Joint blockchain service vendor-platform selection using social network relationships: A multi-provider multi-user decision perspective

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Abstract

Blockchain technology has been widely touted for building and supporting supply chain management capabilities. The technology has substantial potential to enhance operational effectiveness and profitability. Blockchain platform evaluation and selection still requires investigation. Blockchain platform selection and adoption decision making in a multi-organizational supply chain context is complex. Effective blockchain adoption and operations requires consideration of multiple vendors—service providers—and platforms while satisfying multiple users and stakeholders. This study introduces a managerial decision support method to assist organizations evaluate and select joint blockchain service vendor and platforms for multiple organizational functions and organizations. Using literature and practice, we introduce blockchain service vendor and platform attributes from user, vendor, and platform perspectives. A social network theory lens sets the foundation for an innovative group decision-making method—a DEMATEL-based hierarchical best-worst method—integrating characteristics from this decision environment. The technological and distributed network nature of blockchain technology requires evaluation by decision makers from various levels of a supply chain network. These decision makers will likely have varying blockchain technology knowledge and subjective preferences that need integration. The proposed method helps to operationalize social network relationships to comprehend partial and idiosyncratic expert opinions about blockchain technology. An illustrative example and various scenarios are presented to identify managerial and research implications. Methodological limitations and future research are presented for this emergent managerial and technological concern across supply chains.

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Bai, C., Zhu, Q., & Sarkis, J. (2021). Joint blockchain service vendor-platform selection using social network relationships: A multi-provider multi-user decision perspective. International Journal of Production Economics, 238. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpe.2021.108165

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