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The Impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution on Major Korean Industries

Author Jeong Eun-mi et al Date 2017.12.21 Page

Although the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) began with rapid advances amid the convergence of science and technology, it can now function for businesses and governments as a preemptive strategic orientation given its rate of progression, scope, and the shocks it has created across societies and economies. Effective policy responses to 4IR are especially crucial for Korea, which is seeing lower economic growth rates and thus seeking new growth engines. 

This study analyzes the pathways (production process, products, and value chain) through which Korean manufacturing is influenced by the intelligence information technologies (IITs) expected to drive the 4IR as general-purpose technologies (Chapter 2). It will also identify the factors behind this seismic shift to provide an opportunity for manufacturing to make further advances through 4IR.


The study was conducted through a literature review, statistical and quantitative analyses, corporate surveys, and expert interviews with research specialists in manufacturing and other major industries. For the corporate surveys, businesses were classified as large corporations and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and polled on their responses and plans vis-a-vis 4IR. The results were used for a concrete analysis of the usage levels of major 4IR technologies, the convergence levels of leading products and services, and changes in growth potential and employment structure (Chapter 4). This study also compares examples of policy responses by major economies (Chapter 3) and outlines key tasks for an effective 4IR response (Chapter 5).