Longstanding assumptions underlying strategic alliances, such as agency theory, are actively being revoked by dynamics in the new economy. The mechanism of inter-firm cooperation is increasingly being altered by radical developments in blockchains and artificial intelligence among other technologies. To capture and address this shift, this review takes a problematisation approach and focuses wholly on the pertinence of agency theory. First, it begins by acknowledging the established corpus in the area before, second, appraising the seven long-held assumptions in the principal-agent relationship encompassing (1) self-interest, (2) conflicting goals, (3) bounded rationality, (4) information asymmetry, (5) pre-eminence of efficiency, (6) risk aversion and (7) information as a commodity. Third, to add a fresh perspective, the review proceeds to proffer seven assumptions to advance a novel ‘Blockchain Agency Theory’ that would better describe new attributes and relaxed agency behaviour in blockchain alliances. These counter assumptions are (1) common interests, (2) congruent goals, (3) unbounded rationality, (4) information symmetry, (5) smart contracts, (6) mean risk and (7) information availability. In the fourth part, the prior audience of principals and agents is appraised and this culminates into, fifth, a consideration of a new audience of blockchain agency in algocratic environments. Altogether, the seven new assumptions extend and provoke new agency thinking among scholars and blockchain practitioners alike.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Technological Forecasting and Social Change|
|Early online date||13 Mar 2023|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 13 Mar 2023|
Bibliographical noteThis is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
- Agency theory
- Bounded rationality
- Information asymmetry
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business, Management and Accounting(all)
- Computer Science(all)
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)