|تعداد مشاهده مقاله||106,189,604|
|تعداد دریافت فایل اصل مقاله||83,088,848|
A Framework to Evaluate Readiness for Blockchain Technology Implementation
|Journal of Information Technology Management|
|دوره 14، شماره 1، فروردین 2022، صفحه 127-157 اصل مقاله (1.04 M)|
|نوع مقاله: Research Paper|
|شناسه دیجیتال (DOI): 10.22059/jitm.2021.304220.2545|
|Faranak Hosseinpouli Mamaghani* 1؛ Shaban Elahi2؛ Alireza Hassanzadeh2|
|1Master of Information Technology Management, Faculty of Management and Economics, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.|
|2Professor, Department of Information Technology Management, Faculty of Management and Economics, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran|
|In recent years, Blockchain technology has been recognized as one of the most important new technologies affecting businesses and society, with a very bright future ahead. This technology is known as one of the most critical technologies of industry 4. Given that Blockchain technology is a new concept, before implementing it, the organization must understand it and be prepared to accept it; otherwise, the organization will incur irreparable damages. The main purpose of this study is to provide a framework within which organizations can evaluate their readiness to implement Blockchain technology. For this purpose, after a library study and systematic literature review, this study provided the initial research framework using the meta-synthesis method. Finally, the Lawshe model was applied to validate the proposed framework for the organization's readiness to implement Blockchain technology. Based on the findings, the final established framework included seven main dimensions, including Blockchain-based business strategy, operations of a distributed system, culture, people in Blockchain decentralized network, decentralized governance, technology, and Blockchain-based product traceability. Besides, 37 main criteria affected these dimensions, which can help companies increase the level of Blockchain technology readiness. Finally, this framework was used to measure the readiness of an airline company. According to the results of the analysis, Blockchain-based business strategy, culture, and Blockchain-based product traceability showed a medium level of readiness. Moreover, none of the main dimensions of Blockchain technology readiness were sufficiently prepared in this case study. This paper suggests practical recommendations to improve the level of Blockchain technology readiness for the managers|
|Blockchain technology؛ Readiness framework؛ Systematic review؛ Meta-synthesis؛ Logistics|
Nakamoto first identified the idea of Blockchain technology in 2008 in an article titled " Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System." The first Blockchain implementation was Bitcoin. The first purpose of the main application of Blockchain technology was to implement a cryptocurrency exchange system. But bitcoin technology and Blockchain are far more than economically applicable (Swan, 2018). Blockchain technology is a peer-to-peer information technology network that holds digital asset records in a distributed ledger(Min, 2019). One of the essential benefits of Blockchain technology is automation, building trust, reducing costs, and providing network-level security (Alketbi et al., 2018; L. Hughes, Dwivedi, Misra, Rana, et al., 2019). Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin have become increasingly important in recent years.. Thus, Blockchain technologies that fuel cryptocurrencies can expand into other business applications even more profoundly. (A. Hughes et al., 2019). There are so many applications for Blockchain technology which include as follows: energy sector (Andoni et al., 2019), supply chain (Min, 2019; Queiroz & Fosso Wamba, 2019), Governance (Allessie et al., 2018; Ølnes et al., 2017c), healthcare(McGhin et al., 2019), and Internet of things (IoT) (Hassan et al., 2019). Logistics (Meyer et al., 2019a; Tijan, Aksentijević, et al., 2019) is another sector that has started using Blockchain technology widely, and researchers are going to evaluate the findings in this case.
Blockchain technology implementation is a long, complicated and costly process usually accompanied by many challenges (Koteska et al., 2017). Therefore, assessing readiness in the early stages of implementing this emerging technology is essential to identify the organizations’ weaknesses that will later increase the possibility of failure. Consequently, as the delinquencies decreased, companies can save a lot of money, leading to increased success. There is no appropriate infrastructure in so many developing countries, and they don't have the basic requirements to implement Blockchain technology (Thakur et al., 2019a). Thus, they are only eager to use it because of the trend around the world, and as a result, It would be a failure to implement Blockchain technology.. For this purpose, organizations need to identify the critical factors affecting their readiness before taking any steps to implement this technology.
Our contributions are summarized as follows:
1) Based on the literature review, the of most researches was mainly on the challenges and potential benefits of Blockchain technology. Our study was a systematic literature review to identify the most critical dimensions and factors affecting the readiness of Blockchain technology implementation via setting a comprehensive framework.
2) Based on the former studies, no specific readiness framework was offered to the logistic sector.
3) The majority of the previous studies were quantitative ones. In this study, a qualitative meta-synthesis and quantitative Lawshe method were applied to provide a new, more comprehensive interpretation of the findings beyond the breadth and depth of the original studies and broaden the range of concepts.
4) This study also sought to act as a guide with the best practices for assisting developers, executives, managers, and investors with unveiling the critical success factors of Blockchain projects in a more systematic way.
5) The study also evaluated the Blockchain readiness framework in a case study, and through this, some solutions were recommended to enterprises, to improve their readiness, and detect their weaknesses.
In the second part, the literature review is discussed, and in the third part, the research method is stated. The fourth section deals with analysing findings, which have seven steps. In the fifth section, the proposed readiness framework is validated, and in section six, the final framework is suggested. Next, in section seven, this study used the framework to evaluate an airline company’s readiness. Finally, Discussion and conclusion have come in the last parts of this paper.
This section aims to achieve the primary goal of this paper, a comprehensive framework for Blockchain technology readiness, so the main criteria affecting Blockchain technology implementation readiness were identified systematically. In this regard, the studies over the past few years have been reviewed. In Table 1, the most important criteria with their definitions were summarized
Table 1. The most important criteria to evaluate the readiness of Blockchain technology implementation based on systematic literature review
This paper is qualitative research, conducted by the application of meta-synthesis. The library research method was used to collect information, and through systematic literature review, appropriate sources were refined and selected. Finally, a conceptual framework was developed by analyzing the data by meta-synthesis and coding method. In meta-synthesis, new and fundamental themes and metaphors were explored through various qualitative studies; thus, current knowledge is expanded, and a comprehensive and holographic view of issues is created (Zimmer, 2006). Sandelowski and Barroso introduced a seven-step process to perform the meta-synthesis, which was also used in the present study (Sandelowski and Barroso 2006). The seven steps of this method are displayed in Figure 1.
Figure1. The steps of the meta-synthesis method
The steps of implementing the meta-synthesis method are as follows:
Step 1: Set up the research questions
The first step in implementing the meta-synthesis method is to identify the research questions. In the meta-synthesis method, since the researcher's approach is exploratory, they have to define "What" kinds of questions. In this paper, the researcher’s goal was to provide a Blockchain technology readiness framework. Therefore, the research question were: What are the appropriate dimensions and criteria for Blockchain technology implementation readiness?
Step 2: Systematic literature review
In the second step, using the systematic literature review, valid and relevant articles related to the research topic were identified. At this stage, first, a proper and suitable database for searching articles was selected. ScienceDirect search engine was used for this research. Besides, a search was made on the Scopus database to ensure full access to relevant articles. The systematic review of this research began on the 25th of June 2019 and continued until 6th August 2019. Then proceed through the selected keywords (Blockchain readiness and Blockchain implementation), Which were identified in the initial review of related articles; a search was made to extract valid documents related to the research topic during 2016-2020 in two mentioned databases. Finally, 1831 articles were identified, and the researcher stored and categorized them in Mendeley scientific resource management software. Table 2 shows the criteria for choosing articles.
Table 2. Criteria to accept or not to accept articles
Step 3. Searching and selecting related articles
The evaluation and selection process from the resources collected in Mendeley software and resources obtained from searching in databases was done in several stages. At the screening stage, the search results in each database is compared with the sources collected by Mendeley, and are omitted if they are identical. In addition, resources that could not be evaluated and used in later stages due to the lack of access to their full text were removed. Then, by examining the title, abstract, and searching for the phrase in the full text of the search results, irrelevant sources were removed. In addition, non-English sources and sources outside the journal articles, conference papers, books were excluded from the evaluation process. As a result, the identified sources were reduced to 96 ones after the screening stage. After reading the entire content, 60 papers related to the primary purpose of the research were selected. All reviewed resources from the screening stage were stored and categorized in Mendeley resource management and organizing software to make it easier to access.
The article selection process is shown in Figure 2, and the number of selected articles is displayed in Figure 3.
Figure 2. The process of searching and selecting articles
The frequency of 60 papers obtained from the year 2016 based on the year of their publication is shown in the following chart, which shows the increasing interest of researchers in researching Blockchain technology. The results are shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3. Number of selected research articles by different years
Step 4. Extract articles information
In this step, the selected papers were examined. The relevant codes were extracted from the text of the documents using the open coding method arising from the ground theory based on the research question. In this regard, creating concepts from the combination of codes and creating categories from the combination of concepts has made a general image under study (Strauss and Corbin 1994).
Step 5. Analysis and synthesis of qualitative findings
According to the research purpose, related codes were identified and extracted at this stage while reviewing selected papers. Codes of a similar essence were then categorized and formed themes, followed by similar category themes. More than 458 codes were extracted in the coding process, and during the analysis process, some codes were deleted, combined, orclassified. From the classification and aggregation of codes, nine main concepts were formed. Finally, the concepts were categorized into three categories. Table 4. lists the codes and concepts of each category, as well as the sources of each.
Step 6. Quality control
Some researchers introduced open coding as a tool for assessing reliability (Khastar 2009). In this method, people are asked to re-encode one of the documents. If the opinions of two people about the coded codes were convergent, the reliability is confirmed. A Kappa coefficient is used to evaluate the convergence of the calculated codes. When the kappa coefficient is less than 0.2 indicates poor agreement between 0.2 to 0.4 moderate, 0.4 to 0.6 relatively high, 0.6 to 0.8 high, and more than 0.8 almost complete. (Landis and Koch 1977) The results of calculating kappa statistics are presented in Table 3. Kappa coefficient of 0.641 indicated a relatively good agreement, and in addition, a significance level of less than 0.05 suggests a relationship between the encodings made on the selected document.
Table 3. A test comparing the coding of a researcher and an expert on one of the selected documents
Step 7. Presentation of findings
In Table 4., the final results of a systematic review of documents based on the meta-synthesis method are given. The extracted codes were extracted in a subset of seven categories: Blockchain-based business strategy, decentralized governance, culture, people in Blockchain decentralized network, operations of a distributed system, technology, and Blockchain-based traceability. Therefore, in analyze of Blockchain technology implementation readiness, all these categories should be considered.
Table 4. Code, concept, and category categorization
The method of collecting research data was the use of secondary data (past articles and research). Most researchers agree that one of the following two methods can be used to validate the output of the meta-synthesis method (Norouzi, et al. 2014):
In this study, to validate, the opinions of experts was used to confirm the achievement of the research. In this way, 25 experts related to Blockchain Technology, were selected by snowball method, validated the proposed framework. Snowball sampling is a non-probability method, which involves a random selection of subjects. This method is most effective when the population members are not easily accessible. The researcher first identifies a group of people, and after gathering data, he/she asks them to recommend similar cases for the study. This process will continue in a chain-like manner until data saturation(Naderifar et al., 2017). The experts demographic characteristic is shown in Table 5.
Table 5. Expert demographic characteristics
The Lawshe method was also used to validate the framework. In the proposed Lawshe model for content analysis, the opinion of experts about the proposed framework in the Likert scale of three sets, including " I agree and usage of it is necessary," "It is useful, but it is not necessary to use it," "I disagree, and its usage is not necessary" was received. To calculate the mean of the judgments, the quantitative numbers 0,1, and 2 were considered for them, respectively. According to the formula of Lawshe, quantities of CVR and CVI were calculated by the relation number (1) and (2). According to Lawshe model Minimum, an acceptable amount of CVR for 25 experts is 0.37 (Ayre & Scally, 2014).
In this formula is a number of experts who have chosen to agree to completely agree.
Indicates the total number of experts who participated in the questionnaire(LAWSHE, 1975).
Admission criteria are as follows:
The results of the Lawshe method are shown in Table 6.
Table 6. Content validity ratio and numerical mean of judgments by concept, codes, and categories
According to the results of the Lawshe method, the final framework was illustrated in the following Figure. According to this analysis, two dimensions of distributed leadership and customers were eliminated. Also, criteria of energy management, resource maintenance, suitability, leader's willingness to cooperate, user engagement, speed of transport assets, control and rules, user control, and anonymity had a CVR lower than 0.37; their Mean was less than 1.5. Thus, they were removed from the original framework. Besides calculating the reliability of our questionnaire, the researchers used Cronbach's alpha method in SPSS software. The reliability of the expert questionnaire was 0.959, which was higher than 0.7 and showed that the questionnaire had high reliability, and it shown in Table 7.
Table 7. Reliability of questionnaire by Cronbach’s Alpha
The final framework of Blockchain technology implementation readiness
Based on the analyses performed in the previous sections and getting inspired by the research by Piscine (Piscini et al., 2017) and Schumacher (Schumacher et al., 2016), the framework of Blockchain technology implementation readiness is presented in Figure 4. The final framework includes seven main dimensions of Blockchain-based business strategy, Blockchain-based product traceability, Operations of a distributed system, culture, People in Blockchain decentralized network, decentralized governance, and technology. In addition, 37 main criteria affected these dimensions.
Figure 4. The final framework for Blockchain technology implementation
Application of the research framework to a case study
In this study, a framework was used to assess the readiness of Blockchain technology implementation in a Logistic company. For this purpose, a questionnaire was distributed among the airline company employees, and 28 people answered the questionnaire. Therefore, employees were asked to evaluate each criteria readiness according to the Likert Scale of five sets, including from one to five. In this regard, score one showed that the criteria was not implemented in the company, and score five proved that the criteria were entirely implemented in the case study. The demographic characteristics of the employees are presented in Table 8.
Table 8. The demographic characteristics of employees
In this section, after collecting the questionnaires, the data obtained from each questionnaire were entered into the SPSS software. They were analyzed by performing the One-sample t-test to evaluate the implementation readiness of this technology. After examining the significance level and comparing the upper and lower limits at the 0.95 level of confidence, the company's status of dimensions and criteria was determined. The results of this analysis are shown in Table 9 and Table 10.
Table 9. Status of dimension’s readiness in Case Study
Table 10. Status of criteria’s readiness in Case Study
All criteria and dimensions at the significance level (p) < 0.05 and a mean>3 are considered as highly prepared to implement Blockchain Technology. This paper considered the scale of the research questionnaire five values (from 5 to 1). Therefore, each dimension's hypothetical mean and, subsequently, each criterion was 3 (5 + 1). Therefore, the hypothetical average was 3. Besides, if the (p) > 0.05 but the mean was higher than three, the readiness level was considered as medium. As a result, Blockchain_based business strategy, culture, Blockchain_based products traceability have a medium readiness level, but other dimensions have poor readiness levels. In addition, according to one sample test, analysis of criteria, industry collaboration, exchange of competitive information, User Authentication, Liability along with Blockchain network, and trust have a high level of Blockchain technology readiness. Besides, calculating the reliability of questionnaire, Cronbach's alpha method was used in SPSS software, and the reliability of the expert questionnaire was 0.891, which was higher than 0.7 and showed that the questionnaire had high reliability.
Figure 5 shows the level of Blockchain technology readiness of the organization in all dimensions.
Figure 5. Radar chart visualizing airline company Blockchain readiness in seven dimensions
This study provided a framework to evaluate the readiness of Blockchain technology implementation. This framework has seven dimensions, including Blockchain-based business strategy, Decentralized governance, culture, people in Blockchain decentralized network, Operations of a distributed system, technology, and Blockchain-based product traceability. However, Some of the readiness dimensions did not gain the required scores at two distributed leadership and customers level, according to the scores of the experts. In this regard, there were observed to be irrelevant to the Blockchain readiness framework, and they were eliminated from the initially suggested conceptual framework. This finding deviates from previous studies, which viewed leadership criteria as one of the critical success factors of Blockchain technology (S. Prasad et al., 2018). This might be because Blockchain technology is one of the most valuable trends in the industry. Consequently, all companies would follow this globally famous trend, and it does not rely on the leader’s interest.
Unlike the study of Prasad and Ahl (S. Prasad et al., 2018)(Ahl et al., 2019), in this research, customers and their engagement were eliminated from the proposed framework according to the score of experts. On the other hand, some studies support the Blockchain readiness framework in this study. In the research, distributed governance was one of the main dimensions of the readiness framework. In two studies, governance was one of the critical issues that must be noticed while implementing Blockchain technology and this supports the present framework(Yang, 2019)(Allessie et al., 2018). People in Blockchain decentralized network and technology dimension in this study were both primary dimensions in Blockchain technology implementation assessment approved by the research done by Wibowo (Wibowo & Hw, 2018). In addition, more studies support that people in Blockchain decentralized network is a must-have issue to be noticed (Ahl et al., 2019)(Li et al., 2019b). Operations of a distributed system are suggested to be as one of the critical dimensions that have 12 criteria. It is considered one of the primary steps in implementing Blockchain in research done by Lai and Chuen (Lai & Lee Kuo Chuen, 2018). Finally, Blockchain-based product traceability is supported to be one of the proper dimensions of Blockchain readiness framework by the study done by Behke and Janssen(Behnke & Marijn, 2019).
According to the literature review, most of the previous studies focused on Blockchain technology benefits, challenges, and applications (Rao & Clarke, 2019)(Hassan et al., 2019)(Moin et al., 2019) while this study revealed a valuable readiness assessment framework of Blockchain technology in logistics. In the research done by Meyer (Meyer et al., 2019a), a framework of Blockchain requirements in the Logistic section only focused on two organizational and performance dimensions. However, this study provided a more comprehensive framework to learn about Blockchain technology criteria in the logistic section.
This paper had some limitations, including the insufficient knowledge of all employees to answer the questionnaire's questions. It was also challenging to assess the readiness of Iran's transportation industry due to the large size of the community and its high costs.
Moving toward industry 4.0 and applying new technologies such as Blockchain technology in companies and deploying them in organizations can be a positive step towards improving the status of companies in Iran. However, before implementing this technology to prevent future financial and non-financial losses, companies must be prepared to implement the new technology. In this study, the main goal was to provide a framework to evaluate the Blockchain technology implementation readiness. Thus, by using a systematic literature review, the most critical criteria were identified. Based on the meta-synthesis approach, an initial framework were proposed to assess the readiness of Blockchain technology implementation. The final framework was presented after getting information from Blockchain technology experts through distributing questionnaires. This framework comprised seven main dimensions of Blockchain_based strategy, Blockchain_based products traceability, distributed system operations, people in Blockchain decentralized network, culture, decentralized governance, and technology. Each of these dimensions were also affected by criteria. For instance, the Blockchain-based business strategy dimension included cost-efficiency of Blockchain-based distributed network, Management of Blockchain-specific risks, and business model alignment.
In the next step, applying this framework in an airline service company was evaluated by getting data from the employees to calculate the level of readiness. Then, through a statistical test, the company’s readiness was assessed by a one-sample t-test. According to the statistical analysis results in this company, none of the dimensions had a sufficient readiness to implement Blockchain technology. In addition, distributed system operations, people in the decentralized Blockchain network, decentralized governance, and technology dimensions were less prepared than other dimensions. As a result, to increase the readiness of Blockchain technology implementation, more focus should be placed on these dimensions. According to the findings, the company can benefit from a better level of readiness in awareness industry collaboration and exchange of information to improve the dimension of people by getting help from the industry collaboration. As a result, the company can get financial aid to train an appropriate workforce in Blockchain technology. So there won’t be a lack of skill in this new coming technology. In addition, based on the low level of readiness in Operation and technology dimensions, it is suggested that the company start learning about new concepts and should have requirements in Blockchain technology in the technical section and their usage process. The results have shown that the company had poor readiness in governance. As a result, setting their specific rules and standards that fit their condition and the principles regulated by the government is suggested. So, exploring the government’s standards and regulations is a critical step. This research provided organizations with a framework for assessing the readiness of Blockchain technology implementation to consider all the dimensions and criteria that affect them, enhance their readiness, and prevent financial and non-financial losses during Blockchain technology implementation.
Given that the present study was done to set a Blockchain technology readiness framework, it is possible to examine the maturity model of an organization for the implementation of Blockchain technology for future research. Checking the readiness of Blockchain implementation in the transport industry and larger samples can be a good option for future research. In addition, since Blockchain technology has many applications, this framework for evaluating implementation readiness can be explored in other industries.
We appreciate the Blockchain experts, professors, and Blockchain communities who participated in our research without receiving any financial compensation, as this study was independent scholarly research with no funding.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no potential conflict of interest regarding the publication of this work. In addition, the ethical issues including plagiarism, informed consent, misconduct, data fabrication and, or falsification, double publication and, or submission, and redundancy have been completely witnessed by the authors.
The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
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