Facts about the course
- ECTS Credits:
- Responsible department:
- Faculty of Logistics
- Course Leader:
- Bjørn Jæger
- Lecture Semester:
- Spring, Autumn
- Teaching language:
- ½ year
DRL028 PhD Seminar on Blockchain Applications in Supply Chain Management (Spring 2020)
About the course
This course focuses on the use of blockchain technologies in extended supply chains. Business-to-business operations are gaining in importance as business innovations and service-based models are increasingly inter-organisational. While standard commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) software for intra-organisational processes have been available over the last three decades, there is still not any COTS software for inter-organisational processes. The complexity of global business networks and its multi-faceted governance structures makes interoperability across organisations a challenging task. A core challenge is information sharing. In particular sharing of sensitive information. When sharing sensitive information among organisations via a digital network, the organisations copy the information among them resulting in several instances of the information. Thus, each party must trust other parties not to share sensitive information. Scientists, businesses and authorities seek solutions addressing technical and legal challenges involved in delivering trust, like the EU regulation on electronic identification and trust services (eIDAS) that sets out rules for electronic identification and trust services (similar to BankID in Norway). Such trustworthiness works well for many e-services. However, the shared information is still copied so it exists in multiple instances, and its use by partners often involve further use in complex information chains crossing organisational and national boundaries. Organisations face a risk that the receivers of the sensitive information distribute it without their consent, resulting in a low willingness to share sensitive information (Fawcett et. al. 2007, Prajogo and Olhager, 2012). On 31st. October 2008, the solution to the closely related double-spending problem emerged. The double-spending problem had been a major obstacle to peer-to-peer electronic cash systems. The electronic cash was the Bitcoin and the technical solution has since become known as a Blockchain (Nakamoto, 2019).
Electronic cash is electronic information, so the question was soon raised whether the solution could be used to alleviate the risks of information sharing in general in a manner that had not been possible before (Dujak and Sajter 2019; Zhao et. al., 2016). If the answer is yes, sharing of sensitive information via blockchain technology can drastically improve inter-organisational processes. Today, after substantial research on the blockchain concept, it is likely that the answer is yes: blockchain technologies have the potential to improve inter-organisational information sharing and supply chain performance (Hughes et. al. 2019). However, a commercially successful «killer application» is still missing, except for the crypto cash. Also, the blockchain technology is in its early development stages and considered an immature technology in terms of scalability and handling of a large number of transactions (Yli-Huumo et al. 2016). Regardless of the question of technical improvements and commercial success or not, from a research perspective, blockchains have great value as the technology challenge established theories and applications on information sharing and supply chain management. The blockchain technology has features that spur our thoughts on information handling in supply chains.
This PhD-course will present current research on blockchains in supply chains and offer an opportunity to discuss future applications and research on this topic. By the end of the course, you should be able to prepare a research proposal with appropriate research design, measurement and consideration of ethical issues for your research.
The course is connected to the following study programs
Required prerequisite knowledge
Accepted as a PhD student.
The student's learning outcomes after completing the course
Properties of blockchain technologies. How blockchain technologies can be used in supply chain applications for business-to-business operations.
Forms of teaching and learning
Lecturing, presentation of research on blockchain applications in supply chain management, organized discussions on future applications and case studies involving blockchain technologies.
Coursework requirements - conditions for taking the exam
30 h lectures plus student presentations and course paper. All lectures are mandatory.
Form of assessment: Participation & student presentation of research paper design.
Duration: One Week
Grading scale: Pass / Fail
Introduction to blockchain applications in SCM
Fawcett, S. E., Osterhaus, P., Magnan, G. M., Brau, J. C., & McCarter, M. W. (2007). Information sharing and supply chain performance: the role of connectivity and willingness. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 12(5), 358-368.
Iansiti, M., & Lakhani, K. R. (2017). The truth about blockchain. Harvard Business Review, 95(1), 118-127.
Prajogo, D., & Olhager, J. (2012). Supply chain integration and performance: The effects of long-term relationships, information technology and sharing, and logistics integration. International Journal of Production Economics, 135(1), 514-522.
Zhao, J. L., Fan, S., & Yan, J. (2016). Overview of business innovations and research opportunities in blockchain and introduction to the special issue. Financial Innnovation.
Introduction to blockchains
Hughes, L., Dwivedi, Y. K., Misra, S. K., Rana, N. P., Raghavan, V., & Akella, V. (2019). Blockchain research, practice and policy: Applications, benefits, limitations, emerging research themes and research agenda. International Journal of Information Management, 49, 114-129.
Nakamoto, S. (2019). Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Manubot.
Yli-Huumo, J., Ko, D., Choi, S., Park, S., & Smolander, K. (2016). Where is current research on blockchain technology?—a systematic review. PloS one, 11(10), e0163477.
Blockchain applications in SCM
Dujak, D., & Sajter, D. (2019). Blockchain applications in supply chain. In SMART Supply Network (pp. 21-46). Springer, Cham.
Jæger, B., Bach, T., & Pedersen, S. A. (2019, September). A Blockchain Application Supporting the Manufacturing Value Chain. In IFIP International Conference on Advances in Production Management Systems (pp. 466-473). Springer, Cham.
Lacity, M. C. (2018). Addressing key challenges to making enterprise blockchain applications a reality. MIS Quarterly Executive, 17(3), 201-222.
Tian, F. (2016, June). An agri-food supply chain traceability system for China based on RFID & blockchain technology. In 2016 13th international conference on service systems and service management (ICSSSM) (pp. 1-6). IEEE.’
Wang, Y., Singgih, M., Wang, J., & Rit, M. (2019). Making sense of blockchain technology: How will it transform supply chains? International Journal of Production Economics, 211, 221-236.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P., and Thornhill, A. (2019). Research Methods for Business Students. Pearson Publishers.
Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R., Jackson, P., and Jaspersen, L. (2018). Management and Business Research. Sage Publishers.