Blockchain, the New Driver in the Automotive Global Supply Chains? - A multiple case study of the blockchain implementation barriers in the automotive industry
Large multinational companies (MNCs) with complex global supply chains face increasing challenges with unsustainable supply chains, both regarding strategy and stakeholder pressure. A potentially revolutionizing new tecgenhnology, blockchain, has just started being used to cope with these numeral global supply chain challenges. The research in this field are scarce, and as the study finds, as are the companies currently using blockchain to this end. This study provides a contribution for theory by adding knowledge to the research fields of blockchain and to the governance of global supply chains that is not in direct control by the MNC, related to the implementation of new technology. This is done by examining what barriers exist to implementing blockchain in global supply chains for MNCs in the automotive industry, with the goal to increase supply chain transparency. By using an exploratory multiple case study approach, including qualitative, semi-structured interviews with six automotive MNCs, complemented by four interviews with blockchain experts, the authors developed propositions of the interconnectedness between MNCs and their global supply chain governance related to the barriers to adopt blockchain. Previous research shows that blockchain is suitable for supply chains. The main findings show that not enough incentives exist for automotive MNCs to implement blockchain for a transparency purpose since the MNCs’ motivation and challenges are not aligned with the technology’s contribution. Several difficulties with implementation were found. Also, the current governance system being employed is hampering blockchain implementation. Interestingly, the study also showed that the kind of blockchain required to solve these complex issues is not compatible with the traditionally oriented culture of the MNCs. Consequently, this study provides knowledge to both theories on blockchain and global supply chain governance as well as to business practices.
MSc in International Business and Trade
Global Supply Chains
Master Degree Project