The Generative Effect of Blockchain Technology: A Multiple Case Study of User-generated Content on Social Media Platforms

Laurits Just-Bannebjerg

Student thesis: Master thesis


In an ever-changing world of new and emerging technology, the assessment of these in their capacity to affect the work processes and creative activities to produce more innovation and other desired outcomes, provides course-altering directions for business organisations and society at large. Generativity is a concept and subsequent measure of people, technology and output that engulfs the imagination of future potentialities in an infinite spectrum. Hence this study has adopted its terminology as a lens through which to assess blockchain as a newly emerged foundational and general-purpose technology still evolving and being adapted to new use cases. From this,eight technological drivers of system generativity were identified and paired with the generativity of online user-generated content. To measure the generativity of outcomes, this studydevel-oped a theory-driven taxonomy of five generative themes to be applied empirical data. In doing so, this study honed in on social media platforms to examine the generativity of outcomes in three topical posts and appertaining threads across two services: Steemit, the blockchain-based plat-form, and Facebook, the non-blockchain-based control platform. This produced six samples which overwhelmingly told of a generative difference between the two in favour of the blockchain-based platform, Steemit, with more generative outcomes across all five themes. The correlation between the generativity of drivers and outcomes is architecturally approximated an explanation by the causality between the lower layers of a system and the upper layers of the social media platform. This bottom-up recursive flow of generativity between the technological infrastructure and the supported application, tasks and users above, concludes the effect seen by blockchain technology on social media platforms in the leverage, engagement, evocativeness, accessibility and openness of its activities to create a participatory, positively-charged virtual environment for emancipation, probing and ideating.

EducationsMSc in Economics and Business Administration, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages96
SupervisorsMichel Avital