A Knowledge Framework for Blockchain-enabled Smart Contract Adoption in the Construction Industry

Umesha Weerapperuma, Akila Rathnasinghe*, Suranga Jayasena, Chamitha Wijewickrama, Niraj Thurairajah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose: A novel facet of the construction industry's (CI) digital transformation relates to the rise of smart contracts, and the contribution of blockchain technology in this domain appears to be nascent but rapidly gaining traction. Although the benefits of digitalisation for technologically less enthusiastic CI are irrefutable, the adoption of smart contracts has been found to be low pertaining to industry professionals' behavioural factors stimulated by technological perception. The challenge undertook by this study, therefore, is to develop a knowledge framework for blockchain-enabled smart contract adoption in the CI. Design/methodology/approach: From a methodological perspective, this study employed a qualitative approach that involved semi-structured interviews with ten (10) highly experienced CI practitioners involved in digital innovations for data collection. Directed content analysis was performed using NVivo 12 software, which enabled the creation of preliminary open codes. Subsequently, these open codes were grouped into similar categories to develop axial codes. Finally, the study presented final themes along with their corresponding descriptions. Findings: Notably, research findings expanded the current body of knowledge on perceived attributes and their measurement items to determine the perception of innovation adoption in CI, where a total of nine (9) perceived attributes were associated with thirty-two (32) measurement items. Originality/value: The measurement items were seen as having an extensive impact on the CI professionals' decision to adopt blockchain-enabled smart contracts. With ensuing implications, this study represents one of the first to present a knowledge framework exclusively customised for blockchain-enabled smart contracts, laying the groundwork for effective technological adoption by CI professionals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Early online date20 Jul 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jul 2023

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