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Abstract

The reasons for reluctance or hesitation in deploying radio frequency identification for supply chain management (RFID/SC) may rely upon firms’ ability to innovate. This paper presents the findings of a study of adoption of RFID in New Zealand’s supply chains. Three ability factors were found to be important in the adoption of the technology: Compatibility, Facilitating Condition, and Readiness. This study argues that applying these factors to the firm and its environment helps to evaluate the issues surrounding the firm’s ability to innovate. For example, it was found that RFID was simply not suitable in some business scenarios; RFID technology was not compatible with some existing supply chain applications; it was perceived there was little support for the deployment of RFID at various points in a supply chain; and supply chain partners were waiting for each other to deploy or initiate RFID. This paper follows on a previous survey on the uptake of RFID in New Zealand’s supply chains and discusses some of the challenges that firms face when evaluating the use of RFID/SC. We found some relationships between adoption factors that are worth pursuing. For example, it was found that Compatibility, Facilitating Condition, and Readiness are key “ability” factors affecting RFID adoption.

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