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ItemPervasive Decentralisation of Digital Infrastructures: A Framework for Blockchain enabled System and Use Case Analysis( 2017-01-04)Technological innovation and consequential decentralisation are driving forces in the ongoing evolution and increasing openness of digital infrastructures and services. One of the most discussed and allegedly disruptive innovations is the distributed database technology referred to as blockchain. Although it is still in its technological infancy, experimental adoption and customization seem to be in full progress in various potential fields of application ranging from decentralized grids for computation and storage to global financial services. However, the technology and its path of development still entail a lot of common unknowns for practitioners and researchers alike. Especially regarding the question how the technology could amend or be incorporated into the existing landscape of digital services, processes and infrastructures. Hence, in this article we develop an ontology that (1) clearly delineates common terminology, core concepts and components, their relationships as well as innovative features of blockchain technology. It further (2) connects these insights with implications for relevant types of digital market models. Our framework is of high theoretical and practical value as it provides researchers and practitioners a common basis for communication and means for guided analysis of blockchain applicability.
ItemOpportunities and Risks of Blockchain Technologies – A Research Agenda( 2017-01-04)Blockchain technologies offer new open source-based opportunities for developing new types of digital platforms and services. While research on the topic is emerging, it has this far been predominantly focused to technical and legal issues. To broaden our understanding of blockchain technology based services and platforms, we build on earlier literature on payments and payment platforms and propose a research agenda divided into three focal areas of 1) organizational issues; 2) issues related to the competitive environment; and 3) technology design issues. We discuss several salient themes within each of these areas, and derive a set of research question for each theme, highlighting the need to address both risks and opportunities for users, as well as different types of stakeholder organizations. With this research agenda, we contribute to the discussion on future avenues for Information Systems research on blockchain technology based platforms and services.
ItemOpenness and Legitimacy Building in the Sharing Economy: An Exploratory Case Study about CouchSurfing( 2017-01-04)Sharing economy start-ups are claiming legitimacy by drawing on notions of openness and, at the same time, by adapting to business institutions. We use the case of CouchSurfing to investigate how openness, which has been part of the organization’s raison-d’être, contributed in the legitimacy building efforts and why it was replaced by notions of profitability and revenue generation. Thus, we contribute the concepts of legitimacy and legitimacy building to the academic discourse of openness.