The Appropriation of Blockchain for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

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Ethem Ilbiz
Susanne Durst


This article aims to provide a conceptual framework for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to evaluate the appropriation of blockchain technology for their business needs and challenges. This conceptual framework aims to respond to the problem of increasing speculations surrounding the blockchain that is considered to be an absolute and innovative solution to many business-related problems. However, this argument might not be realistic for SMEs despite this assumption. The main argument of the article is that SMEs should be skeptical while evaluating the appropriation of this technology for their business needs and they should follow a tailored approach whilst adopting it. Otherwise, the likelihood is high that a short-term and unstructured knowledge management process to adopt blockchain will end up with a waste of resources. The present paper conceptualizes an appropriation framework within nine factors namely, reduction of costs, internalization, digital representation of assets, unalterable data recording, network size, transparent and synchronized ledger, scalability, fair trade, and financing. Given the field’s infancy state of development, the paper relies on a qualitative document analysis involving SME literature and extant literature and white papers of blockchain applications.

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