Forging Field Intersections: The Case of the Intersection between the Field of Blockchain Innovation and Healthcare


Chang Lu

Date of Talk


Dr. Chang Lu is a postdoc research fellow at Blockchain@UBC. Trained in organization theory, Dr. Lu is interested in institutional change, organizational change, field theory and cross-level mechanisms. Empirically, he is researching the adoption of Blockchain technology in healthcare at both institutional and organizational levels. He has published several articles on leading management journals, and taught senior undergraduate and MBA students Organizational Strategy and Organizational Behavior. He serves as the supervisor of master and MBA students for their research projects, is currently creating education materials for executives about Blockchain in healthcare. He earned his Ph.D. in Strategic Management and Organization, School of Business from the University of Alberta. Prior to his academic career, he worked as an HR professional in China and Europe.


While the literature on organizational fields has paid much attention to the emergence of new fields, very little is understood about the emergence of field intersections. By field intersection, I refer it to as overlapping space between fields where actors frequently and fatefully interact with multiple fields. Research has demonstrated that field intersections are important sites where transformative change originates, due to the weaker pressure for institutional conformity and less accessible means of scrutiny (Furnari, 2014; Zietsma et al., 2017; Evan & Kays, 2008). In this study, I address the emergence of field intersections by case-studying the emergence of the intersection between the field of Blockchain innovation and healthcare. Through an inductive analysis of 43 interviews with key actors in the Blockchain innovation and healthcare field, as well as numerous documents and lengthy field observation notes, I found that field intersections may emerge through the following processes: (1) invoking cross-institutional unifiers; (2) coalescing around advantageously conditioned institutional entrepreneurs; (3) forging inter-field collaborations partaken by within-field competitors; (4) jockeying for authority in the intersection. These findings contribute to our understandings of field intersection, as well as the organizational literature on fields broadly.

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First Nations land acknowledegement

We acknowledge that the UBC Point Grey campus is situated on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm.

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