Can Industry 4.0 Assist Lean Manufacturing in Attaining Sustainability over Time? Evidence from the US Organizations

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8 Scopus citations


Recent research asserts that Industry 4.0 technologies have positively impacted Lean Manufacturing and sustainable performance. Although the combined impact of Industry 4.0 and Lean Manufacturing on sustainable performance has been scientifically studied, no study has shown how Lean duration moderates the relationship between Industry 4.0 and Lean Manufacturing in US manufacturing firms. This research aims to close this gap by evaluating whether Lean duration moderates the association between Industry 4.0 and Lean Manufacturing, which in turn affects sustainability performance. The Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) method was used to formulate and examine proposed relationships. The study used data collected from 126 managers who worked in 65 different manufacturing organizations. The data demonstrated a moderating effect of Lean duration on the relationship between Industry 4.0 and Lean Manufacturing and a significant and direct effect of Lean Manufacturing on sustainable performance. However, Industry 4.0 had a positive indirect effect on sustainable performance through the moderating effect of Lean Manufacturing and a negative direct impact on sustainable performance. The study’s findings add to the body of knowledge on the impact of Industry 4.0 on the Lean Manufacturing philosophy by identifying Lean duration as a moderator of this relationship. Theoretically, this research empirically validated the association between Lean duration, Industry 4.0, Lean Manufacturing, and sustainable performance in US Manufacturing organizations. The results showed that industry practitioners should consider the effect of Lean duration when adopting and managing Industry 4.0 technologies for better sustainable performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1962
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • Industry 4.0
  • Lean Manufacturing
  • Lean duration
  • sustainable performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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