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An exploratory study of RFID implementation in the supply chain

Suhong Li (Bryant University, Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA)
Danielle Godon (United Technologies, Hartford, Connecticut, USA)
John K. Visich (Bryant University, Smithfield, Rhode Island, USA)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 24 September 2010




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the barriers and motivations for adopting radio frequency identification (RFID), the level of RFID implementation, the processes RFID is utilized in, and issues in the deployment of RFID.


A survey instrument was developed based on a literature review. The survey was then distributed to the members of the Association for Operations Management Rhode Island and Boston chapters. The results were then analyzed.


It was found that the majority of the surveyed firms are not considering RFID implementation. Lack of a business case and lack of understanding were cited as their main concerns. For firms considering RFID implementation and firms that had implemented RFID, better inventory management, obtaining competitive advantage, and cost reduction were the three most important motivations for adopting RFID. Financial concerns and the lack of a business case were the most prevalent issues. In addition, product tracking (pallets, cases, and items) in shipping was the most cited RFID application. It was also found that considering firms are facing less pressure from customers to adopt RFID and reported a much higher degree of apprehension regarding potential issues than implementing firms reported for actual difficulties faced.

Research limitations/implications

One of the limitations is the small sample size (n = 49) which may limit the generalizability of the results.


By identifying barriers, motivations, and issues in the implementation of RFID, this study further educates practitioners on the challenges and opportunities of RFID, as well as providing direction to academicians for further research on this area.



Li, S., Godon, D. and Visich, J.K. (2010), "An exploratory study of RFID implementation in the supply chain", Management Research Review, Vol. 33 No. 10, pp. 1005-1015.



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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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