Understanding governance and control challenges of blockchain technology in healthcare and energy sectors: a historical perspective


Information Technology

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Purpose: Despite rapid growth in blockchains, there was limited discussion about non-technical and technical factors on blockchain governance in the extant literature. This study aims to contribute new knowledge to the literature on potential factors affecting the adoption, governance and scale-up of blockchain technologies in the health-care and energy sectors, presented in a holistic framework. Design/methodology/approach: This study adopts the qualitative case study research methodology to research blockchain governance in practice. The authors contacted a national blockchain consortium to conduct their research on the governance issue of blockchain. Two leading case organizations, one from the health-care industry and another from the energy industry, were deliberately selected for their study for their active role and reputation in the consortium and practical experience in blockchain governance. Findings: The developed framework helps identify potential research gaps or concerns on adopting a blockchain as well as assessing blockchain implementation and governance in other industries. Depending on the circumstances, some of the factors can be either drivers or obstacles to further blockchain development. The different forces may also be more or less evident over time as blockchains develop. The two real-world case studies contribute to the information technology governance literature on blockchain governance. Originality/value: The results of this case studies will be beneficial for developing theories and empirical models to determine antecedents for achieving consensus and trust in blockchain and testing the relationship between these factors and blockchain governance at different levels. As a result, theories related to the governance of blockchain technologies could be further developed.

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Journal of Management History

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