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Definitions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Joni Dougherty Definitions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Definitions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Definitions of the fourth industrial revolution

The fourth industrial revolution (4RI) is one of the historical moments we consider humans ventured further into production. There have been three industrial revolutions preceding the 4th revolution. The fourth industrial revolution is believed to be an advancement of the third revolution. The third revolution was also termed as the digital revolution and started around 1950. It was a development wave involving information technology and computer developments. Despite the link between the two revolutions, the fourth is disconnected from the third and considered a new era. The 4RI is experiencing the fastest development rate, and the developed technologies have an immediate and widespread impact on humanity.

According to Schwab (2017), 4RI is the current technology development wave involving highly disruptive technology combined with other trends, including the Internet of things, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and robotics. The developments of 4RI are revolutionizing the ways of living and working for humans. Most products of this industrial revolution cushion humans and improve their ways of living and production of goods. According to Morrar, Arman, and Mousa (2017), this new technology development era is manifested by rapid speeds in technological advancements and developments. The technologies developed in the 4RI have a powerful impact on the normal functioning of humans. This era oversees the development of technologies much needed by humans, thus instant absorption and widespread utilization.

Relationship of Leadership style the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Higher levels of technology absorption have effected organizations' management and performance. Each company faces distinct impacts from the vastly growing digital world. Leaders ought to develop a clear and concise understanding of the effects their organizations are exposed to from 4RI. Leadership is tasked with making necessary decisions on the best possible ways their organizations can combat the threats emerging from the technological advancements.

Leadership styles experience hard times by the overwhelming efforts required to restore confidence in their modes of leadership. Leaders are often victimized for any uncertainty organizations fall into; therefore, companies' leadership structures are mostly should have the ability to contain the robust dynamics of technology. The strong wave constantly disrupts several leadership styles. However, according to Oosthuizen (2017), leadership styles are known to succeed in this era if it allows leaders to develop their employees' strong influence and followers into making organizational achievements and working for the objectives. Leadership styles are challenged to give from constant preparation of next generations of leadership through creativity, innovation, and other critical thinking. The fourth industrial revolution requires leadership styles to integrate many possible competencies for successful management.

Fourth Industrial revolution challenges leadership style, innovation, and Change.

Leadership faces the dynamics of a robust changing revolution. The 4RI has brought along changes in service delivery and changes to products. Leaders have been compromised to continuously adjust their leadership styles while maintaining the aim of generating profits for their organizations (Xu, David & Kim, 2018). The 4RI has enabled stakeholders, more so the leaders, to think and develop innovative ways to ensure the positive progress of their companies critically. The 4RI has dynamically changed markets for organizations. Leaders have been offered diverse marketplaces facilitated by technology, thus exposing them to difficulty in choice making. Decision making and implementation processes of organizations have been compromised by the unpredictable nature of disruptive technologies developed. Leaders have witnessed a skill gap with the 4RI, thus encouraging and testing their innovative skills. Leaders are forced to assume responsibilities in ensuring changes brought due to the Industrial Revolution do not negatively influence the company's performance. Besides, leaders should encourage innovation, adapt to change within their leadership styles, and make necessary decisions for their organization.


Morrar, R., Arman, H., & Mousa, S. (2017). The fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0): A social innovation perspective. Technology Innovation Management Review, 7(11), 12-20.

Oosthuizen, J. (2017). The determinants of fourth industrial revolution leadership dexterity: A proposed framework for 4ir-intelligence and subsequent 4ir leadership development. In The 4th International Conference on Responsible Leadership.

Schwab, K. (2017). The fourth industrial revolution. Currency.

Xu, M., David, J. M., & Kim, S. H. (2018). The fourth industrial revolution: Opportunities and challenges. International journal of financial research, 9(2), 90-95.

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