General managers and IT Managers must assess the potential effectiveness of
emerging technologies and new applications of existing technologies such as Radio
Frequency ID, blogging, social networks, navigation systems, and wireless technologies.
The group will focus on RFID from a managerial perspective.
Radio Frequency ID:
According to wikipedia:
“Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is an automatic identification method, relying on
storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags or transponders. An
RFID tag is an object that can be attached to or incorporated into a product, animal, or
person for the purpose of identification using radio waves.”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rfid viewed 8/17/2009.
Your group might structure the presentation as follows:
I. Overview of RFID:
Your group’s job would be to explain to general managers the business value of RFID.
Specifically, the group should address:
Show the RFID technology (such as tags, writers, and readers); Short video
clips can be very helpful here.
Describe the different types of tags, their read range, how much data they can
store, and uses
Explain the major RFID standards—what information can be coded on the
Size of market, dollars spent on RFID
Brief history of RFID (no more than 2 slides)
Promised business benefits of RFID
Future of RFID: micro tags, digestible tags, etc.
Limitations or controversies (such as tagging hospital patients) of RFID
Suitable contexts in which general managers should consider adopting RFID
II. Applications of RFID in business:
Much of the presentation could focus on innovative applications of RFID in businesses
such as retailers (Wal-mart), public services (libraries & subways), livestock, the
automotive industry, etc. Your cases should focus on reasons for adoption, expected
versus actual benefits of adoption, how the technology changed business processes,
and lessons learned from adoption. At least one of these applications should be based
on original interviews. All sorts of organizations use RFID and it should be easy to find
people who understand the RFID application and the business impact of the RFID
If focusing on an emerging technology in a company, provide the Company Background
Size of company in terms of sales and profits
Major products the company sells
General characteristics of their customers
The RFID project might include:
Project scope, time and budget estimate
Actual project delivery date and budget
Degree of success and failure of the project
Lessons learned by the company
III. Lessons Learned
The group might end the presentation on best practices for effective RFID systems,
then map how your cases fit into best practices. This is essentially a cross-case
comparison that integrates your primary (case studies) and secondary (journal articles &
If you have other creative ideas, please feel free to discuss them with me.
Sample academic articles:
The Communications of the AIS had a Special issue on RFID research in 2008:
MIS Quarterly Executive also has good academic articles on RFID, including this one by
top researcher Bill Hardgrave:
Hardgrave, B., Langford, S., Waller, M., and Miller, R. (2008), “Measuring the Impact of
RFID on Out of Stocks at Wal-Mart,” MIS Quarterly Executive, Vol. 7, 4, pp. 181-192.