Toward More Rigorous Blockchain Research: Recommendations for Writing Blockchain Case Studies

Part of the Progress in IS book series (PROIS)


About a decade ago the fundamental operating principle of the Blockchain was introduced. It took several years before the technology gained widespread recognition in industry and academic communities outside of the computer science sphere. Since then many academic communities have taken up the topic, but so far no well-defined research agenda has emerged: research topics are scattered and rigorous approaches are scarce. More often than not, use cases implemented by industry apply a trial and error approach and there exists a dearth of theory-based academic papers on the topic following robust methodologies. Being a nascent research topic, case studies on Blockchain applications are a suitable approach to systematically transfer industry experience into research agendas which benefit both theory development and testing as well as design science research. In this paper I offer guidelines and suggestions on how to design and structure Blockchain case studies to create value for academia and the industry. More specifically, I describe Blockchain characteristics and challenges, present existing Blockchain case studies, and discuss various types of case study research and how they can be useful for industry and academic research. I conclude with a framework and a checklist for Blockchain case study research.


Blockchain Blockchain characteristics Distributed ledger technology Case study Use case Theory development Case study checklist Case study framework 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of International ManagementModul University ViennaViennaAustria

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