A-Summarize what has been found in the literature about block chain in themes?
Summary of the reviewed Literature:
The research review analyzed the 220 Journal articles from different journals, forming their base on block chain technology or related to it in any means. The articles ranked between 1 till 4* in CABS ranking. The articles were than categorized as qualitative and quantitative and were reviewed for their features including the year they were conducted, the market sector they belong to, for the region they were conducted in, for the type of block chain they talk about and for the advantages or disadvantages of the block chain they mentioned.
The reviewed Articles were formed on the basis of empirical data to evaluate the effectiveness of using block chain in different fields including real estate, house building, agriculture, food quality tracing, policy making, supply chain management, manufacturing, procurement process, cloud manufacturing, medicine, tourism, fish and beef industries, operating in different regions around the world. What was found in the articles with different themes is discussed below:
Information and technology management:
Block Chain have the potential to improve information sharing networks and policy making process, and provides useful guidelines for the Development of future e-government services based on this technology. It mitigates the asymmetric information between buyers and sellers. Its sufficient and verifiable information system, appropriate levels of usability, and unobstructed data access can increase customer loyalty.
Operation and management:
The review find out that most of the literature was related to operation and technology management particularly managing and implementing block chain. Findings reveal that Block Chain technology remains effective in improving quality of product or services and provides help in achieving business goals. It assist managers in managing business operations, Information flow and logistics management.
Retail Market, Managers and consumers:
The literature provides assistance to retailers, customers and managers to find the answers of questions related to block chain. For instance, some of the articles discusses what can be the suitable conditions for retailers to adopt block chain and how consumers can take benefit of using it? It is was found in the literature that adopting block chain benefits customers in terms of accuracy, reliability and usability and they can take benefit from its quick payment, and enhanced relationship with their seller. With its multi-attribute decision-support method; it helps consumers to choose a suitable payment program and allow users to transfer information, share; exchange and store data in digital form without any intermediary.
Block Chain for Food Quality tracing:
Some Parts of the literature indicates the factors that derives managers and consumers to use block chain and the benefits of using block chain for maintaining quality in food industry. Findings show that block chain labels as a signaling mechanism in food supply chains, and help to reinforce consumers’ perceived quality of food products that subsequently, increases their purchase intention. The analysis also showed consumers' scarce knowledge and perceptions on the BC system, the scarce usage level and the higher acquiring tendency for traceable foodstuffs that generate bi-directional/dimensional value, considering that consumption habits could change through security and certainty antecedents and induced knowledge provided by external technological intervention. For stakeholders in the food supply chain, it provides traceability and transparency, helps in building better relationships with their customers, increases efficiency, and reduces the risk and cost of food recalls, fraud, and product loss.
Supply Chain Management:
Some of the articles about supply-chain revealed the factors influencing consumer’s BCT adoption intentions. Perceived security and privacy were identified as crucial factors that affect perceived usefulness, ease of use, and trust towards block chain technology in the retail supply chain. It was also found that BCT Improves supply chain transparency, reduce signaling costs and combat copycats efficiently. Some of the articles revealed that Block Chain can improve security, speed and quality in supply chain. It can be used against counterfeits with its traceability and product tracking features.
Block chain technology with IoT can significantly affect the healthcare industry by improving its efficiency, security and transparency. The efficient sharing of Electronic Health Record (EHR) can improve the treatment process, diagnosis accuracy, security and privacy.
The block chain technology is integrated to record contracts of service provision automatically. One of the reviewed article provides a QoS-aware service composition model under Block chain-based cloud manufacturing architecture that in the block chain-based cloud manufacturing architecture, values of QoS attributes can be obtained conveniently and timely from the block chain and smart contracts.
Literature indicates that Block chain technologies are predicted to substantially transform the tourism industry as many tourism vendors have been accepting cryptocurrencies and the potential of using cryptocurrencies in travel-related consumption is found documented but existing knowledge about travelers’ intention to use cryptocurrencies for payment purposes is limited.
A large part of the reviewed literature indicates the consumer perception about block chain, its impact on purchase intentions and how it plays role in enhancing product quality. Most of the articles focused on analyzing consumer behavioral response for Block chain technology such as their perceived usefulness, perceived ease of using it, perceived joyfulness, trust and other emotions along with the articles determining factors influencing their perception or decision making and the factors behind their adoption or restraining from block chain. It was found that its usefulness and ease of use for consumers lowered the perceived risk and increased the intention to use BCT. Social norms also decreased perceived risk factors and increased intention to adopt it. While the results from various studies on consumer perception suggested that perceived efficiency, transparency, standardization, platform development and traceability factors positively influence consumer’s intention to use it (ITU).
For the E-commerce industry it benefits companies to improve their innovation capacity and helps in enhancing trust, transparency, and accountability. It also can improve cross-border transactions as it provides effective implications for the international e-commerce. It can increase the profit for online platforms and improves the profits of the supplier, the third-party logistics provider, and the buyer, besides these benefits, it also prevent fraudulent behavior in the process of returns and exchanges with Smart contracts
Although, the reviewed literature also indicates some of the disadvantages or risk scenarios related to Block Chain Technology including risks in managerial adoption, problems related to technical infrastructure, vulnerabilities related to changing regulations and business situations and the consumer’s hesitation in adapting with this emerging technology; its expensiveness, complicated modification and adjustment methods. All these factors along with lack of trust and user’s perceived privacy and confidentiality risks influence the promptness of its acceptance. It is also suggested in most of the articles that implementation of the block chain requires a regulatory framework and appropriate governance rule. A number of articles was about Public Block Chain, while the ratio of literature for Private, consortium and Hybrid block Chain was significantly lower.
B- What literature gaps have you identified based on the review (you need to find 15-20 gaps in literature, methodology, data, or theory).
Gaps found in the literature:
This study also analyzed the selected sample of the articles to find the gaps present in the existing literature on Block chain. There is a number of gaps found in article’s related to their methodology, data sampling, and in module implications to determine the acceptance of this technology.
- The results find out that most of the literature does not focus on implementation or usage of block chain in any specific region or country. Majority of the reviewed articles were forming their basis on general and overall use of Block chain or mainly focused on its use in developed countries like USA, UK, France, Taiwan and Korea, where it has been accepted well.
- It is also observed that cost-related implications of block chain adoption in supply chain and other industries, is also not much focused; that needs to be studied.
- Certain amount of the studies only conducted quantitative analysis and any region or business sector has not been targeted for its implication. This makes the studies generalized and not specific.
- Also, as the process of implementation of BCT is time consuming, the studies have not conducted a real-time implementations and formed their results on assumptions.
- Literature on use, challenges and benefits of cryptocurrency particularly Ethereum, is available in sufficient amount but other types of BCTs are not studied yet, as different block chain technologies are currently in use that developers of different industries are continually adapting with.
- The articles selected for the review focused on limited period of time and region. Long term experience of using Block chain or consumer perception using it for long period of time, is not available in the literature.
- Some of the region specific article’s findings cannot be applied to other regions as they are based on homogenous or exploratory data samples. That indicates the need of confirmatory approach and researches with different geographical regions.
- Also a gap is observed in region specific literature where respondents have a vast difference of culture with in the region that limits the study results from implication to the whole region/country.
- There is a number of articles with limited amount of text data and single platform for data selection that lacks explicit features of text content and the credibility of information source. All these aspects influence the credibility of results.
- Sample for most of the studies are not found offering an inclusive persona of entire block chain populations, rather only shows a snapshot of user profiles.
- While there has been much consideration of the technological and cryptographic perspectives, studies on the economic aspects, specially its use as a payment mechanism in e-commerce, are rare.
- This was also observed that a large part of literature is informing about use, user experience, challenges and benefits of Public Block Chain, while the private block chain that share a number of usage in large companies is ignored or focused on small level.
- Similarly hybrid and consortium block chain shares a very little amount of number in literature and required more focus to predict their implications in different fields in future.
- It was found that a thorough study of the overall cost-related impact of block chain adoption is not conducted yet, that provides insights for its cost of its implementation or the reduced costs and returns on investments due to its adoption.
- Theoretical implementations and analysis was also found in slight number of articles.
- Some of the articles took sample on convenience bases that resulted in missing suitable respondents for the researches.
- Most of the reviewed articles were experimental in nature and lacked in-depth understanding of consumers need to adapt with the technology.
- Some of the studies applied TAM (Technology Acceptance Model) for block chain, but lacked proper implication of the model.
C- What is the benefit of using Block Chain technology and what are the negatives of using it your review:
This review has endeavored to provide insights for the recent literature about block chain technology. The intention to conduct the review was to analyze the advantages and disadvantages of Block Chain technology. The paper investigated both gains and drawbacks connected to block chain and tried to identify factors that are important for both the promulgation of this technology and the value that market participants like managers, producers, investors, suppliers and consumers confer to it. The study aimed to fill the gap of understanding technological advancements, innovations in trading methods, changes in financial information system and technology, and in the business practices. Some of the advantages and disadvantages of BCT found in review are mentioned below:
- For second hand car buyers, Block Chain technology can be used effectively for tracking of cars and can be used to reduce asymmetry of information between buyers and sellers. This can enhance transparency in car trading and Multi-party participation and lead to data transparency and decentralization. Also the use of BCT with its tracing features, can prevent problems such as the car being in worse condition than initially indicated, accident damage that is not disclosed, fraud, etc. Block chain technology ensures to automatize the tracking of cars through their lifecycles and provide reliable information at any point in time it is needed.
- The Block chain-enabled agent-based workflow management guarantees data reliability and truthfulness, which make workflow transparent for customers to know the detailed schedules of operations and simplifies the process of system integration.
- Block chain facilitate information sharing among different actors in the food industry, such as farmers, food suppliers and investors. It enables an operative decision-making process where the information about goods is traceable without any inborn risk.
- Block chain is an emerging technology its use in the food industry needs to be explored from different angles, such as organizations’ policy, adoption strategies and potential technology innovations which could positively impact business processes.
- BCT can enhance the process of booking flights, hotels and make the use of other commodities easy for traveling. The applications of Block chain technology, its implementation in hospitality and tourism firms creates value by tokenizing to move toward a circular economy. The use of digital payment network would expand with the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as main mode of payment. This would allow for faster, more reliable, and more secure transactions for tourists compared to the use of several convertible currencies.
- Block chain technique, is expected to play great effects on promoting the development of energy local networks (ELNs) with its features of decentralization, smart contract, security and cooperative autonomy.
- BCT has the potential to bring about cheaper transaction costs, improved liquidity, and market transparency in business operations. It can also raise the value of investment assets.
- It can increase the speed of international payments for a very low cost.
- Block chain promote greater transparency and efficiency within supply chains, which builds consumer trust and improves brand revenue.
- The main disadvantages of the Block chain found in the review are its high energy dependence, the difficult process of integration and the high cost of implementation.
- It is potentially less secure as some of the nodes could be easily compromised. No incentives are yet developed for nodes to compete.
- Block chain technology is often discussed in the context of trust and referred to as a trust-free, or trustworthy technology, therefore it requires from the researchers to design trust-supporting design elements to foster consumer end user’s trust in a Block chain platform.
- Its implication is often complicated and requires improved technological quality and enhanced user trust.
- Adding block chain technology is possible in practice, but scenarios exist where poor processes and primitive technologies exist among different stakeholders. In these scenarios, it is likely that major technology upgrades and process standardization will be required before the implementation of BCT.
- Some of the studies suggests that block chain technology can only benefit supply chains where traceability is well-practiced internally by each stakeholder.
D-What kind of Future direction would you offer or recommend to other researchers?
Recommendations for the future research:
There are still many obstacles in the path of BCT implications that needs to be removed by studying their potential and conducting researches to understand their causes. By this way, BCT researchers will become able to discover solutions or find ways to overcome these obstacles. In this regard, this review also indicates areas of research that need to be covered in future.
- The study points to the need for further investigation to develop a better understanding of BCT users and address the need of understanding perspective of user’s usability and security issues and the trade-off between these.
- It also observed from the review that economic benefits of block chain have been widely studied in previous researches. To make it working for individual businesses, it is important to conduct researches to understand the positive and negative effects of block chain technology on the organizational structure, mode of operation, and management model of the business.
- It is also important to determine in future studies; whether block chain can resolve the market failures resulting from information asymmetry, whether or not it increase market efficiency or bring social welfare while considering market as a whole.
- Though block chain transactions are anonymous and encrypted, there is still a risk of the data being hacked. In the security sector, there is a view that absolute security can never be guaranteed wherever physical contact exists. Consequently, the question of how to share transaction data while also protecting personal data privacy are particularly vital issues for both academic and social practice. It is also recommended for the future studies to find answer for this question.
- As per the gaps identified in the literature, future researches can be held with focus on implementation or usage of block chain in any specific region or country, its performance in a particular market sector and barriers in its way of adaptation in a particular society (considering their specific culture, consumer behavior or economic status).
- Also future researchers are suggested to conduct research is a specific region and for specific industry, with theoretical and conceptual support, to increase its understanding.
- future research should investigate the responses for block chain traceability systems to increase
Awareness of consumers less familiar with the technology.
- It is also recommended for future research to study how the online platform should motivate its sellers to deploy block chain, ways to reduce risk element from online platform for both seller and consumer.
- There is a vast opportunity to conduct research with data collected from multiple sources, online surveys, reviews and customer’s point, to analyze the user perspective while utilizing BCT and to determine factors restricting people from using it.
- Future studies must conduct implementations practices of BCT in urban logistics and retail sector, in developing countries or in other regions other than developed countries, to check its effectiveness there.
- Along with the analysis of public block chain implications, it is required from the future studies to consider utilization, advantages, hurdles and downsides of hybrid, consortium and private block chain.
- Future studies can test the TAM model for BCT in different sectors and regions. Also, it is suggested to check its implementations and changes within the fields other than supply-chain and management, particularly to the fields related to e-commerce such as logistics, hotel evaluation, and online car-hailing.
- Lastly, it would also be interesting to investigate what firms using BCT, can do to minimize customers’ privacy concerns about leaving their digital footprint.