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The role of supply chain alignment in coping with resource dependency in blockchain adoption: empirical evidence from China

Wei Guan (Highfi Lab, Paris, France)
Wenhong Ding (NEOMA Business School, Mont-Saint-Aignan, France)
Bobo Zhang (NEOMA Business School, Reims Campus, Reims, France)
Jerome Verny (NEOMA Business School, Mont-Saint-Aignan, France)

Journal of Enterprise Information Management

ISSN: 1741-0398

Article publication date: 9 January 2023

Issue publication date: 7 March 2023




The deployment of blockchain technology (BT) throughout the supply chain is usually led by large firms that dominate the supply chain. Leading firms can encourage other resource-constrained partners to get on board by providing technical and financial support. However, due to the uncertain consequences of relying on leading firms, these partners may still be reluctant to adopt BT. Drawing on resource dependence theory, this study aims to investigate whether and when supply chain alignment can be used as a dependency coping strategy to increase the willingness of resource-constrained partners to adopt BT. Moreover, it aims to examine the motivators for supply chain alignment.


This study adopted a survey research design and collected data from 364 small and medium-sized enterprises in China.


Supply chain alignment positively affects BT adoption. The effect of supply chain alignment on BT adoption is contingent on guanxi (a Chinese cultural tradition of interpersonal connections that facilitate a mutual exchange of favors). Relative advantage, technology complexity, organizational readiness and cost are motivators for supply chain alignment. Supply chain alignment mediates the effect of cost, technology complexity and relative advantage on BT adoption.


This research addresses the problem of resource dependency in the context of BT adoption which has been overlooked by previous research. Moreover, this paper enriches the BT literature by identifying supply chain alignment as an important channel for technology–organization–environment factors to influence BT adoption.



The authors are grateful to the Editor-in-Chief (Zahir Irani), the Associate Editor and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions. The authors acknowledge comments and feedback from seminar and conference participants at International Project Logistic Conference and NEOMA “Complexity Advantage” Area of Excellence Blockchain Workshop. The author, Bobo Zhang, is grateful to the support of France Grand Est Region Young Researcher (Jeunes Chercheurs) Research Grant (Grant Number: 21P06781), which partially funded this work.


Guan, W., Ding, W., Zhang, B. and Verny, J. (2023), "The role of supply chain alignment in coping with resource dependency in blockchain adoption: empirical evidence from China", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 36 No. 2, pp. 605-628.



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