An Organisational Perspective on the Factors Influencing the Adoption of Blockchain Technology

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
RMIT University
Increased levels of competition, customer expectations, and pressures from stakeholders to improve performance and transparency/full disclosure, have all forced organisations to implement new technologies. Blockchain technology is an example of a disruptive technology. It is in fact a distributed ledger system that enables the history of any product to be traced by all the stakeholders involved which can result in improving organisational efficiency. Despite its benefits for businesses such as improving trust and honesty or transparency and reducing costs and complexity, businesses do not all agree on the adoption of such a disruptive technology. The review of the literature reveals a scarcity of in-depth empirical research on the factors that guide the acceptance of blockchain technology. Thus, this study examines empirically the impact of different factors on blockchain adoption in medium-sized and large organisations in Australia, where blockchain offers an effective and efficient way to potentially transform the country’s business environment. Australia is one of the countries that have publicly stated a commitment to adopt blockchain technology, and the Australian federal government predicts that the technology will generate an annual business value of approximately US$175 billion and US$ 3 trillion by 2025 and 2030, respectively. The current study addresses this gap in our knowledge using a quantitative research approach. Based on the recent literature on blockchain, absorptive capacity theory and the Technology-Organisation-Environment (TOE) framework, a new theoretical framework is proposed to further investigate the influence of various factors on blockchain adoption. The data is collected through a survey of 224 IT managers from medium-sized and large organisations in Australia, and partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) serves to examine the hypothesised relationships. Based on the findings of this thesis, perceived security, perceived cost, senior or executive management support, competitive pressure and regulatory support significantly shape organisational adoption of blockchain in Australia. Senior managerial support is found to have a significant mediating role between external factors and the acceptance of blockchain. Further discussions are provided on how the findings of this research will help government and business managers determine the factors that need to be considered prior to implementing blockchain technology. This study contributes to theory by proposing and validating a theoretical model-based framework. The TOE model, which explains the organisational perspective on technology adoption, forms the basis of the model that is then expanded by adding absorptive capacity and the mediating effect of top management support. This expanded model has been shown to provide a more thorough explanation than the original TOE framework. A measuring scale that future research can use in investigating blockchain adoption has also been devised and validated. The research also makes practical contributions since the revised framework provides a reference for managers wishing to obtain deeper insights into the crucial factors that affect blockchain adoption in Australia. Furthermore, the findings are important for the federal government to develop relevant policies to remove any uncertainties hindering blockchain adoption; for example, regulation, skill-building, investment, international competitiveness and collaboration. As blockchain is still in the early stage of adoption in Australia, this research provides more information to firms, in order to plan for the acquisition of blockchain technology and make their business models more compatible with it.
Blockchain, TOE, Absorptive Capacity, Australia, IT Integration