Decentralized Autonomous Organizations and Network Design in AEC: A Conceptual Framework

9 Pages Posted: 9 May 2020

Date Written: October 9, 2019


Digital technologies are revolutionizing collaboration and value co-creation across traditional industry boundaries and thus generating the need for adaptive and innovative business models, new and flexible network forms as well as new digital processes and capabilities. Digital technologies are also changing the innovation logic of an organization. In recent years, digital tools and platforms have emerged as facilitators of innovation and collaboration, enabling loosely coupled networks of firms to merge knowledge and capabilities for the creation of competitive advantage. Exploring inter-dependencies between organizational structures, technology architecture and the coupling between system components, which would enable better collaborative processes, is currently one of the emerging research questions in the digital economy. In that context, the implementation of block-chain technology calls for a transformation of business models, roles, processes and workflows. It requires a new kind of governance and organization, which diverges from the common management processes present today. To address this gap this paper proposes an integrative conceptual framework for a block-chain-based organization and the resulting decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). Due to the complexity of value chains in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry and the traditionally slow implementation of innovation, the primary aim of our research is to show block-chain-applicability in a general organizational context in this first step. Hence, enabling a better understanding for practitioners and researchers how building blocks of common organizational design need to be re-conceptualized for the implementation of block-chain technologies in AEC, as use cases, practical demonstrations and standards are still missing.

Keywords: DAO, Block-chain, Knowledge Assets, Decision Rights, Value Chain

Suggested Citation

Sreckovic, Marijana and Windsperger, Josef, Decentralized Autonomous Organizations and Network Design in AEC: A Conceptual Framework (October 9, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Marijana Sreckovic (Contact Author)

TU Wien ( email )

Karlsplatz 13/ e234-2
Vienna, 1040

Josef Windsperger

University of Vienna ( email )

Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1
Vienna, A1090


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