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Blockchain in the Construction Sector: A Socio-technical Systems Framework for the Construction Industry

Abstract

Distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) including blockchain are increasingly being investigated as a potential solution to address many of the challenges hindering the construction industry’s performance such as collaboration, information sharing and intellectual property rights. Existing studies addressing blockchain applications within construction and the built environment have ignored the interrelation of social and technological dimensions. To address this gap, this paper proposes a multi-dimensional emergent framework for DLT adoption within the construction sector. The framework was developed following a focus group discussion and took a socio-technical systems approach that encompasses three dimensions: political, social and technical. The framework was overlaid with an extensive set of construction-related challenges and opportunities and identified a number of associated agents across the dimensions. The structured and inter-connected dimensions provided by the framework can be used by field researchers as a point of departure to investigate a range of research questions from political, social or technical perspectives.

Keywords

  • Blockchain
  • Distributed ledger technology
  • Construction industry
  • Built environment
  • Socio-technical systems

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Li, J., Greenwood, D., Kassem, M. (2019). Blockchain in the Construction Sector: A Socio-technical Systems Framework for the Construction Industry. In: Mutis, I., Hartmann, T. (eds) Advances in Informatics and Computing in Civil and Construction Engineering. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-00220-6_7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-00220-6_7

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