Keywords: Industry 4.0; Industrial Economic Theories; Analytic Requirements; Theoretical Compass.
The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretical framework in order to both analyse the new economic and social phenomenon named Industry 4.0 and to support the literature orientation on the industrial economic issues. In particular, the Authors systematized the main academic contributions, which were reviewed to deeply understand the fourth industrial revolution. The compass is based on the Structure-Conduct-Performance (scp) model, and it is characterized by a modular approach thanks to its distinctive features that consider the theoretical elements of applied economics (i.e. supply concentration, entry barriers, vertical integration and markets dependence, conduct and interaction among actors). Moreover, the «theoretical compass» might be useful to answer to the key questions related to the changes stemming from the new Industry 4.0 process. Some policy implications of the study are finally discussed.