PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to compare perspectives on humanitarian logistics (HL) and supply chain management (SCM) among programmes and logistics/support staff.Design/methodology/approachUnderpinned by services supply chain management (SSCM) theory, a single case study of a leading international non-governmental organisation is presented based on a web-based survey of the organisation’s global operations staff, supplemented by semi-structured interviews conducted with senior representatives.FindingsThe study is believed to be the first to consider the different perspectives of programmes and logistics staff on the interpretation of logistics and SCM. The results indicate both significant divergence between the views of these two cohorts, as well as a general lack of clarity over the concept of SCM, its relationship with logistics and the cross-functional nature of SCM.Research limitations/implicationsInsufficient responses from programme staff limit the generalisability of the findings. Suggestions for future research include further examination of the potential of applying SSCM and demand chain management concepts to the humanitarian context.Practical implicationsThe results support the notion that a broader, more strategic interpretation of SCM, more clearly distinguished from the practice of HL, may assist in breaking down perceived jurisdictional boundaries, bridging the gap between programmes and logistics teams, and strengthening demand-chain influences and the “voice of the beneficiary”.Originality/valueBy taking into account the views of non-logisticians, a broader, cross-functional interpretation of SCM is offered leading to revised definitions for both SCM and HL within this sector, together with a framework that integrates SCM across humanitarian relief and development contexts.
Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 3, 2017