Open Access
Bhattacharya, Mithu
Graduate Program:
Information Sciences and Technology
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
October 04, 2010
Committee Members:
  • Dr Tracy Mullen And Dr Lynette Kvasny, Dissertation Advisor
  • Tracy Mullen, Committee Chair
  • Lynette Marie Yarger, Committee Chair
  • Irene Johnston Petrick, Committee Member
  • Zhibiao Zhao, Committee Member
  • Content analysis
  • Adoption
  • RFID
  • Delphi
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) mandates by large retailers and various government agencies have driven a large number of organizations to roll out the technology. Despite these commitments the business case for RFID is far from reality and is still at its infancy. This dissertation work aims at providing realistic perspective on the potentials of RFID taking business processes and value chain activities into account. The research is applied and interdisciplinary in nature and bases itself on inductive reasoning. The dissertation deals with two broad research questions. The first research question focuses on the impact of RFID on retail value chain. The second research question focuses on the factors that influence RFID adoption decision in retail organizations. To answer the research questions a mixed methodological approach that well caters to the exploratory nature of the work is used. First, formal content analysis methodology is used to analyze both academic and trade articles to come up with key issues and concepts that are developed iteratively. The results from the content analysis along with guiding theories act as the input for the Delphi study which is the second methodology that is used. The results help to develop a conceptual framework of the impact of RFID on retail value chain providing deep insights and enhancing the understanding of potential benefits, RFID applicable business processes and value chain activities, and adoption challenges. These relevant issues are classified across different adoption stages in the framework. Drawing on the extant information systems and organizational innovation literature, this dissertation also investigates the salient drivers of emerging RFID adoption in retail organizations, and develops an RFID adoption decision conceptual framework. According to this framework technological factor relative advantage, environmental factors competitive pressure and catalyst agent, and value chain factor complexity in retail value chain influence RFID adoption decisions in retail. The findings from this research will provide a theoretical platform for future RFID research work as well as aid in drawing meaningful managerial conclusions. It will allow to better understand what RFID can deliver, what deficiencies companies reveal, what business processes can be improved, and where its application in the value chain is sensible and likely to occur. It will also aid in better understanding the RFID adoption decision process particularly for retail. The dissertation concludes by highlighting both theoretical and practical implications and suggesting directions for future research. Four recommendations have been provided to future adopters drawing from the two conceptual frameworks derived in this dissertation. The derived frameworks are envisioned to be further refined and tested for other industries to test for generalizability.