Do blockchain capabilities help overcome supply and operational risks: Insights from firm market returns during COVID-19

Chunguang Bai*, Qingyun Zhu, Joseph Sarkis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Uncertainty and risk have become increasingly prominent issues in firm operating environments. Addressing uncertainties and risks brought by the historically disruptive COVID-19 pandemic crisis requires organizations to establish reliable, visible, and traceable information processing and sharing capabilities. Blockchain is a disruptive technology that can build capabilities to support operational resilience where uncertainty may manifest as risk or opportunity. Using an event study, we examine the COVID-19 pandemic relationship to stock returns for 217 blockchain-related firms—those that develop or apply blockchain technology—over five major pandemic life cycle periods. Our results indicate firms with blockchain capabilities have less mean negative stock price reaction—on average, a reduced 8.24 % shareholder value loss across crisis stages. Different blockchain application fields exhibit varied shareholder value effects—in general, production blockchain applications can help firms reduce more negative impact while financial blockchain applications show no significant mitigation effects. We further demonstrate how blockchain operational characteristics affect stock returns. Overall, blockchain technology provides effective risk buffer capabilities and can help manage shifting institutional fields—which the market views as building resilient capabilities resulting in competitive advantage to overcome known and unknown uncertainties and risks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103049
Peer-reviewed scientific journalOmega (United Kingdom)
Publication statusPublished - 07.2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Blockchain
  • COVID-19
  • Event study
  • Resilience
  • Risk management
  • Shareholder value
  • Supply chain


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