Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present a literature review of humanitarian logistics (HL) that aims to identify trends and suggest some directions for future research. Design/methodology/approach – This conceptual paper develops a research framework for literature review through qualitative and quantitative content analysis. First, previous literature reviews in HL are updated and detailed. Then, seven classification criteria are added to earlier ones in order to advance the literature analysis. Findings – The conclusions identify some literature gaps and research opportunities. The main conclusions are the need for more studies into the disaster recovery phase and the need for closer relationships between academia and humanitarian organizations to increase the number of applied research. Research limitations/implications – The literature is limited to academic peer‐reviewed journals because of their academic relevance, accessibility, and ease of searching. Practical implications – Help potential researchers to set up a research agenda for future work. Social implications – Reinforce earlier calls to increase truly applied research and improve social impact of the field. Originality/value – In total, 228 papers that were published in the HL area are reviewed, giving rise to the most extensive literature review in this area. New dimensions for literature review in HL are proposed, which give some new insights into potential research directions.
Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 6, 2014
Keywords: Humanitarian logistics; Humanitarian supply chain
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