The impact of digitalization on business functions in manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises: an empirical study from the entrepreneurial perspective


Industry 4.0
Business functions
Customer value

How to Cite

Conti, E., Musso, F., & Camillo, F. (2024). The impact of digitalization on business functions in manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises: an empirical study from the entrepreneurial perspective. Piccola Impresa Small Business, (3).
Received 2023-06-23
Accepted 2024-01-24
Published 2024-04-15


Purpose. The paper aims to empirically examine the impact of digitalization on key business functions in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Italy, from the entrepreneurial perspective.

Design/methodology/approach. An online survey of 205 Italian manufacturing SMEs was carried out and data were analyzed with hierarchical cluster analysis.

Findings. The analysis shows the existence of six clusters of SMEs that differ in the impact of digitalization on business functions and in the influence of digitalization on customer value.

Practical and Social Implications. The study suggests that companies should simultaneously digitalize all business functions to increase the effectiveness of the digital revolution, enhance customer value creation and invest both in digital managerial culture and skills.

Originality of the study. It focuses on the impact of digitalization on all business functions, which has not yet been empirically investigated as a whole.


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