Democratising systems of innovations based on Blockchain platform technologies

Serhan Ünalan, Sercan Ozcan

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    Purpose: Blockchain is expected to have a significant impact on Systems of Innovation as the new General Purpose Technology. The purpose of this study to investigate how Blockchain can revolutionise the Systems of Innovation by investigating its overall structure, actors and relationships.

    Design/methodology/approach: This study used the systematic mapping method to explore and integrate the Blockchain and Systems of Innovation literature for the creation of a new conceptual model of Blockchain-enabled Systems of Innovation. In that scope, 37 Blockchain-related and 32 Systems of Innovation-related papers, besides two major books in the field of Blockchain, have been reviewed and then integrated based on the Systems Thinking approach.

    Findings: The key findings for Blockchain-enabled Systems of Innovation are that there is (1) an increased distribution of networks and collaborations, (2) increased trust through the use of reputation systems, (3) an emerging new nature of platform characteristics, (4) a democratisation of entrepreneurship by the new funding landscape and (5) an increased significance of technological drivers, such as energy.

    Research limitations/implications: The study shows new Systems of Innovation-related research implications. Accordingly, a new type of actor, relationship, and attribute have been introduced where the boundaries of the role definitions are blurred and more distributed. This is where larger organisations can expect to lose their central position. The different types of actors are replaced by a network of actors as a result of the distributed new Blockchain-based system. The threshold for the Bottom of the Pyramid is expected to be reduced, leading to a more democratised innovation system.

    Practical Implications: Blockchain appears to reduce the effects of distrust in collaborative innovation practices with its consensus mechanisms and the new Blockchain-enabled Systems of Innovation is expected to revolutionise the interactions in the future.

    Originality/Value: There are very few studies that have been found to integrate innovation management practices with Blockchain. This is the first Blockchain-based Systems of Innovation study enabling the fundamental revision of its structure, types of relationships and actors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages26
    JournalJournal of Enterprise Information Management
    Early online date7 Apr 2020
    Publication statusEarly online - 7 Apr 2020


    • Blockchain
    • Systems of Innovations
    • Platform Technologies
    • Distributed Systems
    • Democratisation of Innovations


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