Unveiling Roadblocks and Mapping Solutions for Blockchain Adoption by Governments: A Systematic Literature Review

Wahyu Setiawan Wibowo, Setiadi Yazid
Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge, and Management  •  Volume 18  •  2023  •  pp. 547-581

Blockchain technology (BCT) has emerged as a potential catalyst for transforming government institutions and services, yet the adoption of blockchain in governments faces various challenges, for which previous studies have yet to provide practical solutions.

This study aims to identify and analyse barriers, potential solutions, and their relations in implementing BC for governments through a systematic literature review (SLR). The authors grouped the challenges based on the Technology-Organisation-Environment (TOE) framework while exercising a thematic grouping for the solutions, followed by a comprehensive mapping to unveil the relationship between challenges and solutions.

This study employs the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) 2020 methodology, combined with the tollgate method, to improve the quality of selected articles. The authors further administer a three-level approach (open coding, axial coding, and selective coding) to analyse the challenges and solutions from the articles.

The authors argue that this study enriches the existing literature on BC adoption, particularly in the government context, by providing a comprehensive framework to analyse and address the unique challenges and solutions, thus contributing to the development of new theories and models for future research in BC adoption in government settings and fostering deeper exploration in the field.

The authors have unveiled 40 adoption challenges categorised using the TOE framework. The most prevalent technological challenges include security concerns and integration & interoperability, while cultural resistance, lack of support and involvement, and employees’ capability hinder adoption at the organisational level. Notably, the environmental dimension lacks legal and standard frameworks. The study further unveils 28 potential solutions, encompassing legal frameworks, security and privacy measures, collaboration and governance, technological readiness and infrastructure, and strategic planning and adoption. The authors of the study have further mapped the solutions to the identified challenges, revealing that the establishment of legal frameworks stands out as the most comprehensive solution.

Our findings provide a big picture regarding BC adoption for governments around the globe. This study charts the problems commonly encountered by government agencies and presents proven solutions in their wake. The authors endeavour practitioners, particularly those in governments, to embrace our findings as the cornerstone of BC/BCT adoption. These insights can aid practitioners in identifying existing or potential obstacles in adopting BC, pinpointing success factors, and formulating strategies tailored to their organisations.

Researchers could extend this study by making an in-depth analysis of challenges or solutions in specific types of countries, such as developed and developing countries, as the authors believe this approach would yield more insights. Researchers could also test, validate, and verify the mapping in this study to improve the quality of the study further and thus can be a great aid for governments to adopt BC/BCT fully.

This study provides a comprehensive exploration of BC adoption in the government context, offering detailed explanations and valuable insights that hold significant value for government policymakers and decision-makers, serving as a bedrock for successful implementation by addressing roadblocks and emphasising the importance of establishing a supportive culture and structure, engaging stakeholders, and addressing security and privacy concerns, ultimately enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of BC adoption in government institutions and services.

Future research should address the limitations identified in this study by expanding the scope of the literature search to include previously inaccessible sources and exploring alternative frameworks to capture dynamic changes and contextual factors in BC adoption. Additionally, rigorous scrutiny, review, and testing are essential to establish the practical and theoretical validity of the identified solutions, while in-depth analyses of country-specific and regional challenges will provide valuable insights into the unique considerations faced by different governments.

blockchain, distributed ledger, blockchain technology, government, challenge, problem, solution, systematic literature review, SLR, PRISMA, tollgate, TOE
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