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Preparing construction supply chains for blockchain technology: An investigation of its potential and future directions

Abstract

Blockchain, a peer-to-peer, controlled, distributed database structure, has the potential to profoundly affect current business transactions in the construction industry through smart contracts, cryptocurrencies, and reliable asset tracking. The construction industry is often criticized for being slow in embracing emerging technologies and not effectively diffusing them through its supply chains. Often, the extensive fragmentation, traditional procurement structures, destructive competition, lack of collaboration and transparency, low-profit margins, and human resources are shown as the main culprits for this. As blockchain technology makes its presence felt strongly in many other industries like finance and banking, this study investigates the preparation of construction supply chains for blockchain technology through an explorative analysis. Empirical data for the study were collected through semi-structured interviews with 17 subject experts. Alongside presenting a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats analysis (SWOT), the study exhibits the requirements for and steps toward a construction supply structure facilitated by blockchain technology.

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Correspondence to Algan Tezel.

Additional information

This work incorporates results from the research project “Toward blockchain-enabled construction supply chains: Potential, requirements and implementation” funded by the Centre for Digital Built Britain, under Innovate UK Grant No. 90066.

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Tezel, A., Papadonikolaki, E., Yitmen, I. et al. Preparing construction supply chains for blockchain technology: An investigation of its potential and future directions. Front. Eng. Manag. 7, 547–563 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42524-020-0110-8

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Keywords

  • blockchain
  • smart contract
  • supply chain management
  • project management
  • construction