Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

The Potential of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations for Enhancing Inter-Organizational Collaborations for Critical Infrastructure Resilience

Boris Petrenja and Paolo Truccob

School of Management, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.


Ensuring Critical Infrastructure Resilience (CIR) hugely relies on decisions and actions made by networks of public and private stakeholders and their inter-organizational collaborative capabilities. Public-Private Collaborations (PPCs) are currently the most prominent approach for building CI resilience all around the world, but still face many obstacles and challenges. The Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) paradigm, enabled by blockchain technology and smart contracts, provides the conceptual and technological means for new kinds of decentralized systems and allows for the emergence of new ways of governance and coordination for CIR.

The paper explores the potential of DAO for enhancing governance, decision-making, and coordinated resource management in order to tackle the current challenges of cross-organizational collaboration in CIR. It does so by critically comparing the traditional multi-actor governance models and the innovative DAO governance approach, taking the main objectives of PPCs and their current challenges in CIR as conceptual lenses. The key aspects of network governance are discussed, along with the advantages/shortcomings of different approaches, and their implications in the context of PPCs for CIR. This explorative study paves the way for both new streams of theoretical research and blockchain pilot projects in real contexts.

Keywords: Critical infrastructure resilience, Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO), Governance, Decision-making, Public-Private Collaboration (PPC).

Download PDF