Aiming for Supply Chain Transparency: Exploring the Potential of Blockchains
Sammanfattning: Purpose: Supply chains lack transparency due to their complexity and fragmentation. Blockchain technology is increasingly expected to revolutionise businesses and promises to create trustworthy transparency. This study aimed to investigate the potentials of blockchain technology for supply chain transparency beyond the growing glorification. Methodology: The potentials, as well as immaturities and drawbacks of blockchain technology, are reviewed in general and related to supply chain information disclosure, complemented by an investigation of the status quo of blockchain adoption and best practices in the supply chain field. In cooperation with IKEA, a case study was conducted, based on a workshop, document analysis, and interviews. The purpose was to identify specific areas in supply chains that urge transparency, to better understand the reasons for the opacity and to reveal how blockchain can be of help. Findings: Blockchain was found to still face some serious immaturities. Nevertheless, it was acknowledged a promising technology for adoption in fields other than the original industry of application, finance. Some conceptual aspects, particularly regarding the kind of underlying shared ledger, need adjustments, some technological aspects need further development, and the framing conditions in economy and society need to be created. Value: This study provides an overview of an emerging field – supply chain blockchain adoption – in which not much research yet exists, and most publications remain very vague. The next actions that researchers, developers, regulators and businesses interested in blockchain need to take are pointed out and reasoned.
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