Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Information Systems

First Advisor

Balasubramaniam Ramesh

Second Advisor

Arun Rai

Third Advisor

Ling Xue

Fourth Advisor

Likoebe Mohau Maruping

Fifth Advisor

Jason Bennett Thatcher


As an emerging disruptive technology, blockchain has gained significant attention in both practice and academia. However, we still have a limited understanding of the complex governance issue of blockchain technology. Thus, this dissertation focuses on investigating decentralization, incentives, and configurations of blockchain governance. The first essay unpacks the multidimensional nature of decentralization in the context of proof-of-work blockchains. We conceptualized and operationalized three different dimensions of decentralization: physical, development, and pecuniary dimensions, which represent miners', developers', and token holders' perspectives, respectively. We also empirically studied the effects of physical and development decentralization on blockchain platform market capitalization as well as the mediating role of on-chain governance maturity. The second essay adopts a user's perspective, illuminating how the key features of users’ cryptocurrency incentive portfolio, namely, the volatility and vestingness, impact user engagement (i.e., posting, voting, and commenting) in blockchain-based online communities and the moderating role of user status. The third essay of this dissertation adopts a designers' lens, uncovering the specific configuration of blockchain design achieve high users' generative governance engagement. We employed a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) approach to examine the complex non-linear causality between blockchain governance configurations and user generative governance engagement. Overall, this dissertation provides a multistakeholder view of the complex governance issue of blockchain and contributes to blockchain governance, user engagement, incentives, and online community literature.


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