PhD defence by Karim Jabbar POSTPONED

The PhD defence has been postponed due to the COVID-19 situation. We will announce the new defence, as soon as a new date is set.

Title: Infrastructural Entrepreneurship in the Context of Blockchain
Date of defence: 3 April 2020, 13:15
Place: Auditorium Store UP1, Universitetsparken 5, 2100 Copenhagen Ø


In this PhD thesis I explore entrepreneurial activities taking place in the context of the emerging Blockchain information infrastructure. Through a research approach based on ethnographic inquiry and interventionistic approaches, I investigate the entrepreneurial actions performed by entrepreneurs and other infrastructuring agents in selected domains of Blockchain application.

The empirical accounts emerging from these participant-observant investigations, are the basis for an article collection consisting of 4 peer-reviewed publications, that have been published over the course of the PhD process, as well as a thesis essay bringing together the contributions of the papers into an overall framework for understanding entrepreneurship in the context of the Blockchain information infrastructure. More specifically, I introduce infrastructural entrepreneurship as a concept emphasizing how entrepreneurship is performed in a context that is simultaneously entrepreneurial and infrastructural. It is “infrastructural” in that stable coordination mechanisms are being sought via novel technology tools, but done so in relation to legacy coordination mechanisms. It is entrepreneurial in that the key actors demonstrate business-minded incentive structures for deploying such infrastructure.

The proposed framework unpacks how entrepreneurship performed in this context involves an ongoing and iterative creation of “Blockchain assemblages” that are used in relational alignments with stakeholders in the targeted domains of application. Finally, the framework also explains how this engagement will take the shape of a “growing” of new infrastructures, or “grinding” against established infrastructures. Overall, the thesis provides insights into the role of entrepreneurial activities in the emergence, stabilization and translation of information infrastructures in various domains, as well as empirical insights into how information infrastructures develop in practice.  

Assessment Committee

Chairperson: Professor Jørgen Bansler, Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Associate Professor Louise Barkhuus, IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Associate Professor David Ribes, University of Washington, WA, USA 

Academic supervisor

Professor Pernille Bjørn, Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen

For an electronic copy of the thesis, please contact