The main objective of this paper is to analyze RFID technology as an innovation concept through the lens of the diffusion of innovation theory. Drawing on the extant literature on the diffusion of innovations –with an emphasis on innovation classifications and the “open innovation”–, as well as on an analysis of a longitudinal case study conducted in a Canadian beverage supply chain currently exploring the potential of RFID technology, this research study suggests that RFID technology is a multidimensional concept than encompasses the traditional classifications of innovations (e.g., technological and organizational innovation, product and process innovation, incremental and radical innovation, interactive innovation) and emerging classifications such as open innovation. Therefore, any study on the assessment of the impact of RFID-enabled supply chain optimization should be aware of the locus of interest of each supply chain stakeholder with regard to RFID technology in order to better capture the network effect associated with the technology.


RFID technology, diffusion of innovation, open innovation, living laboratory


ISBN: [978-1-86435-644-1]; Full paper