Potential and Barriers to the Implementation of Blockchain Technology in Supply Chain Management
18 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2018
Date Written: August 8, 2018
Supply chain management has been identified as one potential application for blockchain technology. Established blockchains are envisioned to solve current supply chain challenges around data monitoring, transparency, and authenticity; However, there is a lack of knowledge in how to establish industry-wide blockchains in the first place. Based on working examples and academic research results of blockchain technology in supply chain management, common supply chain properties are identified that blockchain technology is believed to improve. These characteristics are critically discussed with respect to the operating mode of blockchains, assessing the technology’s actual potential to improve these properties. Pitfalls and chances of blockchain technology itself and its use within supply chains are elucidated. The consideration of supply chain properties and pitfalls and chances leads to an implementation agenda, highlighting the importance of standardization and technology governance. This explorative study suggests that companies engage in a collective action initiative in order to agree on standards, rethink the role of certain industry players and establish participatory governance mechanisms. It recognizes the importance of establishing one single source of truth that is accepted by all industry participants. Companies going forward with their own protocols will have to adjust their systems once a standard is established.
Keywords: blockchain technology, supply chain management, collective action initiative, governance, standardization
JEL Classification: L15, O31, O32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation