Managing Change and Acceptance of Digitalization Strategies Implementing the Vision of "Internet of Production" in Existing Corporate Structures

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Managing change and acceptance of digitalization strategies Digitalization is currently reshaping the production industry, resulting in the transfer of approaches from the Internet of Things (IoT) to enterprises. In the majority of cases, digitalization approaches must be implemented in already existing corporate structures. As a result, different changes are required regarding strategy development and implementation that have an impact on employees but also organizational structures and even corporate culture. In order to achieve a sustainable organizational transformation, the willingness to embrace change is seen as a critical element for the implementation of new approaches, as existing research has already demonstrated. In this context, it is questionable to what extent the employees of a company anticipate the necessity of change and reflect as well as accept change processes. Consequently, it must be investigated how the attitudes towards the implementation of digitalization in the respective company are and which strategies can be developed on this base. This contribution presents a research approach that allows the reflection of the acceptance of changes in the context of digitalization in production industry on different organizational levels. In doing so, an intra-company perspective is focused. Considering the different external and internal factors influencing an organization, a research approach is developed that aims at investigating prevailing mindsets and attitudes towards digitalization approaches in production industry and intends to support implementation processes in existing corporate structures. The research project is conducted in the frame of the work stream D.I, which is part of the Cluster of Excellence (CoE) “Internet of Production” (IoP) at RWTH Aachen University. The use case is realized, including organizations that are representing the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) of the CoE and that are located broadly diversified in the production industry. This paper addresses all who are concerned with change processes and acceptance research especially in production industry and its digitalization efforts. Key words: Change Management, Production industry, acceptance research, industry 4.0

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