Rebecca Angeles talks with
ScienceWatch.com and answers a few questions about
this month's Fast Moving Fronts paper in the field of Economics
Article: RFID technologies: Supply-chain applications
and implementation issues
Author: Angeles, R,
Journal: INFORM SYST MANAGE 22 (1): 51-65 WIN 2005
Addresses: Univ New Brunswick, Fac Adm, Management Informat
Syst Area, POB 4400, Fredericton, NB, Canada.
Univ New Brunswick, Fac Adm, Management Informat Syst Area,
Fredericton, NB, Canada.
Why do you think your paper is highly cited?
Does it describe a new discovery, methodology, or synthesis of
Information Systems Management Journal is an excellent journal for
comprehensive-type articles that cover a broad range of issues on an
upcoming hot topic. The timing of the release of the journal article was
also key—I wrote the article at just the right time, when interest in
RFID was picking up right around 2005.
There were not too many introductory articles on the topic at that time
that had the broad coverage I offered in the ISM article. I wrote
a broad-based "road-map"-type article covering key implementation issues,
which, at that time, was topical for novice researchers or those academics
just picking up interest on the topic and the writing style for the article
was accessible. At that time, memorable short case studies were being cited
on the subject of early "leader firm" implementations of RFID.
"With the current job recession, particularly in North
America, it seems socially irresponsible to export IT jobs
I'd say the journal article was mainly a compact and comprehensive
synthesis of existing knowledge at that time, rather than focusing on a new
discovery or research methodology.
Would you summarize the significance of your paper
in layman's terms?
RFID technologies hold the promise of closing some of the information gaps
in the supply chain, especially in retailing and logistics. As a mobile
technology, RFID can enable "process freedoms" and real-time visibility
into supply chains. This article provides an introduction to the
technology, several case examples, and implementation guidelines for
managers, based on published reports.
This is good "entry" level material for supply chain managers who perceive
themselves as "novices" with respect to RFID. The journal article suggests
alternative routes to take for a firm contemplating RFID initiatives in
their supply chains.
How did you become involved in this research and
were any particular problems encountered along the way?
My stream of research is in the area of interorganizational systems (IOS)
using electronic technologies. In the past, I had written on electronic
data interchange or EDI, extranets, B2B marketplaces supporting
e-procurement. Then, supply chain management became a hot topic and beaming
the light on RFID was a "natural" for zeroing in on supply chain visibility
and integration issues, which peaked around the years 2001 or 2002.
Where do you see your research leading in the
I'm currently investigating outsourcing IT projects and their repercussions
on a firm's supply chain efficiency and effectiveness and IOS.
Do you foresee any social or political
implications for your research?
I'm simultaneously looking at the social responsibility aspects of
outsourcing and offshore outsourcing—this is a major U-turn from the
usual research articles I write. With the current job recession,
particularly in North America, it seems socially irresponsible to export IT
Dr. Rebecca Angeles
Management Information Systems Area
Faculty of Business Administration
University of New Brunswick, Fredericton
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada Web
KEYWORDS: RFID technologies; supply chain; SYSTEMS.