Reflection on the Scopus Review

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Reflection:

A-Summarize what has been found in the literature about block chain in themes?

Summary of the reviewed Literature:

The research review analyzed the 220 Journal articles from different journals, forming their base on block chain technology or related to it in any means. The articles ranked between 1 till 4* in CABS ranking. The articles were than categorized as qualitative and quantitative and were reviewed for their features including the year they were conducted, the market sector they belong to, for the region they were conducted in, for the type of block chain they talk about and for the advantages or disadvantages of the block chain they mentioned. The review find out that most of the literature was related to operation and technology management particularly managing and implementing block chain. A number of articles was about Public Block Chain, while the ratio of literature for Private, consortium and Hybrid block Chain was significantly lower. The literature provides assistance to retailers, customers and managers to find the answers of questions related to block chain. For instance, some of the articles discusses what can be the suitable conditions for retailers to adopt block chain and how consumers can take benefit of using it? Some Parts of the literature indicates the factors that derives managers and consumers to use block chain and the benefits of using block chain for maintaining quality in food industry. A large part of the reviewed literature indicates the consumer perception about block chain, its impact on purchase intentions and how it plays role in enhancing product quality. The reviewed Articles were formed on the basis of empirical data to evaluate the effectiveness of using block chain in different fields including real estate, house building, agriculture, food quality tracing, policy making, supply chain management, manufacturing, procurement process, cloud manufacturing, medicine, tourism, fish and beef industries, operating in different regions around the world. Most of the articles focused on analyzing consumer behavioral response for Block chain technology such as their perceived usefulness, perceived ease of using it, perceived joyfulness, trust and other emotions along with the articles determining factors influencing their perception or decision making and the factors behind their adoption or restraining from block chain.

The results from the review can be summarized by saying that the Block Chain technology remains effective in improving quality of product or services and provides help in achieving business goals. It also assist managers in managing business operations, Information flow and logistics management. It benefits companies to improve their innovation capacity and helps in enhancing trust, transparency, and accountability in the E-commerce industry. Applying Block Chain can also improve security, speed and quality in supply chain. It can be used against counterfeits with its traceability and product tracking features. Block Chain also have the potential to improve information sharing networks and policy making process, and provides useful guidelines for the Development of future e-government services based on this technology. It also can improve cross-border transactions as it provides effective implications for the international e-commerce. It can increase the profit for online platforms and improves the profits of the supplier, the third-party logistics provider, and the buyer, besides these benefits, it also prevent fraudulent behavior in the process of returns and exchanges with Smart contracts. It is also found in the literature that adopting block chain benefits customers in terms of accuracy, reliability and usability and they can take benefit from its quick payment, and enhanced relationship with their seller. With its multi-attribute decision-support method; it helps consumers to choose a suitable payment program and allow users to transfer information, share; exchange and store data in digital form without any intermediary. Also its sufficient and verifiable information system, appropriate levels of usability, and unobstructed data access can increase customer loyalty. Though, the reviewed literature also indicates some of the disadvantages or risk scenarios related to Block Chain Technology including risks in managerial adoption, problems related to technical infrastructure, vulnerabilities related to changing regulations and business situations and the consumer’s hesitation in adapting with this emerging technology; its expensiveness, complicated modification and adjustment methods. All these factors along with lack of trust and user’s perceived privacy and confidentiality risks influence the promptness of its acceptance. It is also suggested in most of the articles that implementation of the block chain requires a regulatory framework and appropriate governance rule.

B- What literature gaps have you identified based on the review (you need to find 15-20 gaps in literature, methodology, data, or theory).

Gaps found in the literature:

This study also analyzed the selected sample of the articles to find the gaps present in the existing literature on Block chain. There is a number of gaps found in article’s related to their methodology, data sampling, and in module implications to determine the acceptance of this technology.

  1. The results find out that most of the literature does not focus on implementation or usage of block chain in any specific region or country. Majority of the reviewed articles were forming their basis on general and over all use of Block chain or mainly focused on its use in developed countries like USA, UK, France, Taiwan and Korea, where it has been accepted well.
  2. It is also observed that cost-related implications of block chain adoption in  supply chain and other industries, is also not much focused; that needs to be studied.
  3. Certain amount of the studies only conducted quantitative analysis and any region or business sector has not been targeted for its implication. This makes the studies generalized and not specific.
  4. Also, as the process of implementation of BCT is time consuming, the studies have not conducted a real-time implementations and formed their results on assumptions.
  5. Literature on use, challenges and benefits of cryptocurrency particularly Ethereum, is available in sufficient amount but other types of BCTs are not studied yet, as different block chain technologies are currently in use that developers of different industries are continually adapting with.
  6. The articles selected for the review focused on limited period of time and region. Long term experience of using Block chain or consumer perception using it for long period of time, is not available in the literature.
  7. Some of the region specific article’s findings cannot be applied to other regions as they are based on homogenous or exploratory data samples. That indicates the need of confirmatory approach and researches with different geographical regions.
  8. Also a gap is observed in region specific literature where respondents have a vast difference of culture with in the region that limits the study results from implication to the whole region/country.
  9. There is a number of articles with limited amount of text data and single platform for data selection that lacks explicit features of text content and the credibility of information source. All these aspects influence the credibility of results.
  10. Sample for most of the studies are not found offering an inclusive persona of entire block chain populations, rather only shows a snapshot of user profiles.
  11. While there has been much consideration of the technological and cryptographic perspectives, studies on the economic aspects, specially its use as a payment mechanism in e-commerce, are rare.
  12. This was also observed that a large part of literature is informing about use, user experience, challenges and benefits of Public Block Chain, while the private block chain that share a number of usage in large companies is ignored or focused on small level.
  13. Similarly hybrid and consortium block chain shares a very little amount of number in literature and required more focus to predict their implications in different fields in future.
  14. It was found that a thorough study of the overall cost-related impact of block chain adoption is not conducted yet, that provides insights for its cost of its implementation or the reduced costs and returns on investments due to its adoption.
  15. Theoretical implementations and analysis was also found in slight number of articles.
  16. Some of the articles took sample on convenience bases that resulted in missing suitable respondents for the researches.
  17. Most of the reviewed articles were experimental in nature and lacked in-depth understanding of consumers need to adapt with the technology.
  18. Some of the studies applied TAM (Technology Acceptance Model) for block chain, but lacked proper implication of the model.

C- Can you provide critique of this review in which the review’s strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages are about block chain?

Insights to the Scopus Review:

This review has endeavored to provide insights for the recent literature about block chain technology. The intention to conduct the review was to analyze what has been studied in this field and what is required to take in consideration in future. The paper investigated both gains and drawbacks connected to block chain and tried to identify factors that are important for both the promulgation of this technology and the value that market participants like managers, producers, investors, suppliers and consumers confer to it. The study aimed to fill the gap of understanding technological advancements, innovations in trading methods, changes in financial information system and technology, and in the business practices. Some of the areas where this review can add up in the field of block chain literature are as follows:

  1. This review provides underlying aspects of Block Chain technology that have the potential to alter the ways of operations in the world of business. It provides an overview of the concept of blockchain technology, advantages and obstacles for its use in business and a glance to find which industry seems to take more benefit from this technology (such as healthcare, supply-chain and retails) and which can suffer some disadvantages (like banks, online traders and energy producers) by using it.
  2. The study also analyzed the literature on Blockchain technologies to find potential benefits of Blockchain technologies, where they are being used successfully and where it can be used in future.
  3. This research is important in a way as it makes consumers aware about Blockchain, how it is being used and how people can take benefit from this technology.
  4. The review also provide intuitions to scholars for determining what have been studied about BCT and what areas are most in need of conducting research on them.
  5. This review followed a mix methodology (Both quantitative and qualitative) to figure out what has been explored about block chain in terms of its accuracy, reliability, visibility, incorruptibility and appropriateness in different aspects of business. It also provide awareness about robustness, transparency, accountability and risk management to the organizations who are using it or willing to implement its use in their operations.
  6. For researchers of blockchain technology, this paper suggests the capacities they should pay more attention for consumer’s benefits such as privacy protection and security issues.
  7. The review also indicates which kind of research approach has been followed more in the field of block chain such as content analysis, quantitative, qualitative, descriptive, Thematic or statistical analysis, case study or mixed approach. This information can be used in setting future research directions to choose which approach is more appropriate to follow.
  8. It also indicates what has been the center of unit of analysis in previous literature such as managers, ventures related to BCT, end users, Business owners or entrepreneurs or what requires to be more highlighted in the literature such as privacy measures and risk issues.

Weaknesses or limitations of the review:

Despite the advantages, this study also possess some weaknesses and limitations.

  1. First of all, the study reviewed articles from mixed genre of journals such as operations and technology, production and operations management, technological forecasting and social change, Applied economics, E-commerce, information management, journal of British food management, data base management and Tourism management. This variety of journals make this review to draw overall and general results for what the studies are discussing. This tends to reduce chance of making robust points about impacts of BCT for a particular journal or field.
  2. Secondly the study overlooked the importance of sorting market sectors (such as B2B or B2C), as it reviewed articles without categorizing them according to their area of discussion. This resulted in generating a mix opinion that does not indicate in which market sector the BCT is well accepted or successfully working and where it requires more research and examining techniques.
  3. Another drawback of the study is that it remains limited in terms of sample size, the study analyzed only 220 articles, most of them were from the recent years while the literature from previous years is slightly included in the sample. This restricted the study from providing the aspects from past experiences about adoption or implication of BCT or from analyzing the challenges came in its way in previous years.

D-What kind of Future direction would you offer or recommend to other researchers?

Recommendations for the future research:

There are still many obstacles in the path of BCT implications that needs to be removed by studying their potential and conducting researches to understand their causes. By this way, BCT researchers will become able to discover solutions or find ways to overcome these obstacles. In this regard, this review also indicates areas of research that need to be covered in future.

  1. The study points to the need for further investigation to develop a better understanding of BCT users and address the need of understanding perspective of user’s usability and security issues and the trade-off between these.
  2. It also observed from the review that economic benefits of blockchain have been widely studied in previous researches. To make it working for individual businesses, it is important to conduct researches to understand the positive and negative effects of block chain technology on the organizational structure, mode of operation, and management model of the business.
  3. It is also important to determine in future studies; whether blockchain can resolve the market failures resulting from information asymmetry, whether or not it increase market efficiency or bring social welfare while considering market as a whole.
  4. Though blockchain transactions are anonymous and encrypted, there is still a risk of the data being hacked. In the security sector, there is a view that absolute security can never be guaranteed wherever physical contact exists. Consequently, the question of how to share transaction data while also protecting personal data privacy are particularly vital issues for both academic and social practice. It is also recommended for the future studies to find answer for this question.
  5. As per the gaps identified in the literature, future researches can be held with focus on implementation or usage of block chain in any specific region or country, its performance in a particular market sector and barriers in its way of adaptation in a particular society (considering their specific culture, consumer behavior or economic status).
  6. Also future researchers are suggested to conduct research is a specific region and for specific industry, with theoretical and conceptual support, to increase its understanding.
  7. future research should investigate the responses for blockchain traceability systems to increase

Awareness of consumers less familiar with the technology.

  1. It is also recommended for future research to study how the online platform should motivate its sellers to deploy blockchain, ways to reduce risk element from online platform for both seller and consumer.
  2. There is a vast opportunity to conduct research with data collected from multiple sources, online surveys, reviews and customer’s point, to analyze the user perspective while utilizing BCT and to determine factors restricting people from using it.
  3. Future studies must conduct implementations practices of BCT in urban logistics and retail sector, in developing countries or in other regions other than developed countries, to check its effectiveness there.
  4. Along with the analysis of public block chain implications, It is required from the future studies to consider utilization, advantages, hurdles and downsides of hybrid, consortium and private block chain.
  5. Future studies can test the TAM model for BCT in different sectors and regions. Also, it is suggested to check its implementations and changes within the fields other than supply-chain and management, particularly to the fields related to e-commerce such as logistics, hotel evaluation, and online car-hailing.
  6. Lastly, it would also be interesting to investigate what firms using BCT, can do to minimize customers’ privacy concerns about leaving their digital footprint.

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