Blockchain Ecosystem in Construction: Open or Closed Innovation?

Eleni Papadonikolaki*, Algan Tezel, Ibrahim Yitmen, Per Hilletofth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Blockchain technology has been considered a game-changer across many sectors and slowly gains traction in construction. Because of immutability and transparency, blockchain is seen as a solution to the fragmentation and distrust. Various industry players, government and policymakers are increasingly interested in co-creating ideas with this technology. This collective interest on blockchain implies the possibility for democratising it following an Open Innovation (OI) paradigm. We explore the feasibility of OI paradigm in construction using blockchain as an example and research setting. Through content analysis of semi-structured interviews with 24 experts we explore openness/closedness of blockchain innovation ecosystems. The data showed that OI is still in its infancy in construction. Whereas blockchain implies openness and transparency, construction focuses on closed blockchain ecosystems due to resistance in sharing data and research initiatives. This brings implications for
government and construction clients who are deemed facilitators of digital revolution.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 37th Conference and Annual General Meeting, ARCOM Conference 2021: Recover, Rebuild and Renew.
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 6 Sept 2021
EventARCOM Conference 2021: Recover, Rebuild and Renew -
Duration: 6 Sept 20217 Sept 2021


ConferenceARCOM Conference 2021: Recover, Rebuild and Renew

Bibliographical note

Funding: This work incorporates data from the research project “Toward Blockchain-enabled Construction Supply Chains: Potential, Requirements and Implementation” funded by the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB), InnovateUK grant number 90066.

© Association of Researchers in Construction Management


  • Information technology
  • innovation
  • partnering
  • technology transfer


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