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Aligning Stakeholder Interests, Governance Requirements and Blockchain Design in Business and Government Information Sharing

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNISA,volume 12219)


Governance requirements for systems supporting information sharing between businesses and government organisations (B&G) are determined by a high variety of stakeholders with often conflicting interests. These conflicting interests can hamper the introduction and scaling-up of ICT-innovations that change their roles and authorities. We address one such innovation: the introduction of blockchain technologies in the B&G context. Who can govern data and the system depends on several elements of the design of a blockchain-based system, particularly the data structure, consensus mechanism and network topology. Design choices regarding these elements affect who can make decisions and hence we call them blockchain control points. These control points require an explicit and well-understood relationship between the design decisions and the interests of stakeholders. Yet, the literature on blockchain technology and governance does not offer such insight. Therefore, we developed a framework to assess the alignment between stakeholders interest and blockchain design choices. This framework consists of three views and their interrelationships, 1) a stakeholder view providing insight into the tensions between stakeholder’s interests and governance requirements, 2), a governance view on the rights concerning the data and the system, and 3) a blockchain control view describing how design decisions on the control points affect whether governance requirements are met and how parties can exercise their rights. Making these links explicit enables an understanding of how technical design choices can trigger organizational dynamics from the stakeholder view and vice versa. Based on the framework we formulate a research agenda concerning blockchain design choices and governance.


  • Blockchain technology
  • Distributed ledger technology
  • Governance
  • Business
  • Government
  • Information sharing
  • Access control
  • Consensus mechanism

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This research was partially funded by the PROFILE Project (nr. 786748), which is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. Ideas and opinions expressed by the authors do not necessarily represent those of all partners.

The authors would like to also thank Norbert Kouwenhoven for his contribution to demonstrating the framework in the TradeLens examples.

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Correspondence to Sélinde van Engelenburg .

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van Engelenburg, S., Rukanova, B., Hofman, W., Ubacht, J., Tan, YH., Janssen, M. (2020). Aligning Stakeholder Interests, Governance Requirements and Blockchain Design in Business and Government Information Sharing. In: , et al. Electronic Government. EGOV 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12219. Springer, Cham.

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