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Blockchain Technology: Implications for operations and supply chain management

Cole, Rosie, Stevenson, Mark and Aitken, James (2019) Blockchain Technology: Implications for operations and supply chain management Supply Chain Management : an International Journal, 24 (4). pp 469-483.

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Abstract

Purpose: To encourage the study of blockchain technology from an Operations and Supply Chain Management (OSCM) perspective, identifying potential areas of application; and to provide an agenda for future research.

Approach: An explanation and analysis of blockchain technology is provided to identify implications for the field of OSCM.

Findings: The hype around the opportunities that digital ledger technologies offer is high. For OSCM, a myriad of ways in which blockchain could transform practice are identified, including: enhancing product safety and security; improving quality management; reducing illegal counterfeiting; improving sustainable supply chain management; advancing inventory management and replenishment; reducing the need for intermediaries; impacting new product design and development; and, reducing the cost of supply chain transactions. The immature state of practice and research surrounding blockchain means there is an opportunity for OSCM researchers to study the technology in its early stages and shape its adoption.

Research implications: The paper provides a platform for new research that addresses gaps in knowledge and advances the field of OSCM. A research agenda is developed around six key themes.

Practical implications: There are many opportunities for organisations to obtain an advantage by making use of blockchain technology ahead of the competition, enabling them to enhance their market position. But it is important that managers examine the characteristics of their products, services and supply chains to determine whether they need or would benefit sufficiently from the adoption of blockchain. Moreover, it is important that organisations build human capital expertise that allows them to develop, implement, and exploit applications of this technology to maximum reward.

Originality: The first paper in a leading international OSCM journal to analyse blockchain technology thereby complementing a recent article on digital supply chains that omitted blockchain.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Cole, Rosier.cole@surrey.ac.uk
Stevenson, Mark
Aitken, JamesJames.Aitken@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 11 June 2019
DOI : 10.1108/SCM-09-2018-0309
Copyright Disclaimer : © Emerald Group Publishing Limited 2018 Published by Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Licensed re-use rights only.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Blockchain technology; Research agenda; Operations and supply chain management
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Citation Cole, R., Stevenson, M. and Aitken, J. (2019), "Blockchain technology: implications for operations and supply chain management", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 24 No. 4, pp. 469-483. https://doi.org/10.1108/SCM-09-2018-0309
Depositing User : Charlene King
Date Deposited : 06 Feb 2019 10:28
Last Modified : 22 Nov 2019 12:15
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/850374

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