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May 2010 Download this article
Rebecca Angeles talks with and answers a few questions about this month's Fast Moving Fronts paper in the field of Economics & Business. 
Rebecca Angeles 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 knowledge?

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 abroad."

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 future?

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 jobs abroad.

Dr. Rebecca Angeles
Full Professor
Management Information Systems Area
Faculty of Business Administration
University of New Brunswick, Fredericton
Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada


KEYWORDS: RFID technologies; supply chain; SYSTEMS.

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2010 : May 2010 - Fast Moving Fronts : Rebecca Angeles Discusses Her "Road Map" on Covering Key Implementation Issues