P15 Blockchain technology and public governance

Corresponding chair/co-chair

Dr. Evrim Tan – KU Leuven, Belgium. Email: evrim.tan@kuleuven.be 

Review group chair/co-chair

Dr. Sorin Dan – University of Vaasa, Finland. Email: sorin.dan@uwasa.fi

Panel group chair/co-chair

Dr.  Khuram Shahzad – University of Vaasa, Finland. Email: khuram.shahzad@uwasa.fi


Blockchain technology has become a key disruptive technology with the rapid digitalization of the public sector. This panel will focus on understanding the implications of this technology on public governance/management, the trust and public value systems, and the formation of citizen-centric and decentralized systems in public governance.

By creating an autonomous, transparent, and secure distributed system, blockchain-based systems may enable the removal of intermediaries in any system of governance as trustees, replacing them with an algorithmic confidence system (Tan et al, 2022, De Filippi et al, 2020, Tan & Rodriguez Müller, 2020). Blockchain can trigger and improve collaboration among different actors and mitigate the negative effects of working in silos (Juszczyk and Shahzad, 2022; Shahzad, 2020). However, not everyone agrees that governance without centralized control is feasible or desirable.  Furthermore, certain leadership competencies and skills are required to cultivate and explore how leaders can prepare their organizations for technological change (Imran et al., 2021). It is pertinent to investigate how leaders and organizations in the public sector reflect on the challenges and barriers they face in adopting and implementing disruptive blockchain solutions which remain unaddressed in the current literature. 

We are looking for empirical and theoretical papers that deal with the adoption and use of blockchain technology in the public sector. The panel is open to papers that address this theme. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Implementation challenges of blockchain-based systems in the public sector
  • Trade-offs at the design level of governance of/by blockchain and their implications on public value systems
  • The relationship between blockchain and trust (citizen and/or administrative)
  • The leadership skills and competencies that public managers require to adopt and use blockchain
  • The change processes that public organizations go through as they adopt blockchain 

The panel will discuss the opportunity for publishing the presented papers as part of a special issue or edited book on Blockchain technology and public governance.


De Filippi, P., Mannan, M., & Reijers, W. (2020). Blockchain as a confidence machine: The problem of trust & challenges of governance. Technology in Society, 62, 101284.

Imran, F., Shahzad, K., Butt, A., & Kantola, J. (2021). Digital transformation of industrial organizations: toward an integrated framework. Journal of Change Management21(4), 451-479.

Juszczyk, O., & Shahzad, K. (2022). Blockchain Technology for Renewable Energy: Principles, Applications and Prospects. Energies15(13), 4603.

Shahzad, K. (2020, July). Blockchain and organizational characteristics: towards business model innovation. In International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (pp. 80-86). Springer, Cham.

Tan, E, Mahula, S., & Crompvoets, J.  (2022). Blockchain governance in the public sector: A conceptual model for public management. Government Information Quarterly, 39 (1).

Tan, E. & A. P. Rodriguez Müller (2020). The Use of Blockchain Technology in Digital Coproduction: The Case of Barcelona. Proceedings of Ongoing Research, Practitioners, Workshops, Posters, and Projects of the International Conference EGOV-CeDEM-ePart 2020, pp. 125 – 134.  CEUR.