Mind the Gap: Tech-Based Dispute Resolution for Disputes in Global Supply Blockchains

Patricia Zivkovic* (Corresponding Author), Denise L. McCurdy, Mimi Zou, Anjanette H. Raymond

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Blockchain for supply chain use cases is quickly becoming a prevalent topic of discussion among distribution giants and smaller players. The actual and perceived benefits of blockchain have driven these discussions, as supply chain partners are well aware of the data protection, increased transparency, and end-to-end authentication of goods that blockchain technology can provide. Track and trace mandates from regulatory bodies are also driving the discussions. However, missing from the dialogue is how partners in this ecosystem manage and resolve disputes using smart contracts inherent in blockchain instead of existing dispute resolution mechanisms and processes. This gap is critical; trust will be eroded if supply chain partners do not have adequate dispute resolution mechanisms within the blockchain ecosystem. This paper highlights the areas of friction and potential disputes for supply chains arising from emerging technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), asset management using Internet of Things (IoT), and particularly blockchain, a type of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). We discuss the importance of regulation in how the use of DLT in supply chains is managed and suggest principles of resolving inevitable disputes with disparate information. We emphasize the need for portable and enforceable contractual terms and argue that standardizing how disputes are resolved may go a long way to technology adoption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-26
Number of pages14
JournalBusiness Horizons
Issue number1
Early online date30 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Blockchain
  • Asset management
  • Distributed ledger technology
  • Supply Chain


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