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Research question and hypothesis

The purpose of the study is exploring the application of RFID in managing warehouse logistics. The qualitative study combines a literature review and survey to warehouse managers to identify the application of RFID in the warehouse, challenges of implementing, lessons learnt from literature, and benefits of implementing RFID in managing warehouse logistics.  The study questions include: what capabilities do RFID brings to warehouse management? What processes are affected by the implementation of RFID? What strategies can be used to overcome challenges encountered in the implementation of RFID?

Most organizations are replacing traditional and conventional systems with new, sophisticated techniques such as the JIT, introduction of automation and control systems, and adoption of item identification techniques such as the RFID, (Creswell, 2014). These new systems have been designed to improve the returns on investments, optimize inventory levels, and reduce the general warehousing costs. Regardless of the benefits these systems and technologies bring to warehouse management, small and middle-sized organizations are slow to implement them in warehouse management.  Identifying challenges that organizations encounter in implementing RFID in warehouse logistics and strategies that can be used to overcome these challenges will inform managers to adopt the technology at wider scale.  In addition, the study will provide best practices and lessons learnt from organizations that have implemented the technology.


The study will incorporate mixed methodology including a qualitative survey and literature review.  The qualitative survey will be conducted among managers of warehouses that have integrated RFID in their operations. The study uses qualitative research to allow flexibility in gathering data and interpreting them within the framed hypothesis. Qualitative researchers often work with samples of people nested in the context and studied in depth, unlike quantitative studies that focus on the large number of cases that seeks statistical significance. According to Zikmund (2000), the aim of qualitative studies is gaining greater understanding of a phenomenon rather than generalizing results.  Qualitative studies produce subjective data that answer the why, how, what and what questions.  They are also used to gain insights into experiences, attitudes, behaviors and culture of participants. This will help in understanding the experience and opinion of managers in RFID application.

The study will use interviews with managers. Interviews as methods of the qualitative study involve either face-to-face meeting or phone interview with participants to ask them a series of question. The study will utilize face-to-face interviews. The qualitative interviews will be used to describe central themes in the identified research questions.   Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2007) identify structured, semi-structured and unstructured interviews as the most common forms of interviews used in qualitative studies.  Semi-structured interviews and in-depth interviews will be used to retrieve primary data from warehouse managers.  Semi-structured interviews include a wide range of interviews where the interviewer prepares a set of themes or questions, but vary in the order in which questions are asked. The research can ask follow-up questions or ask clarifications during the interview. The interviews are designed to last 40 minutes, and responses will be recorded using a tape recorder. 

Secondary data for the literature review will be obtained from published articles, journals, books and companies’ reports. The “Desk research” will be used to collect data without fieldwork. According to Yadin (2002), “desk research” uses existing information from databases, company data and sources, directories and other published sources. Kent (2007) noted that secondary data entails proactively seeking existing data in qualitative and quantitative researches.  Such data is essential in interpreting primary data that will be obtained from interview survey.  These sources will be sourced from academic databases and organization sites.  In order to refine the search, only articles or journals published in the past five years (2009-2014) will be included in the study.

The quality of data will be evaluated through data deduction, display and drawing conclusions and verification.  The first phase of data evaluation (data reduction) will involve noting, recording, and shortening, simplifying, and compiling data from the interviewees.  The data will then be organized in a matrix of qualitative data. Finally, the data will be modified, analyzed, and conclusion made from the data.

Population and sample

Participating organizations will be selected from members of the American Chain of Warehouses (IWLA). IWLA promotes the warehousing and logistics industry in the USA, collect, study and exchange information to improve the management of warehouses among members.  The organizations will first be stratified to those that have integrated RFID and those which have not implemented.  The study will include only those organizations that have integrated RFID in their operations and were members of ILWA. 

A random sample of twenty organizations will be selected from the list of organizations with RFID in their operations.   ILWA membership concentrates in North American organizations. The research will include organizations from different industries to give a wider scope of RFID in warehouses.

Geographical location

The study will focus on organizations members of ILWA. Therefore, the geographic scope will be limited to organizations in North America.  ILWA has member organizations in most of the fifty states in USA and also in Canada. However, the study will be limited to companies with USA borders.

Pilot testing

Once the preliminary interview questions have been developed, the researcher should test the questions or questionnaire on a small sample of the population to identify and eliminate potential problems. According to Shukla (2008), a pilot test provides testing of all aspects of the questionnaire including content, wording, order, form and layout.  A pilot survey will be conducted with five managers to test the applicability of the questions and the time required to conduct the interview. The five managers will be selected conveniently to reduce the cost of the pilot test (Lior, 2013). Running a pilot test of the questionnaire is also important to detect the mundane errors such as typos, grammar mistakes, jumbled question order and numbering and the unnecessary repetitiveness. 

Discussion Assignment

Two of the most important consideration I considered in selecting the sampling strategy includes the scope of the study and the availability of the population.  The scope of the study dictated the sample size.  Being a qualitative study, the study interviews will be detailed and consume a lot of time. Therefore, a small sample size was selected.  The availability of the study population also influenced the selection of the sampling method.  Simple random sample is preferred when the population is readily available. In this case, the sample population is small because the target population includes members of ILWA only.

The textbook describes a number of sampling technique applicable in the study including probability sampling, simple random, systematic sampling, and stratified sampling. These sampling methods are applicable in researches, and those choices rely on a number factor.  Although sampling convenient sampling is effective when the sample popularization is huge and unidentifiable.    Simple random sampling is described in the textbook.  The method was used due to its simplicity is selecting participants and reducing bias.   In addition, simple random sampling requires that all members in the population be identified so that elements can be independently and directly selected from the full population. It was possible to identify all members’ population by focusing on members of ILWA. 


Kent, R. (2007). Marketing Research: Approaches, Methods and Application in Europe, Thomson Learning, UK

Lior G (2012). Handbook of survey methodology for social sciences.  Springer Publishers, USA. 

Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2007). Research methods for business students, (4thed.).Harlow: Financial Times/Prentice Hall.

Shukla P (2008). Essentials of marketing research.  Ventus Publishing ApS.

Zikmund, W.G. (2000). Business research methods, (6th ed.).Fort Worth, Tex.: Dryden Press.

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