Leveraging digital and relational governance mechanisms in developing trusting supply chain relationships: the interplay between blockchain and norm of solidarity

Dong Xu, Jing Dai, Antony Paulraj, Alain Yee Loong Chong

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Drawing on the signaling theory and the relational exchange theory, this study investigates how buyer–supplier trust is influenced through the congruence and incongruence between blockchain and norm of solidarity. The moderating role of technology uncertainty is further examined. Design/methodology/approach: Using a survey data of 110 Chinese firms, this study empirically tests not only the combined effect of blockchain and norm of solidarity on trust, but also how this combined effect is moderated by technology uncertainty. The proposed hypotheses are tested using the polynomial regression analysis and the response surface methodology. Findings: The results suggest that trust increases along with an increasing congruence between blockchain and norm or solidarity, but in a diminishing rate (i.e. an inverted U-shaped relationship). Simultaneously, incongruence between blockchain and norm of solidarity can also guarantee sufficient trust (i.e. a U-shaped relationship). Moreover, technology uncertainty overturns the inverted U-shaped relationship between blockchain and norm of solidarity congruence on trust into a U-shaped relationship and nullifies the U-shaped relationship between blockchain and norm of solidarity incongruence on trust. Originality/value: This study enriches supply chain governance literature by introducing the emerging blockchain governance and examining the blockchain governance's interplay with a conventional relational norm. The study emphasizes that the combined effects of these two are quite complex. Blockchain and norm of solidarity can offset each other’s limitations when both are at low to moderate levels. But simultaneous pursuit of both high blockchain and norm has only limited marginal benefits. Furthermore, the study also highlights the importance of technology uncertainty under which the combined effects between the two governance mechanisms vary. Collectively, the results provide nuanced insights into the design of supply chain governance portfolios in the digital era.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Early online date21 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished Online - 21 Sep 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Blockchain
  • Relational governance
  • Technology uncertainty
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences (all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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