The Supply Chain Has No Clothes: Technology Adoption of Blockchain for Supply Chain Transparency
2. Background and Literature Review
“A blockchain is a distributed database, which is shared among and agreed upon a peer-to-peer network. It consists of a linked sequence of blocks (a storage unit of transaction), holding timestamped transactions that are secured by public-key cryptography (i.e., “hash”) and verified by the network community. Once an element is appended to the blockchain, it cannot be altered, turning a blockchain into an immutable record of past activity.”
2.2. Supply Chain Transparency
- Product Segregation model: certified materials and non-certified materials are not mixed (e.g., Fairtrade coffee)
- Mass Balance model: certified and non-certified materials can be mixed where segregation is very difficult or impossible to achieve (e.g., cotton yarn)
- The Book and Claim model: does not seek to have traceability at each stage in the supply chain. The model relies on the volume of the certified material produced at the beginning of the supply chain and the amount of certified product purchased at the end of the value chain. Sustainability certificates are bought via a trading platform (e.g., UTZ Certification).
2.3. How Blockchain-Enabled Traceability Applications Work
2.4. Current Blockchain-Enabled Supply Chain Traceability Applications
3. Theoretical Basis
3.1. The Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology
3.2. The Concept of Technical Innovation Adoption
4. Conceptual Model
4.1. Performance Expectancy
4.2. Effort Expectancy
4.3. Social Influence
4.4. Facilitating Conditions
4.5. Behavioral Intention and Use Behavior
4.6. Technology Trust
4.7. Inter-Organizational Trust
5. Implications and Conclusions
5.2. Future Research Agenda
Does the type of product or service impact end user adoption of blockchain? For example, will industries like medicine and aviation, where products must meet very strict standards, be more impacted by blockchain? Also, will it be less impactful or demanded for component parts and commodities such as nails, grain, and lawnmowers?How does blockchain impact intra-company synergies between functions such as manufacturing, marketing, and finance? So far blockchain has been focused on inter-company transactions, but similar to other logistics and supply chain functions, blockchain may apply to both internal and external integration.How will the proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT), a technology that can provide information inputs, and blockchain be integrated? Perhaps IoT will provide more inputs and blockchain, through applications like smart contracts, will provide more output. Such an integration model requires less reliance on human intervention.How will non-technological external factors such as regulation, company culture, and social acceptance impact adoption? The list of possibilities here are extensive.Who will lead demand for greater transparency to compel downstream adoption? This task could be led by large retailers, regulators, or consumers. Blockchain implementation in a supply chain requires the full cooperation of everyone involved—and that’s a tall order.How will a blockchain enabled supply chain operate in the context of traceability? A case study or conceptual process model of supply chains (including nodes and arcs) may be developed to better understand practitioner application of blockchain technology for traceability.What other theoretical lenses, such as diffusion of innovations, can provide enhanced conceptualization. Theoretical lenses from other disciplines may also provide new insights.What types of blockchain innovations should be developed in concert with supply chain partners? Similarly, are there blockchain applications that should be extended to the greater community such as applications of the sharing economy?How will user react to new costs and risks, including potential streamlining of job functions due to increased efficiencies and perceived less need for auditing? Blockchain is a radical departure from existing transaction processes and its impacts to society and industry are unclear.
5.3. Implications for Practice
Conflicts of Interest
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|1||The Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA)||Ajzen & Fishbein ||TRA is used to predict individual behavior based on pre-existing attitudes and intentions|
|2||The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM)||Davis ||End user use and acceptance model|
|3||The Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB)||Ajzen ||TPB is the first model to mention psychological factors related to technology acceptance|
|4||A combined TBP/TAM||Taylor and Todd ||These authors added two factors (subjective norm and perceived behavioral control) to TAM which gave a more complete test of important determinants of technology usage|
|5||The Model of PC Utilization||Thompson ||A competing perspective to TRA and TPB used to predict usage behavior rather than intention to use|
|6||Diffusion of Innovation Theory (DIT)||Rogers ||DIT describes how technological innovation moves from invention to widespread useage|
|7||Social Cognitive Theory (SCT)||Bandura ||Stipulates environmental influences (e.g., social pressures) or unique personal factors (e.g., Personality) are equally significant in determining behavior|
|8||The Motivational Model||Davis ||The core constructs of the theory are extrinsic and intrinsic motivation|
|#||Proposition||Independent Variable||Moderator||Dependent Variable|
|1||Proposition 1. Performance expectancy positively impacts the behavioral intention of using blockchain technology for supply chain traceability||Performance Expectancy||N/A||Behavioral Intention|
|2||Proposition 2. Effort expectancy positively impacts the behavioral intention of using blockchain technology for supply chain traceability||Effort Expectancy||N/A||Behavioral Intention|
|3||Proposition 3. Social influence positively impacts behavioral intention to use blockchain technology for supply chain traceability||Social Influence||N/A||Behavioral Intention|
|4||Proposition 4. Facilitating conditions (i.e., technical resources and organizational support) positively impact behavioral intention to use blockchain technology for supply chain traceability||Facilitating Conditions||N/A||Behavioral Intention|
|5||Proposition 5. Behavioral intention will positively influence the use of blockchain traceability applications||Behavioral Intention||N/A||Use Behavior|
|6||Proposition 6. Trust in technology positively moderates the relationship between Performance Expectancy and Behavioral Intention||Performance Expectancy||Trust in Technology||Behavioral Intention|
|7||Proposition 7. Trust in technology positively moderates the relationship between Effort Expectancy and Behavioral Intention||Effort Expectancy||Trust in Technology||Behavioral Intention|
|8||Proposition 8. Trust in technology positively moderates the relationship between Facilitating Conditions and Behavioral Intention||Facilitating Conditions||Trust in Technology||Behavioral Intention|
|9||Proposition 9. Inter-organizational Trust positively moderates the relationship between Performance Expectancy and Behavioral Intention||Performance Expectancy||Inter-organizational Trust||Behavioral Intention|
|10||Proposition 10. Inter-organizational Trust positively moderates the relationship between Effort Expectancy and Behavioral Intention||Effort Expectancy||Inter-organizational Trust||Behavioral Intention|
|11||Proposition 11. Inter-organizational Trust positively moderates the relationship between Social Influence and Behavioral Intention||Social Influence||Inter-organizational Trust||Behavioral Intention|
|12||Proposition 12. Inter-organizational Trust positively moderates the relationship between Facilitating Conditions and Behavioral Intention||Facilitating Conditions||Inter-organizational Trust||Behavioral Intention|
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Francisco, K.; Swanson, D. The Supply Chain Has No Clothes: Technology Adoption of Blockchain for Supply Chain Transparency. Logistics 2018, 2, 2. https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics2010002
Francisco K, Swanson D. The Supply Chain Has No Clothes: Technology Adoption of Blockchain for Supply Chain Transparency. Logistics. 2018; 2(1):2. https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics2010002Chicago/Turabian Style
Francisco, Kristoffer, and David Swanson. 2018. "The Supply Chain Has No Clothes: Technology Adoption of Blockchain for Supply Chain Transparency" Logistics 2, no. 1: 2. https://doi.org/10.3390/logistics2010002