Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), including Real-Time Location Systems (RTLS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS), are technologies that have evolved considerably in the past few years. They have the potential to provide a means by which organizations can follow employees in real time. However, this permanent surveillance may have unexpected impacts on employees as well as on the organization itself. We followed the systems development research process to build a hybrid RFID-GPS system that allowed for the real-time location of human resources both indoors and outdoors. We tested this system in the security service of a Canadian university and explored its impacts on the workgroup and its employees. Our findings suggest that this kind of system can work in a real-world context, and that it has distinct impacts on the individual and the organization of a type not usually observed with more traditional information systems.