Research Topic

Perceived and Actualised Affordances of Blockchain Use-Cases

About this Research Topic

Blockchain technologies have been applied to a host of challenges in industry and society in areas ranging from government, healthcare, logistics and financial services. While perceived benefits are numerous, many of these are in theory. The application of Blockchain in many use-cases have led to disappointment like many such socio-technical systems. The experiences of users interacting with Blockchain features and characteristics have resulted in many unintended outcomes. The IS discipline defines affordances as “possibilities for goal-oriented action afforded to specified user groups by technical objects”, emerging from the socio-technical interaction of IT artefacts and organizational features. Some scholars think that “perceived” affordances need to be “triggered” or “actualized” by actors to achieve “enabling” outcomes and avoiding “constraining” effects since affordances only refer to possibilities for action. Hence Use-Cases that describe the above actions are particularly salient.

Gartner claims that 80% of Blockchain projects fail. This Research Topic seeks to investigate "why" through the lens of Affordance Theory (AT). AT posits that the features or characteristics of any technology do not necessarily materialize into a positive outcome. In a socio-technical context, it is the joint functioning of the technology features with the social context that determines its success or failure. Specifically, users, as goal-directed actors, interact with Blockchain platforms to co-create resulting actions or outcomes, some of which may not have been intended in the design phase.

This Research Topic seeks submissions that would contribute to the understanding of such perceived and actualized affordances. We believe this is best articulated through use-cases that provide narratives of design considerations as well as implementation outcomes of Blockchain platforms in various industries and societies.

It is the intended goal of this Research Topic to fill the void between theory and practice with a set of papers that comprehensively address how perceived affordances may better fit with actualized outcomes.

Both theory and practice papers are invited but they must present evidence-based research and analysis of Blockchain use-cases and their affordances. Cross-industry, geography and culture comparison that provides a rich picture of how Blockchain is implemented with consideration of such differences are particularly sought. The following are suggested as topics of interest:

• Affordances of Blockchain in Industry and Society: gaps in theory and practice
• Synthesis of Perceived and Actualized Affordances from Multiple Use-cases
• Enabling and Constraining Affordances of Blockchain
• Validation of Blockchain Use-case Design and Implementation
• Cross-industry, geography and culture benchmarking of Blockchain Use-cases
• Reference Models for Blockchain Use-Cases


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Blockchain technologies have been applied to a host of challenges in industry and society in areas ranging from government, healthcare, logistics and financial services. While perceived benefits are numerous, many of these are in theory. The application of Blockchain in many use-cases have led to disappointment like many such socio-technical systems. The experiences of users interacting with Blockchain features and characteristics have resulted in many unintended outcomes. The IS discipline defines affordances as “possibilities for goal-oriented action afforded to specified user groups by technical objects”, emerging from the socio-technical interaction of IT artefacts and organizational features. Some scholars think that “perceived” affordances need to be “triggered” or “actualized” by actors to achieve “enabling” outcomes and avoiding “constraining” effects since affordances only refer to possibilities for action. Hence Use-Cases that describe the above actions are particularly salient.

Gartner claims that 80% of Blockchain projects fail. This Research Topic seeks to investigate "why" through the lens of Affordance Theory (AT). AT posits that the features or characteristics of any technology do not necessarily materialize into a positive outcome. In a socio-technical context, it is the joint functioning of the technology features with the social context that determines its success or failure. Specifically, users, as goal-directed actors, interact with Blockchain platforms to co-create resulting actions or outcomes, some of which may not have been intended in the design phase.

This Research Topic seeks submissions that would contribute to the understanding of such perceived and actualized affordances. We believe this is best articulated through use-cases that provide narratives of design considerations as well as implementation outcomes of Blockchain platforms in various industries and societies.

It is the intended goal of this Research Topic to fill the void between theory and practice with a set of papers that comprehensively address how perceived affordances may better fit with actualized outcomes.

Both theory and practice papers are invited but they must present evidence-based research and analysis of Blockchain use-cases and their affordances. Cross-industry, geography and culture comparison that provides a rich picture of how Blockchain is implemented with consideration of such differences are particularly sought. The following are suggested as topics of interest:

• Affordances of Blockchain in Industry and Society: gaps in theory and practice
• Synthesis of Perceived and Actualized Affordances from Multiple Use-cases
• Enabling and Constraining Affordances of Blockchain
• Validation of Blockchain Use-case Design and Implementation
• Cross-industry, geography and culture benchmarking of Blockchain Use-cases
• Reference Models for Blockchain Use-Cases


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

19 July 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

19 July 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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