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Title: An investigation into the nature and extent of the adoption of RFID in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa
Authors: Thakur, Surendra 
Issue Date: 2008
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) allows for the wireless transfer of data between a
small electronic transmitting tag and a reader without the necessity of line-of-sight. A
feature of RFID, is that this read operation may occur over long distances and that
multiple reads may occur. The aim of this study is to analyse the nature and extent of
RFID adoption in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa.
The study fits within the theory of innovation diffusion and is concerned with issues
around technology diffusion, adoption rates, and its associated critical success factors.
The estimation of RFID diffusion rate in the study is based on a telephonic survey of 140
companies. The respondents were chosen from a marketing database that had extensive
information on South African companies. Size was determined to be the selection criterion
as the literature indicates that size is the most compelling concomitant to innovativeness.
In this study, size was deemed to be companies that had more than 50 PC’s in one
geographic unit, of the company, in KwaZulu-Natal.
The key research result locates the RFID diffusion rate in KwaZulu-Natal to be around
19% which corresponds to points beyond the “chasm” as defined by innovation diffusion
The second phase of the study comprised the administration of a questionnaire to two
groups of IT professionals with the aim of comparing perceptions and other
characteristics between the two groups. The 140 respondents were asked to submit as
many professional staff as they could for an in-depth interview. The result was that 21
companies submitted 30 candidates. This yielded the two groups: the Adopter sample with
14 respondents, and the non-adopter sample with 16 respondents.
The analysis of results shows the two groups have similar views on many strategic factors
such as privacy, security, cost and standards etc. Adopters perceive that the following
factors impacts RFID adopting decisions more (than non-adopters): Turnover, Having
labour cost savings, RFID ubiquity, It will take as long for my company to adopt RFID as
it did for barcode, RFID cost awareness. On the other hand non-adopters felt that the
following factor impacts non-adoption of RFID Technology unproven or immature,
Human skills non-availability, Implementation costs, Corporate resistance, and, Support
Thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Master's Degree of Technology: Information Technology, Durban University of Technology, 2008.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Accounting and Informatics)

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