Blockchain technology and its relationships to sustainable supply chain management

Sara Saberi, Mahtab Kouhizadeh, Joseph Sarkis*, Lejia Shen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1821 Citations (Scopus)


Globalisation of supply chains makes their management and control more difficult. Blockchain technology, as a distributed digital ledger technology which ensures transparency, traceability, and security, is showing promise for easing some global supply chain management problems. In this paper, blockchain technology and smart contracts are critically examined with potential application to supply chain management. Local and global government, community, and consumer pressures to meet sustainability goals prompt us to further investigate how blockchain can address and aid supply chain sustainability. Part of this critical examination is how blockchains, a potentially disruptive technology that is early in its evolution, can overcome many potential barriers. Four blockchain technology adoption barriers categories are introduced; inter-organisational, intra-organisational, technical, and external barriers. True blockchain-led transformation of business and supply chain is still in progress and in its early stages; we propose future research propositions and directions that can provide insights into overcoming barriers and adoption of blockchain technology for supply chain management.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)2117-2135
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 03.04.2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • blockchain technology
  • supply chain management
  • sustainability
  • barriers
  • research agenda

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoHP: Humanitarian and societal logistics


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