Purpose – This paper aims to point to established theory bases from other disciplines that may be used to illustrate the benefits, complexities and risks accompanying the adoption of radio‐frequency identification (RFID) technology. Design/methodology/approach – Three theory streams are explored with respect to RFID adoption at two levels: the level of the tagged unit; and the level of the adopting firm. Each theory stream is evaluated specifically with respect to RFID, and research questions are proposed. Findings – A variety of theoretical disciplines bring to light tension between uncertainty that spurs RFID adoption and uncertainty that accompanies RFID adoption. Practical implications – Insights are provided for managers wrestling with: the question of whether and/or how to adopt RFID; or concerns regarding the implications of their decision to adopt RFID. In addition, the theory bases explored in this research offer guidance regarding risks that accompany RFID adoption but are not commonly considered. Originality/value – For those contemplating adoption of, or research into, RFID technology, the paper offers a detailed synthesis of valuable theory streams, as well as promising research questions.
International Journal of Operations & Production Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 25, 2008
Keywords: Radio frequencies; Operations management; China