Investigating humanitarian logistics issues: from operations management to strategic action

Investigating humanitarian logistics issues: from operations management to strategic action Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to underline the advantages offered by applying the collective strategy model in the context of humanitarian logistics, enriching the existing benefits that operations management and business logistics techniques have brought to the field. In both man‐made and natural disaster relief, humanitarian logistics operations have been hampered by a lack of coordination between actors, which directly affects performance in terms of reactivity and reliability. Adapted collective strategies could offer a solution to this problem. Design/methodology/approach – A literature review deals with the issue of humanitarian logistics through an operational dimension, followed by a strategic approach. This is rounded out with a case study dealing with the Pisco earthquake in Peru (August 2007), which is based on a participant observation methodological approach. Findings – The research presented in this paper reveals that a collective action approach has a positive impact on the working of humanitarian supply chains, as long as a “hub” is used to provide accountability and reliability. If a technical approach, particularly in matters of operations management (optimization of transportation, location of regional warehouses, etc.) is essential to better manage humanitarian logistics, it must also be in the service of a collective strategy, notably in the pre‐positioning of supplies and the coordination of relief efforts. Originality/value – There is an emerging body of work on managing logistical operations in a humanitarian context, but less on strategic readings of humanitarian supply chains. In addition, the application of methods from the field of business logistics is possible, but too often underestimated. This work helps to address both gaps. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management Emerald Publishing

Investigating humanitarian logistics issues: from operations management to strategic action

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1741-038X
DOI
10.1108/17410381011024313
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to underline the advantages offered by applying the collective strategy model in the context of humanitarian logistics, enriching the existing benefits that operations management and business logistics techniques have brought to the field. In both man‐made and natural disaster relief, humanitarian logistics operations have been hampered by a lack of coordination between actors, which directly affects performance in terms of reactivity and reliability. Adapted collective strategies could offer a solution to this problem. Design/methodology/approach – A literature review deals with the issue of humanitarian logistics through an operational dimension, followed by a strategic approach. This is rounded out with a case study dealing with the Pisco earthquake in Peru (August 2007), which is based on a participant observation methodological approach. Findings – The research presented in this paper reveals that a collective action approach has a positive impact on the working of humanitarian supply chains, as long as a “hub” is used to provide accountability and reliability. If a technical approach, particularly in matters of operations management (optimization of transportation, location of regional warehouses, etc.) is essential to better manage humanitarian logistics, it must also be in the service of a collective strategy, notably in the pre‐positioning of supplies and the coordination of relief efforts. Originality/value – There is an emerging body of work on managing logistical operations in a humanitarian context, but less on strategic readings of humanitarian supply chains. In addition, the application of methods from the field of business logistics is possible, but too often underestimated. This work helps to address both gaps.

Journal

Journal of Manufacturing Technology ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 16, 2010

Keywords: Collectivism; Aid agencies; Earthquakes; Operations management; Peru; Supply chain management

References

  • OR/MS research in disaster operations management
    Altay, N.; Green, W. III
  • Measuring supply chain performance
    Beamon, B.
  • Performance measurement in humanitarian relief chains
    Beamon, B.; Balcik, B.
  • Survivor needs or logistical convenience? Factors shaping decisions to deliver relief to earthquake‐affected communities, Pakistan 2005‐06
    Benini, A.; Conley, C.; Dittemore, B.; Waksman, Z.
  • Improving supply chain disaster preparedness: a decision process for secure site location
    Hale, T.; Moberg, C.
  • Humanitarian logistics in disaster relief operations
    Kovács, G.; Spens, K.
  • Responding to disruptions in the supply network from dormant to action
    Kovács, G.; Tatham, P.
  • From preparedness to partnerships: case study research on humanitarian logistics
    Tomasini, R.; van Wassenhove, L.

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