Evolving Supply Chain Management from Industry 4.0 to Industry 5.0: A Systematic Review of Blue Ocean Strategy in South African Enterprises


Author(s): Alexander Samuels, Blessing Takawira & Thokozani Patmond Mbhele

This systematic review provides investigation into the evolution of Supply Chain Management (SCM) practices from Industry 4.0 to Industry 5.0 in South African enterprises, with a specific focus on the integration of Blue Ocean Strategy. Industry 5.0 marks a significant shift towards more personalised, sustainable, and human- centric industrial practices, leveraging advanced technologies to improve operational efficiency and address environmental concerns. The research aims to investigate how SCM practices in South African firms are transforming under the influence of Industry 5.0 paradigms and to assess how the Blue Ocean Strategy can bolster competitiveness, operational efficiency, and sustainable growth. Adopting a comprehensive methodology, this study systematically reviewed peer-reviewed articles from 2019 to 2023. Employing the PRISMA framework for structured literature review, and thematic analysis using Atlas-ti 24 software, the research scrutinised the evolution of SCM practices, focusing on technological adoption, strategic innovation, and sustainability integration. The findings reveal that South African firms are progressively adopting Industry 5.0 technologies, integrating them within SCM to improve flexibility, responsiveness, and sustainability. The application of Blue Ocean Strategy is identified as a catalyst for creating uncontested market spaces and driving innovation, which not only improves the firms’ market position but also aligns with sustainable business practices. However, challenges such as technological integration complexity, high transition costs, and the need for skilled human resources are notable impediments. This research significantly contributes to academic literature by providing a nuanced understanding of the SCM evolution in the context of Industry 5.0 within emerging markets, particularly focusing on South African enterprises. It also offers practical insights for industry practitioners on leveraging Blue Ocean Strategy alongside Industry 5.0 technologies to achieve competitive advantage and sustainable growth. The study underlines the need for policy interventions to support technological adaptation and capacity building in the SCM sector, suggesting avenues for future research on overcoming the barriers to Industry 5.0 adoption.