based on a brief analysis and comparison of labour in different manufacturing systems, supported by observational case studies conducted by the first author. The roadmap approach is then implemented in three phases: evaluating the current environment in phase 1, implementing lower-level or test bed methods of digital transformation in phase 2, and ultimately reaching high levels of digital transformation in phase 3. The roadmap also utilises a continuous improvement methodology, in which the roadmap is restarted after each implementation to identify additional opportunities for digital innovation at the operational level.

Keywords—operations management, technology and innovation, incremental innovation, digital transformation, Industry 4.0, labour-intensive environments


Cite: Tiaan A. Loots, Konrad H. von Leipzig, and Vera Hummel, "A Roadmap for Digitally Transforming the Operations of Labour-Intensive Organisations," International Journal of Innovation, Management and Technology vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 22-28, 2024.

Copyright © 2024 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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