Blockchain Technology, Inter-organizational Relationships and Management Accounting: A Synthesis and a Research Agenda

Nikola Kostic, Tomaz Sedej

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Abstract

Blockchain technology is increasingly emerging as an important organizational phenomenon, especially for collaboration across firm boundaries. Over the past three decades, accounting scholars have shown significant interest in management accounting and control mechanisms that are used by actors to sustain inter-organizational relationships. We outline fundamental technical features and limitations of permissioned blockchain technology and analytically propose blockchain as an empirical concept with implications for management accounting practices that underpin inter-organizational collaboration, trust, control, and information exchange. Particular focus of the analysis is on the interplay between the technical capabilities of blockchain technology and inter-organizational management control procedures. Based on this analysis, we develop a series of propositions that theorize how these procedures affect the way in which blockchain is enacted in IORs, and how they are affected by blockchain in turn. The paper concludes with a research agenda for accounting scholars and offers directions for further research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAccounting Horizons
Number of pages46
ISSN0888-7993
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 20 September 2021

Keywords

  • Blockchain
  • Management accounting
  • Inter-organizational relationships
  • Management control
  • Information systems
  • Collaboration

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