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What would be the underlying principle of a true sharing economy? Distributed ledger technology has lately been attributed with marvelous features and is almost dubbed a savior of the world and the financial services industry. There have been numerous trials and projects aimed to test blockchain-powered solutions and find the best application for the technology in payments, trading, the matter of financial inclusion, real-time settlement, commerce, and more.
Rather than use Uber, Airbnb, or eBay to connect with other people, blockchain services allow individuals to connect, share, and transact directly, ushering in the real sharing economy. These markets will be ones in which individuals can trade non-traditional assets like reputation, data, and attention. Blockchain makes any activity, however small, easy to monetize. In the ride-sharing industry, for example, Uber and Lyft are two dominant players leading the pack: Uber and Lyft.
Both are brands that consumers and drivers trust to match supply and demand. As shown in Table 2 , 42 marketing ethics—related keywords that had frequencies over 20 were identified, and we combined those keywords with a blockchain term e. In this regard, this system assists us in effectively selecting recognizable blockchain-related research articles.
To further confirm that we included all the blockchain articles concerning marketing and business research, we manually looked for i. Following a further search of ten Financial Times-research ranked journals i. The results were consistent, indicating that blockchain research is relatively young and in a growth phase among the marketing and business ethics disciplines. Footnote 3 Document Co-citation Clustering Analysis The objective of this research is to identify the key blockchain literature for the cross-disciplinary theories of business academics.
To achieve this objective, we used document co-citation analysis. Footnote 4 A total of 9, reference lists were found; however, we reduced our list to 84 highly cited articles with at least seven hits. Upon checking the first-round list, we excluded 16 articles as 9 articles were conference proceedings, 6 were working papers, and 1 was a GitHub article.
This reduced our list to 68 highly cited articles. This process reduced the list by 15 articles as these articles had a co-citation frequency of 0, resulting in a final list of 53 highly cited articles. The absolute values in the proximity matrix in this study were as high as 1 the diagonal value and as low as 0 showing no correlation between a pair of articles.
The proximity matrix indicated the degree to which two articles were cited together and the sub-domains were identified using cluster analysis Dagnino et al. The number of clusters is determined using hierarchical cluster analysis Hair et al. Table 3 Identified clusters and topics Full size table Blockchain Capabilities Cluster 1 Cluster 1 contains 12 articles that explore the capabilities of BT.
Three sub-clusters are identified: strategic technology, trustworthy digital records management, and operational transformation. Researchers have suggested that blockchain enhances business resilience, which is expected to improve risk management systems—making them more reactive—with self-executing digital contracts, multilayer protection with improved data security that is capable of detecting both tangible and invisible risks, and the shared visibility and traceability of transactions and information flow Min, ; Wang et al.
Further, the integration of BT and the Internet of things IoT is expected to create more business-based peer-to-peer payment mechanisms, foreign exchange platforms, digital rights or identity management, an energy microgrid, smart contracts involving IoT devices, insurance networks for IoT assets, investment in IoT devices, the sharing of the airspace market for drone navigation, innovation in business process modeling and manufacturing processes, and collaborative business models Huckle et al.
Blockchain Attributes Cluster 2 Cluster 2 contains 33 articles that identify the attributes of blockchain in the sharing economy. The reason given is that the social metrics of sustainability are not objectively measured, and the survey data of social performance are not collected automatically via blockchain applications.
The Underlying Economic Theories of Blockchain Cluster 3 Cluster 3 contains 8 articles that explain the underlying economic theories of blockchain, including the economic institutions of capitalism Davidson et al. In this sense, the economics of blockchain emphasize the efficiency of lowered transaction costs Coase, ; Williamson, via effective institutional innovations e.
Thus, in blockchain economics, a shift of trust from traditionally trusted coordinators e. An important note is that blockchain is also a social technology as it is a set of social protocols i. As such, the diffusion of innovations theory Hevner et al. As presented in Fig. For instance, Alex may be an Uber driver i. In this regard, the prosumer may take on institutional roles in the sharing economy, such as roles related to communication, promotion, and quality control Eckhardt et al.
However, we agree with Schor that prosumers hold an ineffective institutional role in the existing sharing platforms since they do not have autonomous power and are completely controlled by the sharing platform brands. Unlike the Ethereum prosumers in the blockchain-based sharing economy, some of them may be a trader, a miner, a validator, or a developer Kiviat, Thus, Ethereum prosumers hold impactful institutional roles as they significantly contribute to the blockchain consensus mechanism and blockchain governance Zheng et al.
Firms and Channels: From Transient to Sustainable Competitive Advantages We argue that the existing sharing platforms form an excellent example of transient competitive advantages that focus on the practice of taking up new strategic initiatives based on short-lived advantages McGrath, In contrast, firms and channels that wish to adopt BT are required to invest amount of resources since this technology will replace the existing digital records management systems in order to facilitate resource sharing with multi-stakeholders in the ecosystem Lemieux, That is, firms and channels have to focus on how to sustain value creation among the exchange parties by engaging them in the ecosystem for the purpose of satisfying the needs of multi-stakeholders—this follows the principle of stakeholder engagement Freeman et al.
Regulatory Entities: Effectuating New Types of Institutional Entity Logic Unchanged Similar to the existing sharing platforms in the sharing economy, regulator entities need to draft a new set of legal frameworks that specifically serve governing blockchain capabilities and attributes. For instance, the approval of the Liechtenstein Blockchain Act, which came into force on January 1, , has introduced a new list of blockchain service providers. Therefore, in line with the work of Eckhardt et al.
For instance, a new type of institutional entity is a new type of legal custodian that is responsible for ensuring a link between the online and the offline world, where a physical, real asset continues to exist once the asset is tokenized. Further, we expect that firms would create more special-purpose entities to alleviate their ethical responsibilities—subsidiaries created by a parent firm to isolate financial and ethical risk—and to secure them from bankruptcy while adopting BT.
In addition, central banks have been researching the potential for CBDC and certain countries have utilized a digital banking currency as a tool of surveillance, which has resulted in an ethical argument around the topic. As such, regulatory entities must develop a set of legal frameworks that will create and sustain more value in the blockchain projects so that exchange parties are willing to accept and be accountable for their responsibilities—this follows the principle of stakeholder responsibility Freeman et al.
Ahluwalia et al. For instance, a firm could leverage the strategic value of BT by publicly trading some of their digital tokens that relate to a unit of a property investment asset Wolfson, In terms of resource sharing in a permissioned blockchain, Di Vaio and Varriale found that the granularity of information is a feature of dynamic asset management. That is, data owners could provide low data access to others for a specific purpose for a particular period, which would enhance the flexibility of data sharing and data monetization in the blockchain-based sharing economy.
In this sense, the innovation process is leading toward a relatively free society that allows stakeholders to have different options in their asset management for competitiveness—this follows the principle of emergent competition Freeman et al. Branding: From Platform Branding to Co-branding Using the existing sharing platforms that form the research context e. Further, Eckhardt et al. Contradictory to this, we argue that in the blockchain-based sharing economy, co-branding between firms is relatively essential as BT is a strategic technology that requires a consortium to start gathering a team of players who have a common end goal in mind in order to solve a problem Ying et al.
Further, it is critical to emphasize the value perception of a blockchain project; Fisch found that the initial coin offerings associated with a well-known blockchain brand i. Thus, the co-branding strategy between the brands and blockchain firms could be leveraged for ethical marketing, including authentic brand storytelling, blockchain-enabled loyalty programs, traceable online advertising, reduced counterfeit consumption, brand transparency, and trust of brands in online marketplaces Boukis, In this regard, brand managers have to collaborate with other stakeholders in the ecosystem to create new sources of brand values—this follows the principle of continuous creation Freeman et al.
However, we propose that in the context of permissionless BT, the nature of the customer journey in the sharing economy may shift, becoming an incentive experience Harvey et al. Apart from this, a non-fungible token—a unit of data on a blockchain that represents a unique, immutable, and collectible digital item—could be utilized to track the history of and receive a loyalty fee for the valuable items that are sold to each pseudonymous buyer in the marketplace. As for permissioned BT, especially when used in the application of supply chain management, blockchain enables a provenance-based customer experience due to its immutable and trustable digital record management that is shared among stakeholders in the ecosystem Kshetri, Thus, in both permissionless and permissioned BT, managers have to practice the principle of emergent competition Freeman et al.
The main reason given is that in the blockchain-based sharing economy, customers move toward a self-sovereign identity approach that focuses on how they can control their identity and privacy in a decentralized ecosystem Berg et al. An important note is that blockchain governance plays a critical role in the process of how a blockchain firm appropriates strategic value from the marketplace. For instance, the blockchain market involves more autonomous actors e.
Thus, blockchain firms may need to compete against a decentralized autonomous organization, and at the same time, a collaborative business model that fulfills multi-stakeholders is essential in order to generate substantial revenue through alliances in the blockchain-based sharing economy i. In this sense, the principle of complexity Freeman et al.
For instance, a historical and summary record of a dedicated Uber driver or a good Uber customer might only be viewed on the Uber sharing platform and not be accessible on another, existing sharing platform e. For this reason, most highly skilled resource providers use the existing sharing platforms opportunistically by identifying potential clients and then continuing to transact with them outside of the platforms Zhou et al.
As such, consumers should develop a strong congruence between their online and offline profiles as the decentralized identity can be cryptographically shared with other parties once they grant permission for it to be shared. At this stage, the consumer mindset shall be digitalized, and he or she should be more ethical in his or her online behavior and accountable for it as an immutable and authenticated record of his or her historical profile that can be retrieved effortlessly from a blockchain database with the granted permission i.
In this regard, the blockchain-based sharing economy may decrease consumer risk and promote different types of authentic experiences among ethical consumers. That is, values are created, traded, and sustained as consumers are willing to accept responsibility for the consequences of their online actions—this follows the principle of stakeholder responsibility Freeman et al. In this regard, firms have to practice the principles of stakeholder engagement Freeman et al.
Thus, most of the existing discussions on societal value concern primary stakeholders, for instance, there have been discussions on the impacts on consumers and resource providers Aknin et al.
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