PhD defence C.M. (Curtis) Goldsby

Demystifying Digital Governance: Exploring the Mechanisms and Trade-offs of Blockchains for Organizations
Promotor J.C.M. van den Ende
Dr. H.J.D. Klapper
Thursday 29 Feb 2024, 13:00 - 14:30
PhD defence
Senate Hall
Erasmus Building
Campus Woudestein
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On Thursday 29 February 2024, C.M. Goldsby will defend the doctoral thesis titled: ‘Demystifying Digital Governance: Exploring the Mechanisms and Trade-offs of Blockchains for Organizations ‘.

Brief summary on the aim of the doctoral thesis:

Amid digital transformation, organizations are adopting innovative governance forms to complement or automate existing structures. This dissertation highlights the role of digital governance in facilitating digital exchange relationships within and among organizations. First, a typology of digital governance is introduced, comprising analog, augmented, and automated governance forms, each with distinct control, coordination, incentive, and trust mechanisms. Second, the dissertation explores blockchain technology as a key opportunity to implement digital governance within and among organizations, allowing trustless exchanges between actors, independence from costly intermediaries, and rule-based automation to reach consensus.

Within organizations, blockchains create direct information channels between principals and agents, impacting organizational structures in two ways. Vertical disintermediation streamlines structures, resulting in increased cognitive load due to growing information. By contrast, lateral reintermediation introduces new monitoring and incentive mechanisms but sacrifices flexibility for strict lateral sequencing.

Among organizations, founders face three pertinent blockchain governance trade-offs: (1) selecting the ideal combination of analog and automated governance mechanisms; (2) maintaining the delicate balance between exerting tight control versus driving network adoption, and; (3) weighing the inherent trade-off between rigidity and dynamism that can arise from deeply engrained founder imprints.

Overall, this research contributes to governance literature by defining digital governance as a distinct form, elucidating key mechanisms and trade-offs related to blockchains, and adding valuable insights for both academics and practitioners grappling with digital governance complexities. More broadly, this dissertation contributes to the discussion about digital transformation by shifting the focus from organizational processes and business models to digital governance.

More information

The public defence will begin exactly at 13.00 hrs. The doors will be closed once the public defence starts, latecomers may be able to watch on the screen outside. There is no possibility of entrance during the first part of the ceremony. Due to the solemn nature of the ceremony, we recommend that you do not take children under the age of 6 to the first part of the ceremony. 

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