How Blockchains Could Transform Management

What’s happening this week at the intersection of management and technology.

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Tech Savvy

Tech Savvy was a weekly column focused on new developments at the intersection of management and technology. For more weekly roundups for managers, see our Best of This Week series.
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Re-architecting the firm with blockchain: Is Craig Wright really Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of Bitcoin? Who knows — and really, who cares? The bigger issue is blockchains, the distributed ledgers that underpin cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Blockchain technology has so many uses that trying to summarize them can make veteran tech experts sound like PR hacks. “As such, it holds the potential for unleashing countless new applications and as yet unrealized capabilities that have the potential to change everything,” write Don Tapscott and his co-author and son Alex Tapscott in their new book, Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin is Changing Money, Business, and the World.

That might sound like hyperbole, but it seems like everywhere you turn these days you run into blockchains. Banks are trying to harness blockchain before its blows up their business models. IBM is betting on blockchains to give its revenues a bump. Disney has a blockchain team doing … well, who knows what.

What we haven’t heard very much about is how blockchain could fundamentally change how companies are managed and operate. That’s a good reason to take a closer look at Blockchain Revolution, in which the Tapscotts devote a chapter to the topic. “Blockchain technology is enabling new forms of economic organization and new portfolios of value,” they write. “There are distributed models of the firm emerging — ownership, structure, operations, reward, and governance — that go far beyond enhancing innovation, employee motivation, and collective action.”

Intrigued? If you’d like read more about how blockchains might change the everyday operation of a business, check out the excerpt from the chapter, reprinted with permission, below.

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Topics

Tech Savvy

Tech Savvy was a weekly column focused on new developments at the intersection of management and technology. For more weekly roundups for managers, see our Best of This Week series.
See All Articles in This Series

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