Determinants of rfid adoption intention in hajj organizations

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Hajj (Pilgrimage) is one of the five pillars of Islam, and it is compulsory to all able bodied and financially Muslims to perform at least once in their whole life. Millions of Muslims go to Mecca to perform their Hajj. Care of pilgrims is responsibility of Saudi Arabia authorities and Hajj organizers in all Islamic world countries. Managing of Hajj activities is a very complex task due to the huge number of pilgrims, the limited geographical area for the movement of pilgrims and the limited period of the Hajj. Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology can be used in various applications during Hajj season to provide good solutions to many problems and contribute in overcoming many difficulties. Despite this, RFID as an emerging technology has not been studied from Hajj perspective. Using the Technology- Organization-Environment (TOE) framework, this study develops a theoretical model for RFID adoption intention in Hajj Organizations. Nine variables (relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, top management, firm size, organization readiness, local government support, willingness to collaborate, and Saudi government support) are proposed to help predict RFID adoption intention. We include the willingness to collaboration among the organizers, which is an important factor in environmental context, but has been ignored in IS literature. In addition, we include Saudi government support as moderator variable. This study proposes to empirically test the model with adequate sample size of Hajj organizations.

I. Introduction

Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and it is compulsory to all able bodied and financially Muslims to perform at least once in their whole life. Hajj is the largest annual pilgrimage for Muslims over the world. Every year, millions of Muslims from all around the world go to Makkah (Mecca) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to perform their pilgrimage. Hajj authorities in Saudi Arabia are responsible for receiving pilgrims then housing them, service and maintain their safety. Managing of Hajj is a very complex task. The complexity in Hajj management is due to the huge number of pilgrims, the limited geographical area for the movement of pilgrims and the limited period of the Hajj.

The total number of pilgrims coming from outside or inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia increases every year as shown in the Table 1.





From Inside The Kingdom

From Outside The Kingdom


































































This continues increasing in the number of pilgrims causes many problems for authorities and organizers of Hajj. The most prominent problem is the overcrowding which results in other problems such as delay a large number of pilgrims at the main ports, where pilgrims required standing in a long queue for several hours, sometime up to a full day for the purpose of their immigration processing because of the large number of pilgrims. In addition, the difficulty of identify, monitoring and tracking of pilgrims in the crowded places at the Holy sites especially when natural disasters occurred and there are a number of the dead and wounded. Moreover, the huge number of pilgrims causes the loss of large numbers of pilgrims, especially the elderly, which adds a burden on the Hajj's authorities to search for them. In addition to the presence of large numbers of lost pilgrims and who need someone to guide them to their camps. From other side, the healthy authorities facing difficulty to know the healthy record for patients pilgrims no record or document shows the healthy state of pilgrims and the diseases they suffered, especially the chronically ills, as well as the difficulty of communication with them as they speak different and multiple languages [1].

RFID technology can contribute in solving some of these problems. In general, all pilgrims can be provided by a wristband RFID tag that can be worn at all times. The most significant information of the pilgrim should be stored in the tag. When present the tag to an RFID reader, this information can be retrieved and displayed on a handheld portable unit.

Examples of RFID applications include speed up the process of pilgrim's immigration processing at Saudi Ports, identification of pilgrims (dead and injured), monitoring and tracking of pilgrims, guiding lost pilgrims to their camps, and knowing the medical record of patients.

With respect to RFID adoption literature, there are many previous studies conducted for this purpose, but most of these studies addressed the adoption of RFID technology in the business sector, especially in the supply chain management (SCM) where RFID used to track and monitor products. However, studies examine the key factors influencing RFID adoption intention in the area where RFID used to monitor and track people especially in Hajj are still very scarce. There is no study addressed the issue of RFID technology adoption intention in Hajj organizations.

For purpose of analysing innovation adoption at the firm level, the technology-organization-environment (TOE) framework considers a reasonably theoretical basis [2]. Using the TOE framework, this paper proposed a model for RFID technology adoption intention in Hajj organizations. In the next section, background of RFID technology is showed. The literature on the adoption intention of RFID is reviewed in the section III. In section IV research model and hypothesis are proposed. Research methodology is described in section V. The conclusion is in the last section.

II. Radio frequency identification technology

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is an emerging technology that used for identifying, tracking and tracing objects, people, transactions or events where unique serial number (identity) and data of the object is transferred wirelessly using radio waves [3]. All automatically captured data can then be send directly to a computer system, avoiding less efficient and more error prone human intervention required to execute operational tasks and business intelligence analysis. The information that temporarily stored is then processed to feed other internal or external IT systems. Data is stored on an electronic data-carrying device called tag. The tag is attached to the object being tracked. The operations of power supply to the tag and data exchanging between the tag and reader are performed without having any physical contacts with the reader devices [3].

A. Architecture Of RFID System

In RFID system architecture as shown in Fig. 1 Data is exchanged between different layers where system and application functions are arranged

  1. RFID Tag (Transponder): An RFID tag is a tiny silicon microchip composed of an antenna, memory, an encapsulating material and optionally a small processing unit. It is combined with an antenna in a compact inlay. The inlay is converted into different form factor to allow the RFID tag to be attached to an object for tracking purpose. The tag's antenna picks up signals from an RFID reader or scanner and then returns the signal, which is the data with a unique serial number or other customized information.
  2. RFID Reader (Interrogator):An RFID Reader is an electronic device that generates and receives RF signals. The RFID reader uses an antenna to send and receive signals to and from RFID tags. The core part of the reader is a microprocessor embedded on the electronic circuit. Depending on their type, RFID readers can have various capabilities, which include: reading and writing data to tags; operating on either a single or on multiple frequencies; performing anti-collision processing [4].
  3. Middleware:In order to identify the data transmitted by the antenna, one or more special functional layers are required for IT system to do this task. This layer is the middleware layer. In this layer, the data are cleansed from any read or multiple readings errors which are not already cleansed by the readers and buffer it in a database. In accordance with the business process the data are filtered and then transferred to the backend systems [5].
  4. Backend Systems:This is the highest layer in RFID system architecture. It involves IT systems from standard software makers such as SAP, Oracle, Retek, and Microsoft or systems that have been programmed independently. These systems use the data received previously to support organization's business processes [5].

B. RFID Potential Applications in Hajj

RFID has many potential applications in Hajj season. In general, each pilgrim can be provided by a wristband RFID tag that can be worn at all times. The most significant information of the pilgrim (e.g. the name, address, nationality, age, blood type, health record, etc.) should be stored in the tag. When present the tag to an RFID reader, this information can be retrieved and displayed on a handheld portable unit.

The following are description for some of these applications.

  1. Pilgrims Immigration Processing at Saudi Ports: To speed up the pilgrim immigration processing at Saudi ports, each pilgrim should be provided with RFID wristband tag at the time of their grant of visa. This tag contains the most important information as mentioned above and should be linked to the backend database. At the ports, the gates should be installed with RFID readers in order to read RFID tag. Once the passage of pilgrims through these gates, the reader would pick up the information from backend database by the ID embedded in the RFID tag. In this way each pilgrim can get immigration permission without any delay [1].
  2. Identification of pilgrims (dead and injured):Overcrowding and stampede cannot be avoided in many Hajj activities especially in case of natural disasters, which may result in the death of some pilgrims, especially the elderly. In this case, identification of the dead bodies or badly mutilated bodies it becomes a challenge particularly in the absence or damage of identification's document of body. The RFID wristband tag supported by backend database would be able to track the missing pilgrims, and find all the other details [6].
  3. Monitoring and Tracking of Pilgrims:There are many difficulties during different phases of Hajj. One of them is difficulty of manage crowds of pilgrims in crowded places where dozens or even hundreds of pilgrims are killed because of the stampede. To avoid such cases, using RFID wristband tag given to each pilgrim, the Hajj authorities and organizers can monitor and track pilgrim's movement and count the number in each place segment. Once the number reaches the limit capacity, they can take appropriate action such as stop or redirect the flow of pilgrims through other paths less crowded [7] [8].
  4. Guiding Lost Pilgrims to Their Camps:large number of pilgrims comes to the service centers or police officers around the clock to guide them to their residences or camps because the places and directions in Mecca are not well-known for them as they came from different countries over the world. It is not always easy to find a speaker of the lost pilgrim's native language. Return to the information stored in RFID wristband tags which include all pilgrims' residence information, police officer or other official personnel can scan RFID tag by fixed or mobile reader and then give all required information to assist her/him [8].
  5. Knowing the Medical Record of Patients:Large number of pilgrims comes to medical institutes for treatment around the clock. In the absence of medical record related to the pilgrim, health care staff complains that they find it difficult when they examine the patients and diagnosis their health status. A further difficulty is that pilgrims who came from different countries from all over the world speak different languages and this result in the difficulty of communicating with people who need medical assistance or other services [1]. Storing patient pilgrims' medical record in RFID wristband tag will help medical authorities in providing correct treatment timely and therefore reducing the risk of inaccurate treatment and speeds up the process of primary tests [9].


A. Determinants of RFID Adoption

The general adoption of RFID began to take step forward in 2004 because of the mandates of large retailers such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Albertson as well as various government agencies such as Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security. A significant number of studies were devoted to investigate the factors influencing the adoption of RFID Technology in various industries such as healthcare industry, retail sector, supply chain and logistics industry, manufacturing, automotive industry and other industries.

Lee [10] proposed a model to investigate the motivations and driving forces behind RFID adoption within organizations in the healthcare industry. The model posited that technology push, need pull, and presence of champions are determinants for the likelihood of RFID adoption within organizations. Chen [11] identified perceived usefulness and performance expectancy as Influential factors on the intention to use RFID constantly in the hospital. Furthermore, Sun [12] found that ethical/privacy factors are as important as other environmental, technological, and organizational factors to make a technology adoption decision.

In supply chain and logistic industry, better inventory management, obtaining competitive advantage, and cost reduction are the three most significant motivations for RFID adoption [13]. Using discriminant Analysis, the environment, organization, technology and product factors have impact on the adoption of RFID by manufacturing companies in China [14]. An empirical study shows that explicitness and technology accumulation, organizational encouragement, quality of human resources, and governmental support are significant influences on the willingness to adopt RFID technology [15]. Furthermore, according to [16] pressure of competition and  transaction partners, suppliers' industry environment, cost, integration of supply chain strategy, complexity and mutual standard are affecting RFID adoption in the Taiwan's logistics industry. Yung-Hsiang [17] extracted the factors cost, globalization trend, technical interoperability and intention of upstream and downstream partner industry cooperation as most important factors for the adoption decision.

In the retail and manufacturing industries, advantage, complexity, organizational readiness, and supply chain integration are significantly affecting RFID adoption intention [18]. Moreover, compatibility, firm size and competitive pressure presented as a key variables influencing RFID adoption intention [19]. Furthermore, an exploratory study has been conducted to examine RFID adoption in the South African retail sector. The authors proposed TOE framework consists of technological factors (e.g., perceived benefits), organizational factors (e.g. top management awareness and interest), and external factors (e.g., the efforts of standards-making bodies). All factors within these three contexts have been found positive drivers of RFID Adoption [20].

B. Technology-Organization-Environment Framework

To study adoption of general technological innovation, Tornatzky and Fleischer [21] proposed the technology-organization-environment (TOE) framework. In this framework, the authors argued that technological context, organizational context and environmental context influence the process of technological innovations adoption and implementation by a firm. The technological context refers to the internal and external technologies that are relevant to the firm [21]. This may includes both the existing and emerging technologies. The organizational context refers to the characteristics and resources of the firm such as human resources, firm's size, managerial structure, degree of formalization, degree of centralization, amount of slack resources and linkages among employees [21]. The environmental context refers to the firm industry and its dealings with trading partners, competitors and government [21].

The TOE framework has been empirically supported and found practical in understanding the process of technological innovations adoption in many Information Systems (IS) domains such as EDI, open systems, material requirement planning, electronic business, e-commerce, internet, and digital transformation [22],[23], [24],[25],[26],[27].

The TOE framework is also consistent with innovation diffusion theory of Rogers [28], which identified five technological characteristics (relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability) as antecedents to any adoption decision and also emphasized on both the internal and external characteristics of the organization as drivers for technology diffusion [13],[27]. The TOE framework can be used for studying different types of innovations [29], in addition to specific IT innovations such as RFID [30]. Thus, TOE framework is more appropriate for this study and it provides a good starting point for investigating and analyzing the factors influencing RFID adoption intention by Hajj organizations, because it has many consistent empirical supports.

Technological factors are frequently studied among the three contexts in the literatures. Within this context, compatibility and complexity are found two most important factors followed by relative advantage, cost, performance, and so on. In the organizational context, top management support comes as the most cited factor followed by technological readiness, organization size, enterprise integration, et al. Environmental context includes competitive pressure, external support, governmental policy, information visibility and so on.


A. Research Models

Accommodated to the technology-organization-environment framework, a model for RFID adoption within Hajj authorities and organizers context is developed as shown in Fig. 2, which involves the three contexts. Technology context includes three characteristics of RFID technology which are relative advantage, compatibility, and complexity. Organization context includes also three characteristics of the organization which are top management support, organization size, and organization readiness. Finally, environment context contains the two factors namely: local government support and willingness. In addition to these variables within the three contexts, this study  add another factors which is   Saudi Government Support as moderator variable  and the study will test the effect of this variable on the relationship between the variables within technology, organization, and environment and the dependent variable which is the intent to adopt RFID.

B. Hypotheses

1) Technological Context:as mentioned above, technological context typically describes IT innovation characteristics that influence organization adoption of the IT innovation such as relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability and observability. However, Prior research have only suggested that among these five innovation characteristics ,factors including compatibility, complexity, and relative advantages are consistently important during the process to make an adoption decision [31], [32]. Thus, this paper considers only these three factors in the RFID adoption context: relative advantage, compatibility, and complexity.

Hypotheses about Technological context include:

H1.  Relative advantage will have a positive effect on Hajj organizations intention to adopt RFID technology.

H2. Compatibility will have a positive effect on Hajj organizations intention to adopt RFID technology.

H3. Complexity will have a negative effect on Hajj organizations intention to adopt RFID technology.

2) Organizational Context: Organizational context of an organization typically describes the characteristics of an organization that influence organizational adoption of technological innovation [21]. On the basis of review of organizational RFID adoption literature, the present study considers three organizational characteristics that are most frequently found to influence organizational adoption of the RFID technology. These organizational characteristics are: top management support, organization size and organization readiness.

Hypotheses about organizational context include:

H4. Top management support will have a positive effect on Hajj organizations intention to adopt RFID technology.

H5. Organization size will have a positive effect on Hajj organizations intention to adopt RFID technology.

H6. Organization readiness will have a positive effect on Hajj organizations intention to adopt RFID technology.

3) Environmental Context:According to the TOE framework, factors related to environmental context influence organizational adoption of IT innovations.

On the basis of review of environmental RFID adoption literature, this study considers only two  environmental factors that are more likely to affect RFID adoption intention in Hajj organizations which are local government support and willingness to collaborate.

Hypotheses about environmental context include:

H7. Local government support will have a positive effect on Hajj organizations intention to adopt RFID technology.

H8. Willingness to collaborate will have a positive effect on Hajj organizations intention to adopt RFID technology.

4) Moderator Variable:Since the adoption of RFID technology in Hajj firstly is the responsibility of the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which is the main responsible for organize and manage the Hajj's affairs among all other Islamic countries because the Hajj is performed on its own home, it is necessary for any other Hajj organization wants to adopt RFID technology or participate in the adoption to get support from the Saudi government. the Saudi government plays a key role in the success or failure of the adoption of this technology by firstly approving on the idea of adopting this technology in the Hajj, and then by providing legal facilities and financial support to the concerned authorities to implement this technology, and also by stimulates Hajj organizations to use this technology and makes pilgrims aware of the benefits of using this technology and so on.

Thus, it is expected that Saudi government support will moderator the relationships between core constructs and RFID adoption intent. Accordingly, the following hypothesis was proposed:

H 9: Saudi government support will moderates the relationships between technological, organizational and environmental constructs and RFID adoption intention by Hajj organizations.


A. Questionnaire Design

A self-administered questionnaire was developed for data collection purpose. The questionnaire consists of number of items that were either adapted from existing scales in previous similar studies and relevant literature or newly developed for this study in accordance with the proposed hypotheses presented in above. In total, 50 items covering the technological, organizational, and environmental contexts in addition to the basic information about respondents and organizations. A 5-point Likert scale was used for each item, anchored by strongly agree to strongly disagree.

B. Study Sampling

Since the study population consists of all Hajj organizations around the world, it is so difficult to represent all of this population. So the researcher turned to the selection of a representative sample of the population. This sample is the Hajj's organizations in the South-east Asia's countries in addition to Hajj service providers in Saudi Arabia represented by National Tawafa Establishment for South-East Asian Pilgrims as a representative of the Saudi Arabia authorities and responsible for regulating the affairs of the pilgrims from South East Asia.

There are several reasons and justifications for the selection of the sample. Firstly, South-East Asia Islamic countries are the countries where the author, as a researcher, is well connected since he currently lives in one of these countries namely:  Malaysia.

Secondly, Islamic countries in South-East Asia represent a significant proportion of the total number of Muslims over the world. Thirdly, the South-East Asian countries are the more Islamic countries advanced, particularly in field of information technology compared with other Islamic countries and this is what will allow the researcher conducting the study which is expected to receive a high response compared with other Islamic countries that live in the backward side in terms of information technology. So, we believe that selecting the sample from Hajj organizations in South- East Asia and National Tawafa Establishment for South-East Asian Pilgrims is appropriate for the present research.

The sampling frame of this study contains the names, addresses and contact information of 184 organizations. The researcher will contact with these organizations in order to indentify all persons who will participate in the study survey.

This study targets the senior and middle managers who are directly responsible for RFID adoption decision in their organization. Thereafter, the sampling frame is expected to exceed this number in much. The simple random sampling technique will used to draw samples from the sampling frame.

C. Data Collection Method

Using questionnaire survey method, the data will be collected in order to test the research model. The questionnaire will be reviewed before send it out by academics experts in the area of this study to make certain that the survey's items completeness, efficiency, relevancy and also to check the structure, sequence, wording, and overall appearance and arrangement of the items in the questionnaire.

After that, a web version of the questionnaire will be developed. The online questionnaire will then pre-tested by small sample that will be randomly drawn from the sampling frame to ensure that the items will be interpreted properly and the survey format will be in order and also to ensure that the survey questionnaire captured the phenomena desired.

Based on the results of the pre-test, changes will be made to the questionnaire if there is a need. Then, the link to the online questionnaire will be e-mailed to all participants with a cover letter that describes the purpose of this study and explain RFID technology.

All responses will be received electronically from the respondents who completed the questionnaires online.


In this paper, the factors affecting RFID adoption intention in Hajj organizations are explored based on technology-organization-environment framework. The research model involved factors within technology context, organization context, and environment context. The willingness to collaboration among the organizers is added to the model as new variable which is an important factor in environmental context, but has been ignored in IS literature. In addition, the model included Saudi government support as moderator variable. We believe that our current understanding of RFID adoption and infusion will increase as a result of this study. Form RFID technology adoption perspective, the proposed model will be able to clarify the adoption intention and diffusion of RFID technology in Hajj organizations context. From a practical view, based on the main findings, the study will draw important implications to help managers in Hajj organizations to make appropriate strategic decisions on RFID adoption and implementation.