PhD Seminar Series: Blockchain adoption in the supply chain: analysis of barrier, drivers and leadership in its investment

Friday, April 28, 2023
10:00 am to 11:00 am
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Blockchain adoption in the supply chain: analysis of barrier, drivers and leadership in its investment


Blockchain technology (BCT) and its potential supply chain benefits—such as improved resiliency, efficiency, transparency, and traceability—have motivated organizations to consider BCT investment. BCT is a relatively novel technology and requires multiple partners to adopt it to meet its greatest potential. Given its promise, the adoption of BCT has not seen rapid acceptance. A comprehensive overview of barriers for adopting blockchain is provided using various literature streams on technology, organizational practices, and sustainability. The barriers are explored using the technology, organizational, and environmental (TOE) framework followed by inputs from academics and industry experts and then analyzed using the Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) tool. Also, its novelty is a barrier to its adoption and can be dependent on an innovator or leader to convince others to invest in or adopt BCT. A game theory model is formulated using an institutional entrepreneurship theoretical lens to determine who should lead the investment or whether a collaborative investment would be best. The study assesses four scenarios examining the extent of collaboration among supply chain (SC) entities. The scenarios include full collaboration, partial collaboration, and no collaboration. The study finds that the likelihood of disruption positively affects the retail prices, intermediate prices, and profits of SC entities after blockchain technology (BCT) adoption.

Additionally, the research indicates that traditional SCs with higher disruption levels tend to have a lower investment in BCT. However, collaborative investment in BCT becomes more appealing when the institutional entrepreneur is the leader in the sequential game. Notably, the study reveals an intriguing finding that contradicts intuition - when full collaboration is absent, the whole SC benefits more when the follower (not the leader) leads the adoption of BCT in a sequential game.


April 28, 2023

Washburn 229

Sara Saberi, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Operations and Industrial Engineering at WPI. She completed her second PhD in Business Administration with a concentration in Management Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2016. Her main research interests lie at the intersection of supply chain management, game theory, adoption of blockchain in supply chain management and sustainability, and network optimization. Dr. Saberi’s work has been published in leading logistics and operations management journals such as European Journal of Operational Research, Transportation Research Part E, International Journal of Production Economics, and International Journal of Production Research. Dr. Saberi has led multiple funded research projects on blockchain, supply chain sustainability, and supply chain resiliency supported by ASCM Research Grant program, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Environmental Law Institute, NSF, and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.





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Sara Saberi