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RFID adoption and implementation in warehousing

Barbara A. Osyk (Department of Management, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA)
B.S. Vijayaraman (Department of Management, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA)
Mahesh Srinivasan (Department of Management, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA)
Asoke Dey (Department of Management, The University of Akron, Akron, Ohio, USA)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Article publication date: 7 September 2012




Large retailers and various government agencies have backed off from their earlier radio frequency identification (RFID) mandates. The RFID industry has also matured. The purpose of this paper is to examine RFID implementation in warehousing, utilizing empirical data to determine how the warehousing industry is changing with respect to RFID implementation.


An online survey was sent to Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) members at manufacturing firms, third party warehousing/logistics providers, wholesaler/distributors, and retail firms, to determine whether they are implementing RFID technology and what challenges they are facing.


Compared to an earlier study, it was found that fewer organizations are considering the technology. The respondents in general were less optimistic and concerns still exist on return on investment (ROI), potential benefits, integration, and other issues. Some items are of less concern, including cost, standards, and security, perhaps reflecting the maturity of the industry.

Research limitations/implications

This study was limited to a relatively small sample of WERC members but should continue to be replicated in the future as RFID technology adoption matures.

Practical implications

For RFID to be widely adopted by manufacturers and other firms upstream in the supply chain, they must be convinced of a better ROI, through cost reduction or improved business processes.


RFID is not hype and continues to mature. Few companies expected a positive ROI from the technology. These experiences and opinions should be of interest to those researching or considering RFID adoption.



Osyk, B.A., Vijayaraman, B.S., Srinivasan, M. and Dey, A. (2012), "RFID adoption and implementation in warehousing", Management Research Review, Vol. 35 No. 10, pp. 904-926.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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