Initiation, Experimentation, Implementation of Innovations: The Case for Radio Frequency Identification Systems

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This research primarily examines the stages hypothesis of the process of technology adoption by management personnel of organizations in the supply chain sector involving the Initiation, Experimentation, and Implementation stages. Further, this research examines key antecedents that may influence the various stages, including top management support, external pressure, and organization size. Using responses provided by top management representatives of 210 supply chain organizations on their organizations’ engagement with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technologies, this research finds that the stages hypothesis holds for RFID technologies. Specifically, organizations were seen to sequentially progress through the Initiation, Experimentation, and Implementation stages. Over 80% of organizations, who had reached the Implementation stage of adoption, had gone through the Initiation and Experimentation stages as well. Additionally, the data showed that the antecedents exerted varying levels of influences on the three stages. Top management support strongly influenced all three stages; external pressure influenced the Initiation and Implementation stages, and organizational size influenced Experimentation and Implementation stages. The paper discusses several implications for research and practice.



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