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An appraisal of blockchain technology relevance in the 21st century Nigerian construction industry: perspective from the built environment professionals

Andrew Ebekozien (Department of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa; Department of Quantity Surveying, Auchi Polytechnic, Auchi, Nigeria and Development Planning and Management, School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Gelugor, Malaysia)
Clinton Aigbavboa (Department of Construction Management and Quantity Surveying, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa)
Mohamad Shaharudin Samsurijan (Development Planning and Management, School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Gelugor, Malaysia)

Journal of Global Operations and Strategic Sourcing

ISSN: 2398-5364

Article publication date: 11 August 2022

Issue publication date: 7 March 2023

719

Abstract

Purpose

Studies show that the fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies can be used to transform the built environment sector in the 21st century. Blockchain technology has been identified as one of the drivers of 4IR that could be a channel of innovation in the built environment. Studies concerning the application of blockchain technology in Nigeria’s built environment are scarce. Thus, this study aims to investigate the relevance of blockchain technology to the Nigerian built environment professionals (BEP) in the 21st century and proffer ways to promote the applications in the sector.

Design/methodology/approach

Given the unexplored nature of the issue in Nigeria’s context, 20 semi-structured virtual interviews were conducted across Lagos and Abuja cities. The participants were knowledgeable in construction-related information technology, from construction contracting firms and construction consulting firms, academicians in construction consultancy and internet and communication technology experts. The collated data were coded, analysed and presented in themes via a thematic approach.

Findings

Automating construction progress payments in smart contracts, financial management and supply chain management reduces transaction costs emerged as the key areas where blockchain technology can benefit the Nigerian BEP if well implemented. Others are blockchain-based BIM and prevents forgery and alteration of data, contract management and blockchain-based building information modelling (BIM). Blockchain technology applications are not without some hindrances. The 22 perceived hindrances were government, employer and employee related in Nigeria’s built environment.

Research limitations/implications

This research is restricted to the relevance and encumbrances facing the applications of blockchain technology in Nigeria’s built environment. Also, this study proffers policy solutions to promote the application of blockchain technology in the built environment via a qualitative method. Future study becomes pertinent to explore other components of the 4IR and their relevance within Nigeria’s built environment.

Practical implications

Results from this paper will strengthen and offer a rich insight into the relevance of blockchain technology in the Nigerian built environment. Other developing nations with similar challenges may consider the recommendations from this study. This study will contribute towards stirring the parties to create a good platform and supporting policies to promote the applications and implementation of blockchain technology across the industry.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the few papers that attempted to uncover issues that hinder blockchain technology applications in the Nigerian built environment via a qualitative approach and proffer feasible solutions from the practitioners’ perspective.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to the participants for providing knowledgeable contributions to enhance the findings of this paper. The authors appreciate the comments, suggestions, and recommendations provided by the anonymous reviewers, which collectively helped hone and strengthen the quality of this manuscript during the blind peer-review process. Also, thanks to Mr Opeoluwa Akinradewo (PhD candidate) for his contribution.

Funding: Development Planning and Management, School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulua Pinang, Malaysia and Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment and CIDB Centre of Excellence (05-35-061890), University of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Citation

Ebekozien, A., Aigbavboa, C. and Samsurijan, M.S. (2023), "An appraisal of blockchain technology relevance in the 21st century Nigerian construction industry: perspective from the built environment professionals", Journal of Global Operations and Strategic Sourcing, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 142-160. https://doi.org/10.1108/JGOSS-01-2022-0005

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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