Platforms, Blockchains, and Hybrids: Digital Governance of Interorganizational Networks

Curtis Goldsby*, Marvin Hanisch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleAcademicpeer-review


Digital platforms and blockchains have gained increasing attention as viable governance instruments for interorganizational networks. Research has juxtaposed these two instruments by emphasizing that platforms achieve network governance through intermediation, whereas blockchains do so through disintermediation. Extending this theoretical groundwork, we propose that platforms and blockchains can blend into hybrid forms with characteristics of both intermediation and disintermediation. Since this phenomenon has received scarce scholarly attention, we develop a rich, grounded theory of network-level interorganizational governance choices and transitions. We seek to better understand these complex governance phenomena with a focus on supporting trust and control mechanisms. Our model emerges from a longitudinal, qualitative analysis of Global Commerce Portal (pseudonym), a world-leading, industry-spanning global trade network. By highlighting how network governance transitioned from an intermediated, platform-based governance mode to a disintermediated, blockchain-based governance mode, we integrate and extend previously disparate scholarly conversations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10541
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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  • Best Paper Award

    Goldsby, C. (Recipient) & Hanisch, M. (Recipient), 8 Oct 2021

    Prize: Honorary awardAcademic


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