Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Session
20-AM-09: ST7.4 - Blockchain for Business: Expectations and Potential
Time:
Thursday, 20/Jun/2019:
8:30am - 10:00am

Session Chair: Alberto Nucciarelli, University of Trento
Location: Room PC 21

Session Abstract

This track aims to host qualitative and quantitative research on how blockchain technology influences business practices. After being long conceived as "the next thing" and the technology enabling cryptocurrencies, blockchain is now being addressed for its potential to change the basis of firms' competitive advantage and the relationships focal firms have with their business partners along international supply chains. Moreover, blockchain modifies the governance of online transactions and imposes to re-think policy frameworks in various industries.

More specifically, in a zero marginal cost society, replicating and circulating information is easy and costless. Concerns exist about the governance of information because of its centralization. Intermediaries relying on platform-based business models hold, control, and manage people’s and transactions data. Blockchain, however, as a distributed ledger technology has the potential to disrupt the status quo. The ledger is held in a network across a series of nodes where no middleman is needed to guarantee the access to records and no single centralized location for information is necessary. Research has so far neglected the potential and implications of blockchain. In fact, we cannot grasp to what extent the change will impact on firms’ competitiveness, customers’ rights, and policy settings. The challenge is to understand the potential and the implications of blockchain adoption on the creation of new ecosystems in different industries by taking into account changes in business processes and business models, the transformation of industries, and the definition of new regulatory frameworks.

This track warmly welcomes theoretical and practitioner-oriented research on blockchain. Areas of research include (but are not limited to):

- Business modelling and Business model innovation

- Supply chain management

- Governance of online transactions

- Policy and Regulation

- Organizational implications of blockchain technology

- Innovation ecosystems

- Technology adoption


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Presentations

Digital innovation enabled by the blockchain use in healthcare

Roxana Ologeanu, Isabelle Bourdon, Ghislaine Ngassam

Montpellier University, France

Context

Early blockchain are public systems, based on anonymous nodes, enabling full decentralisation of the data control and therefore radical innovation.

Recently, private blockchain have been designed in order to fit with the existing regulation on the personal data protection. Therefore, the private blockchain enable innovation in a less radical way than public blockchains.

Literature

Yoo el al. (2010) provide a specific definition of digital innovation insisting on the key role of the digital technology, i.e. a layered architecture consisting of four layers: devices, networks, services, and contents. This layered architecture makes the digital innovation radically different from the IT innovation, which is focused on process innovation. Consequently, Yoo et al. developed a framework to analysis the digital innovation for products, which was adapted by Barret et al. (2015) for the services system.

Sriviastava & Shaines (2015) focus on the digitally enabled service innovations in healthcare in developing countries. They show that the innovation resulted in increased accessibility and affordability of healthcare service.

Hinings et al. (2018) argued that the digital innovation is composed of the integration of digital organisation forms, digital institutional infrastructures and digital institutional building blocks. Blockchain is considered a not yet institutionalised digital infrastructure (Hinings et al., 2018).

Literature Gap

There is a gap on blockchain as digital infrastructure and component of digital innovation. Moreover, while blockhain is considered an innovation trigger, literature has provided less evidence on concrete innovations beyond the financial sector. In addition, little is known about the digital innovation in the healthcare in developed countries.

Research Questions

Is blockchain technology a trigger for digital innovation in developing countries, by increasing accessibility and affordability?

We will show how blockchain is institutionalised as digital institutional infrastructure, contributing to digital innovation (Yoo et al., 2010) in a specific healthcare setting.

Methodology

The research design is based on a unique case study. The starting point is related both to the interest of a private blockchain company in France to develop uses in healthcare and the need of allergists from a French hospital to certify and track the information on severe case of allergy to penicillin after a valid test while generally the information about the allergy detected by a test is mismatched with information recorded by patients according to their opinion. Consequently, the allergists considered the idea of a secured national ledger.

Empirical Material

A PhD student will conduct a research-action method in order to build this ledger by considering both the technical constraints and the allergists’ needs. Data will be collected from meeting observations, the researcher’s journal, documents and interviews.

In order to build a common understanding of both the blockchain infrastructure and the clinical needs, the tool of the Business Process Modelling will be used. The charts of the process will be shared by the computer scientists, the clinicians and patients representatives.

Results

The envisaged results are related to the mechanisms enabling the digital innovation i.e. the integration of digital organisation forms, digital institutional infrastructures and digital institutional building blocks. In addition, we expect to show how blokchain contributes to increasing accessibility and affordability of the allergy data for patients.

Contribution to Scholarship

Our research could contribute to two streams of literature: the blockchain use and the digital innovation especially in the healthcare sector and, therefore, to show how organisation forms, digital institutional infrastructures and institutional building blocks are embedded in the digital innovation.

Contribution to Practice

This research aims to help IT managers and professionals in healthcare to design and perform innovation digital projects.

Fitness

This paper contributes to the year’s conference theme by bridging research, software industry (i.e. a blockchain company) and the social needs to improve the affordability and the accessibility of a healthcare service, i.e. the information on the severe attested allergy.

Bibliography

Barrett, M., Davidson, E., Prabhu, J., & Vargo, S. L. (2015). Service innovation in the digital age: key contributions and future directions. MIS quarterly, 39(1), 135-154.

Benchoufi, M., & Ravaud, P. (2017). Blockchain technology for improving clinical research quality. Trials, 18(1), 335.

Cohen, M. D., March, J. G., & Olsen, J. P. (1972). A Garbage Can Model of Organizational Choice. Administrative Science Quarterly, 17(1), 1-25.

Dinh, T. T. A., Liu, R., Zhang, M., Chen, G., Ooi, B. C., & Wang, J. (2018). Untangling block-chain: A data processing view of blockchain systems. IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, 30(7), 1366-1385.

Henfridsson, O., & Bygstad, B. (2013). The generative mechanisms of digital infrastructure evolution. MIS quarterly, 37(3), 907-931.

Kuo, T. T., Kim, H. E., & Ohno-Machado, L. (2017). Blockchain distributed ledger technologies for biomedical and health care applications. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 24(6), 1211-1220.

Sriviastava, S. C., and Shainesh, G. 2015. “Bridging the ServiceDivide Through Digitally Enabled Service Innovations: Evidence from Indian Healthcare Service Providers,” MISQuarterly (39:1), pp. 245-267.

Yoo, Y., Henfridsson, O., & Lyytinen, K. (2010). Research commentary—the new organizing logic of digital innovation: an agenda for information systems research. Information systems research, 21(4), 724-735.



Blockchain in Supply Chain Management and Logistic: An Explorative Qualitative Study

Niels Hackius

Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Germany

Context

Blockchain is expected to “positively impact everything” [11] in Supply Chain Management and Logistics (SC&L); some consider it to be nothing short of the “holy grail” [14]. However, to date empirical evidence of motivations, strategies or barriers for companies to use this technology is scarce.

Literature

Blockchain technology use in SC&L is over-hyped [1, 22]. Even though the technology is considered immature, various applications have been outlined [18, 19]. The most notable are (1) tracking and tracing of goods for supply chain optimization and detecting counterfeits, (2) digital singing of shipping document, and (3) as a database infrastructure for IoT devices [3, 9, 13, 15, 16, 19]. However, it is also noted that most of the research is very recent, descriptive or conceptual, and to some extend driven by the surge of the crypto-currency Bitcoin. In general, it is called into question if the proposed applications actually warrant a Blockchain solution [18, 19, 21].

Literature Gap

Empirical, qualitative evidence to describe motivations, barriers and strategies of companies is missing in the literature [19, 22]. Existing studies only provide partial insights due to a focus on particular use-cases or sectors [5–8, 10, 12, 15, 17, 20].

Research Questions

The main research question to be answered is: “How is Blockchain technology currently implemented in SC&L?” Specifically, two sub-questions are addressed: “What strategic measures do companies use to implement Blockchain in SC&L?” and “Which challenges do companies face in their implementation strategies?”

Methodology

A qualitative interview study was conducted with the goal to explore the field of Blockchain in SC&L and to derive theory grounded in data [2]. Experts with knowledge in SC&L and Blockchain were interviewed using a semi-structured interview guideline. The recordings were transcribed and coded by emerging topics following the guidelines by Charmaz [2].

Empirical Material

Twenty-one expert interviews were conducted. The experts work in various industries such as logistics, consulting, manufacturing, banking and insurance, IT solutions, public authorities, or special interest groups. The coding process yielded 587 codes, which were then grouped according to their core statement. The analysis was conducted by assigning the groups to categories adopted from the Corbin and Strauss coding paradigm [4].

Results

The results of the study are motivations and strategies companies have as well as barriers they face. Companies currently investigate or test Blockchain solutions because they expect efficiency improvements, benefits regarding the IT infrastructure, or feel pressured by the hype surrounding the topic. In order to drive the development, companies choose three strategically different paths for the deployment of Blockchain solutions: Either they join consortia, they revisit known problems, or they consider first Blockchain based products. The two most relevant barriers found are the challenging usability of existing Blockchain solutions and the strategic, as well as regulatory uncertainties. In practice, this means that companies realize either that they need alternative solutions to an actual Blockchain or that application builders try to stay agnostic of actual implementations.

Contribution to Scholarship

This work contributes to science by providing empiric evidence grounded in data. Future research can use these exploratory results as a basis for focused qualitative studies with a particular topic (e.g., how and when consortia should be formed) or testing using quantitative methods. Moreover, the results provide insights into how companies approach and realize a hyped technology in practice.

Contribution to Practice

Decision makers tasked to deploy Blockchain in their company can benefit by validating their reasoning against the ones other companies have made. Moreover, practitioners and implementers from the SC&L sector gain insights regarding existing approaches, known barriers and possible alternatives.

Fitness

This submission is in-line with the call for papers providing an insight into the adoption of the deep-tech technology concept Blockchain benefiting both practitioners from the SC&L sector as well as researchers building theory.

Bibliography

1. Banker S (2017) Blockchain In The Supply Chain: Too Much Hype. Forbes

2. Charmaz K (2014) Constructing grounded theory, 2nd edition. Introducing qualitative methods. SAGE

3. Chung K, Yoo H, Choe D et al. (2018) Blockchain Network Based Topic Mining Process for Cognitive Manufacturing. Wireless Pers Commun 19(2): 967. doi: 10.1007/s11277-018-5979-8

4. Corbin JM, Strauss AL (2015) Basics of qualitative research. Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory, Fourth edition. SAGE

5. Gausdal AH, Czachorowski KV, Solesvik MZ (2018) Applying Blockchain technology: Evidence from Norwegian companies. Sustainability (Switzerland) 10(6). doi: 10.3390/su10061985

6. Jabbar K, Bjørn P (2018) Infrastructural Grind. In: GROUP 2018. Proceedings of the 2018 ACM Conference on Supporting Groupwork. ACM Association for Computing Machinery, pp 297–308

7. Korpela K, Hallikas J, Dahlberg T (2017) Digital Supply Chain Transformation toward Blockchain Integration. In: Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences 2017 (HICSS-50). Hilton Waikoloa Village, Hawaii, January 4-7, 2017

8. Lacity MC (2018) Addressing key challenges to making enterprise blockchain applications a reality. MIS Quarterly Executive 17(3): 201–222

9. Lee J-H, Pilkington M (2017) How the Blockchain Revolution Will Reshape the Consumer Electronics Industry. IEEE Consumer Electron. Mag. 6(3): 19–23. doi: 10.1109/MCE.2017.2684916

10. Loklindt C, Moeller M-P, Kinra A (2018) How Blockchain Could Be Implemented for Exchanging Documentation in the Shipping Industry. In: Freitag M, Kotzab H, Pannek J (eds) Dynamics in Logistics. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 194–198

11. Marr B (2018) How Blockchain Will Transform The Supply Chain And Logistics Industry. Forbes

12. Nærland K, Beck R, Müller-Bloch C et al. (2018) Blockchain to Rule the Waves - Nascent Design Principles for Reducing Risk and Uncertainty in Decentralized Environments. In: Transforming society with digital innovation. 38th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS 2017)

13. Petersen M, Hackius N, See B von (2018) Mapping the sea of opportunities: Blockchain in supply chain and logistics. it - Information Technology. doi: 10.1515/itit-2017-0031

14. Popper N, Lohr S (2017) Blockchain: A Better Way to Track Pork Chops, Bonds, Bad Peanut Butter?

15. Sander F, Semeijn J, Mahr D (2018) The acceptance of blockchain technology in meat traceability and transparency. British Food Journal 120(9): 2066–2079. doi: 10.1108/BFJ-07-2017-0365

16. Tian F (2017) A supply chain traceability system for food safety based on HACCP, blockchain & Internet of things. In: Tang J, Chen J, Cai X (eds) 2017 14th International Conference on Services Systems and Services Management (ICSSSM). IEEE

17. Tönnissen S, Teuteberg F, Abramowicz W. PA (2018) Using blockchain technology for business processes in purchasing − Concept and case study-based evidence. In: Abramowicz W, Paschke A (eds) Business information systems. Proceedings, vol 320. Springer, Cham, pp 253–264

18. Treiblmaier H (2018) The impact of the blockchain on the supply chain: a theory-based research framework and a call for action. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal: SCM‐01‐2018‐0029. doi: 10.1108/SCM-01-2018-0029

19. Wang Y, Han JH, Beynon-Davies P (2018) Understanding blockchain technology for future supply chains: a systematic literature review and research agenda. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal 1(103): 2. doi: 10.1108/SCM-03-2018-0148

20. White GRT (2017) Future applications of blockchain in business and management: A Delphi study. Strategic Change-Briefings in Entrepreneurial Finance 26(5): 439–451. doi: 10.1002/jsc.2144

21. Wust K, Gervais A (2018) Do you Need a Blockchain? In: 2018 Crypto Valley Conference on Blockchain Technology (CVCBT), pp 45–54

22. Yli-Huumo J, Ko D, Choi S et al. (2016) Where Is Current Research on Blockchain Technology?-A Systematic Review. PLoS ONE 11(10): e0163477. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0163477



Beyond the hype: Potential of Blockchain for businesses

Thierry Rayna2, Ludmila Striukova1, Sebastien Manchon3, Jeremy Cohen4

1SKEMA Business School, France; 2Ecole Polytechnique, France; 3ENS Paris Saclay, France; 4Imperial College, UK

Context

Though blockchain technology has attracted a lot of attention over the last several years, there is still no consensus on how it could be beneficial or how it could fail.

Literature

Due to its characteristics decentralisation, persistency, anonymity and auditability, blockchain has shown its potential for transforming the traditional industry (Zheng et al. 2018). Potentially it could make business models used by many firms obsolete (Peck 2017) and eventually reshape the economy (Iansiti and Lakhani, 2017).

According to Tapscott and Tapscott (2017), the most successful companies will be those that have the willingness and ability unlock, directly or indirectly, the value of blockchain. There is still a long way for companies to go, as currently there are a number of barriers for companies to adopt this technology

(Saberi et al., 2018).

Literature Gap

While much has been written about the disruptive impact of blockchain technologies, and at a time when blockchain-based startups multiply and large companies relentlessly carry out ‘PoCs’ to attempt to make sense of the disruptive potential of these technologies, it is time to assess the actual transformational potential of blockchain

Research Questions

our aim is to investigate the actual role fulfilled by the blockchain and the impact of blockchain, based on its actual use, on business model innovation.

Methodology

Beginning with an extensive review of use cases associated with blockchain, both in the academic literature and practitioner/corporate publications, this paper builds a cross-case taxonomy of blockchain uses.

Empirical Material

A combination of user cases from academic literature and practitioner publications.

Results

This research shows that in many use cases, blockchain appears to be used as a synonymous for ‘digitisation’, and while there are indeed strong cases to further digitise our economies, cases for use of an actual blockchain, i.e. a fully decentralised system without central authority, are scarce.

We also show that just like other digital technologies beforehand, blockchain strongly reduces barriers to market entry, and the radical shifts we observed previously in the digital content industries, nowadays in the service industries, and tomorrow in the manufacturing industries (through 3D printing and digital manufacturing), are may well materialise thanks to blockchain. In fact, this paper argues that blockchain might be the last piece of the ‘digital disruption puzzle’. Indeed, all of the above—content, services, manufacturing—require a trusted central intermediary to develop on a significantly large scale. And while it is unlikely that blockchain will be used (to a significant extent) to compete head-on with established businesses, it will do so sideways, enabling to explore new usages, new ways to do things, with new actors and stakeholders.

Contribution to Scholarship

Тaxonomy enables to investigate, for each particular core usage, the trade-offs of using the blockchain.

Contribution to Practice

Our research is very timely, as we provide critical insights enabling to leverage the blockchain ‘wave’, in partucular related to the use of blockchain and the role business models play for players to remain ‘on top of the ball’.

Fitness

It fits the general theme of the conference

Bibliography

Iansiti, M. and Lakhani, K. R. (2017). The truth about blockchain: It will take years to transform business, but the journey begins now. Harvard Business Review, vol. January–February, pp. 118–127.

Peck, M. (2017). Blockchains: How they work and why they'll change the world, IEEE Spectrum, vol. 54, pp. 26-35.

Saberi, S., Kouhizadeh, M., Sarkis, J. and L. Shen (2018). Blockchain technology and its relationships to sustainable supply chain management, International Journal of Production Research, in press.

Tapscott, D. and Tapscott, A. (2017). How blockchain will change organizations. MIT Sloan Management Review, vol. 58, pp. 10–13.

Zheng,Z., Xie,S. .Dai, H., Chen, X and H.Wang (2018). Blockchain challenges and opportunities: a survey. International Journal of Web and Grid Services, vol. 14, pp. 352–375.



Blockchain in the News: Trust, Gender And Risk

Andrei Villarroel

School of Management Fribourg, HES SO, Switzerland

Context

Introduced a decade ago, distributed ledger technology (DLT) —commonly referred as ‘blockchain’ for its first implementation as part of the cryptocurrency ‘bitcoin’— is yet to be trusted in real-life. Our research sets out to unveil the extent to which it is, or not, in the context of the news media.

Literature

Davis F.D., Bagozzi R.P., and Warshaw P.R. (1989). User Acceptance of Computer Technology. Management Science 35(8):982–1003.

Donney P.M., Cannon J.P. (1997). An Examination of the Nature of Trust in Buyer-Seller Relationships. Journal of Marketing (61):35-51.

Gefen D. et al (2003). Trust and TAM in Online Shopping. MIS Quarterly 27(1):51-90.

Risius M., Spohrer K. (2017). A Blockchain Research Framework. Business & Information Systems Engineering 59(6):385–409.

Fleischmann M., Ivens B. (2019). Exploring the Role of Trust in Blockchain Adoption: An Inductive Approach. HICSS.

Pavlik J.V. (2015). Transformation: Examining the Implications of Emerging Technology for Journalism, Media and Society. Athens J Mass Media Commun 1 (1): 9–24.

Literature Gap

The extant literature on blockchain and trust offers a primarily conceptual explication of the phenomenon, leaving much -if not all- of the burden of testing whether it applies in real-life to a future empirical study. We propose such an empirical study, unveiling important biases in practice.

Research Questions

How do socio-demographic differences affect the perception of trust-worthiness of the blockchain (distributed ledger technology)?

Methodology

We conducted a survey of a random sample of individuals. The resulting data is analyzed using Analysis of Means (ANOM), and Multivariate Regression Analysis. The statistical software package used is JMP and STATA.

Empirical Material

Our research was performed in collaboration with a news media organization in Switzerland. The survey received 1'036 complete responses, out of 1'500. The practical aim of the study was to unveil new understanding about the real-life interest of blockchain technology-based solutions for the news media industry.

Results

The preliminary results unveiled thus far (early results), show strong gender biases in perceptions of trustworthiness of blockchain technology. Even when controlling for age and education, such gender biases persist. Alternate explanations we explore in the study include: risk-aversion profile of the respondents.

Contribution to Scholarship

While the established management literature posits the importance of inter-personal "trust" in business transactions, and the emergent blockchain literature posits that impersonal "trust-less" systems should make future business transactions more efficient, the gender biases identified in our research suggest that such impersonal trust-less systems may not achieve the hoped-for efficiencies in light of social friction.

Contribution to Practice

In the context of the news media industry, which is facing important challenges linked to the lack of trust from the public (cf. fake news, etc.), the research findings suggest that blockchain-based solutions may not improve their situation in light of gender-based tensions that would add to extant political and other tensions.

Fitness

"The Digital Transformation of the News Media Industry" (our project) is a matter of survival to the firms involved, and of critical importance to society to get it right. We believe our research will help bridge that gap.

Bibliography

Davis F.D., Bagozzi R.P., and Warshaw P.R. (1989). User Acceptance of Computer Technology. Management Science 35(8):982–1003.

Donney P.M., Cannon J.P. (1997). An Examination of the Nature of Trust in Buyer-Seller Relationships. Journal of Marketing (61):35-51.

Fleischmann M., Ivens B. (2019). Exploring the Role of Trust in Blockchain Adoption: An Inductive Approach. HICSS.

Gefen D. et al (2003). Trust and TAM in Online Shopping. MIS Quarterly 27(1):51-90.

Pavlik J.V. (2015). Transformation: Examining the Implications of Emerging Technology for Journalism, Media and Society. Athens J Mass Media Commun 1 (1): 9–24.

Risius M., Spohrer K. (2017). A Blockchain Research Framework. Business & Information Systems Engineering 59(6):385–409.



 
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