University of Leicester
12.pdf (1.32 MB)

Unveiling the relation between the challenges and benefits of operational excellence and industry 4.0: a hybrid fuzzy decision-making approach

Download (1.32 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2022-10-27, 15:20 authored by Seyed Hossein Razavi Hajiagha, Hannan Amoozad Mahdiraji, Samin Moradi, Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes, Saeed Alaei



Operational excellence (OpEx) is a direction toward learning and developing an excellent culture in all aspects of an organization. To reach this culture, revolutionizing activities using industry 4.0 (i4.0) technologies might be a significant empowering tool. This study aims to identify the challenges and benefits of both concepts and investigate their interrelationship to be considered in applying industry 4.0 technologies toward operational excellence.


The challenges and benefits of OpEx and i4.0 are identified and finalized by reviewing the literature. The causal relations between the considered factors are extracted using the fuzzy DEMATEL (Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory) method. Then, the analytical network process (ANP) is applied to determine the importance and weight of the factors (challenges and benefits of OpEx and i4.0) according to the constructed network.


The findings illustrated a strong network structure between the factors. First, the causal factors included OpEx and i4.0 challenges, while the OpEx challenges also affected the i4.0 challenges. Both group challenges had a significant effect on OpEx and i4.0 benefits. This means that challenges are the causal factors to be considered in the alignment of i4.0 toward OpEx. Among the OpEx challenges, lack of strategic planning and proper infrastructure were the main influential factors. In contrast, lack of government support and undeveloped business models were identified as the main challenges of i4.0.


OpEx and i4.0 concepts are reviewed and their pros and cons are studied. Previous studies determined an interaction among these concepts. However, from a practical viewpoint, the relation between the challenges and benefits of i4.0 and OpEx was studied for the first time for their alignment.


Author affiliation

School of Business, University of Leicester


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

The TQM Journal





Copyright date


Available date




Usage metrics

    University of Leicester Publications