Blockchain Technology in the Construction Industry: Mapping Current Research Trends using Social Network Analysis and Clustering


Blockchain represents an evolving technology for distributed and secure recording and sharing of information. Meanwhile, blockchain has thrived in banking, finance, and supply chain; its usage within the construction industry is still in its infancy. To this end, the existing literature falls short in providing comprehensive quantitative understanding, within a systems-based analytic context, of the factors affecting blockchain utilization in construction applications. This paper fills this knowledge gap. The authors: (1) conducted an extensive literature review on blockchain implementation in the construction domain; (2) identified a list of 41 factors affecting blockchain implementation in construction projects categorized in four categories: challenges, needs, requirements, and capabilities; (3) utilized a social network analysis (SNA) approach on a database of 111 publications to quantitatively analyze the literature as related to the aforementioned factors; and (4) performed clustering analysis on the SNA graphs to determine the combinations of factors that are most likely co-occurring in research publications. SNA results indicate that while the most investigated factor was "increased trust and transparency between project parties", the least studied factors included: "cash upfront funding system", "change payment processes and procedures", "smart contracts design errors", "cryptocurrency fluctuations", "lack of sufficiently skilled personnel", and "increased awareness and capabilities of personnel". Also, clustering outcomes highlight that some combinations of factors are not well-represented in current scholarly efforts. Such imbalance and consequent knowledge gaps may contribute to the actual implementation rate of blockchain in construction applications. Ultimately, this paper provides a roadmap for potential future directions of blockchain construction-related research.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Blockchain Technology; Construction Industry; Information and Communication Technology; Network Analysis; Social Network Analysis

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1466-433X; 0144-6193

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2022 Taylor and Francis Group, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2022