A principal component analysis of barriers to the implementation of blockchain technology in the South African built environment

Opeoluwa Israel Akinradewo, Clinton Ohis Aigbavboa, David John Edwards, Ayodeji Emmanuel Oke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Blockchain technology is one of the emerging innovative technologies making waves globally, and it has been adjudged to have the capability to transform businesses. With the different capabilities of the technology, such as immutability of information and decentralisation of authority attributes, the built environment is slow in its adoption. This study aims to explore the barriers to the implementation of blockchain technology in the construction using a principal component analysis (PCA) approach. Design/methodology/approach: This research took a post-positivist philosophical stance, which informed a quantitative research approach through a questionnaire survey. From the South African built environment and information technology sector, 79 respondents were drawn through a snowballing sampling technique. The built environment professionals include architect, construction project manager, construction manager, quantity surveyor and engineer. Retrieved data were screened and analysed by adopting the descriptive analysis and PCA while Cronbach alpha evaluated the reliability. Also, Kruskal–Wallis H non-parametric test was used to determine the differences in the opinion of the respondent groups. Findings: The analysis revealed that all the identified barriers ranked above the average mean with lack of clarity, scalability risks and lack of skills or knowledge ranking top three. PCA clustered the identified barriers into three components: organisational barriers, social barriers and technological barriers. Research limitations/implications: This study was carried out in the Gauteng province of South Africa, leaving out other provinces due to accessibility, cost and time constraints. Practical implications: Built environment organisations need to be kept abreast of the capabilities of blockchain technology as the major barrier observed was the lack of clarity of blockchain technology. Also, the technological barriers identified from this study need to be addressed by information technology experts to give consumers the desired value for money in implementing blockchain technology for the built environment. Originality/value: The blockchain technology capabilities are incomparable to any other invention thus far. Therefore, it is very important that the numerous stakeholders in the built environment be made aware of the blockchain technology capabilities while formulating a solution to the identified barriers. This will aid its implementation in the built environment and help the industry measure up with its counterparts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)914-934
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Engineering, Design and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 2022


  • Blockchain
  • Built environment
  • Construction
  • Innovative technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • General Engineering


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