The role of independent advocacy groups in RFID technology use: the current status of RFID technology adoption in New Zealand
Radio frequency identification, also known as RFID technology, has been commercially available since World War II. In recent years, interest has turned toward using RFID in supply chain management, such as monitoring and tracking business processes. There are many businesses that have already invested in an RFID supply chain management solution but little is known about the current state of diffusion of RFID technology and the role of advocacy groups in the diffusion process. This research investigated the current state of RFID diffusion in New Zealand according to diffusion of innovation and Moore’s theory to provide insight into the role of innovation advocacy groups such as New Zealand RFID Pathfinder Group (referred as the NZ RFID Pathfinder Group). RFID in supply chain management terms is inter-organisational and much of the role of advocacy groups is in networking between players in the supply chain management context. Therefore, this research focused on industry group leaders. The research was conducted in two main parts, an online questionnaire survey and a follow up interview. The online questionnaire survey used a quantitative approach while the interview used a qualitative one. In summary, the result show that: 14% industries (seven out of 51) have already adopted RFID technology, the industries were from importer, research institute, manufacturing, and distribution; 36% have plans (16 out of 44) to adopt RFID technology in the near future, the industries were from importer, research institute, manufacturing, and distribution; and 64% industries (28 out of 44) did not any plan to adopt RFID. The strong recommendation was to standardise each aspect of the technology, making the products available to clients and creating competition between RFID technology service suppliers, thus bringing down the cost through market forces. Increasing the number of members of advocacy group could also encourage RFID adoption. One group of potential RFID adopters in the future will be local branches of international companies with a mandate to adopt RFID technology. The results suggest that the NZ RFID Pathfinder Group should set the direction of NZ RFID adoption; get involved in national pilots; and the activities of lobbying governments and associations and information sharing.