A Turn to Smart Contracts and Future Applications towards Construction Innovation: A Hybrid-Metric Review

Emmanuel Kingsford Owusu, Albert P.C. Chan, Gabriel Nani, Daniel Y. Agymang

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Research into smart contracts (SC) over the past decade has increased substantially, with colossal efforts stemming from the computer science and engineering domains. As SC remains a relatively new research paradigm for many areas, efforts from the construction management (CM) field has not been noted yet. This study examines the SC research trend right from the publication on the subject matter until 2018. It focuses on the longitudinal examination of SC research in terms of subject area concentration, and countries, contributions towards SC research and the key sources of SC research. The study also attempts to investigate the efforts made by construction management researchers towards the exploration and application of SC in construction management processes. A comprehensive bibliometric search of SC documents generated a search result of 1,002 publications. A total of 182 publications were examined since only peer-reviewed journal papers were considered for this review study. 2018 recorded the highest number of publications (over 400% increase of the previous year, 2017). China, the U.S., and the U.K. have been the leading countries contributing immensely towards SC research. Despite the tremendous efforts over the past decade of SC research, the results show a significant lack of interdisciplinary collaborations among researchers. Moreover, a huge gap of SC research in construction/project management-related domains was identified, revealing the need for critical explorations on SC research and the applicability of SC during the planning, procuring, executing, and managing construction project-related processes. This study is, therefore, intended to incite a deeper engagement in SC research from construction management (CM) researchers, identifying the benefits and challenges of the application of SC systems in CM processes. Thus, contributing to a deepened understanding of SC in CM.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConstruction Research Congress 2020
Subtitle of host publicationComputer Applications - Selected Papers from the Construction Research Congress 2020
EditorsPingbo Tang, David Grau, Mounir El Asmar
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780784482865
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventConstruction Research Congress 2020: Computer Applications - Tempe, United States
Duration: 8 Mar 202010 Mar 2020

Publication series

NameConstruction Research Congress 2020: Computer Applications - Selected Papers from the Construction Research Congress 2020


ConferenceConstruction Research Congress 2020: Computer Applications
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Blockchain Technology
  • Construction Management
  • Innovation
  • Smart Contracts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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