A Framework for Exploring Blockchain Technology in Supply Chain Management

Author: Roel Gutiera :

Abstract

The purpose of the study is to identify and explore
different applications of blockchain technology in supply chain
management and suggest a framework for their analysis. The
study addresses researchers’ conflicting opinions regarding the
hype of blockchain and clarifies which minor applications are
hyped and which are currently more applicable. That helps
supply chain practitioners appraise the different applications of
blockchains before it is too late to revise a decision regarding
their use. The framework was developed based on a systematic
literature review of blockchain-related articles, and it was
examined with semi-structured interviews with four companies
that applied the technology. Findings from the study suggested
that traceability and supply chain finance seemed to be the most
applicable applications of blockchain technology in supply
chain management. But, light was also shed on other
applications such as: compliance with standards, supply chain
integration and digitalization of the transactions. This study
was restricted by the availability of applied cases, as blockchain
remains an emerging technology. Therefore, this study cannot
be considered a case research, but a literature review followed
by a limited number of interviews. However, the study resulted
in a conceptual framework that forms the basis for further
exploratory studies with more empirical data.