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The rise of the “next‐generation bar code”: an international RFID adoption study

Frédéric Thiesse (University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany)
Thorsten Staake (ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland)
Patrick Schmitt (Continental AG, Hannover, Germany)
Elgar Fleisch (University of St. Gallen & ETH Zurich, St. Gallen, Switzerland)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 9 August 2011




The present study is concerned with the determinants of RFID adoption among a group of early standards adopters. Despite the extensive discussion of the technological characteristics and expected benefits of RFID in the literature, only little is known about the drivers and barriers of RFID implementations in practice. This holds particularly for the later stages of the adoption process after an initial decision in favor of the technology was made. This paper aims to fill this gap by an analysis of a set of factors on the adoption of RFID, which have been shown to be relevant for the adoption of other forms of IT, such as ERP systems and EDI.


Based on a review of prior works, this paper constructs and empirically tests a structural model including factors related to the technology, the organization, and its environment.


The results suggest that top management support, perceived technology costs, and forces within the supply chain exert a significant influence on the adoption process. The study also finds that benefit perceptions have a significant but negative influence, which might be explained by the different modes of adopting RFID. The influence of a number of other factors known from the literature could not be supported by the study.


Prior works considered factors influencing the initial adoption decision among non‐adopters. In contrast with these, the focus is set on research on early adopters that have already made a decision in favor of RFID standards. The data underlying this study were collected from EPCglobal, an international association of RFID adopters covering the whole supply chain.



Thiesse, F., Staake, T., Schmitt, P. and Fleisch, E. (2011), "The rise of the “next‐generation bar code”: an international RFID adoption study", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 16 No. 5, pp. 328-345.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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