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Self-organisation, adaptability, organisational networks and inter-organisational coordination: empirical evidence from humanitarian organisations in Uganda

Self-organisation, adaptability, organisational networks and inter-organisational coordination:... To coordinate humanitarian organisations with different mandates that flock the scenes of disasters to save lives and respond to varied needs arising from the increased number of victims is not easy. Therefore, the level at which organisations self-organise, network and adapt to the dynamic operational environment may be related to inter-organisational coordination. The authors studied self-organisation, organisational networks and adaptability as important and often overlooked organisational factors hypothesised to be related to inter-organisational coordination in the context of humanitarian organisations.Design/methodology/approachThe study’s sample consisted of 101 humanitarian organisations with 315 respondents. To decrease the problem of common method variance, the authors split the samples within each humanitarian organisation into two subsamples: one subsample was used for the measurement of self-organisation, organisational network and adaptability, while the other was for the measurement of inter-organisational coordination.FindingsThe partial least square structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) analysis using SmartPLS 3.2.8 indicated that self-organisation is related to inter-organisational coordination. Organisational network and adaptability were found to be mediators for the relationship between self-organisation and inter-organisational coordination and all combined accounted for 57.8% variance in inter-organisational coordination.Research limitations/implicationsThe study was cross sectional, hence imposing a limitation on changes in perceptions over time. Perhaps, a longitudinal study in future is desirable. Data were collected only from humanitarian organisations that had delivered relief to refugees in the stated camps by 2018. Above all, this study considered self-organisation, adaptability and organisational networks in the explanation of inter-organisational coordination, although there are other factors that could still be explored.Practical implicationsA potential implication is that humanitarian organisations which need to coordinate with others in emergency situations may need to examine their ability to self-organise, network and adapt.Social implicationsSocial transformation is a function of active social entities that cannot work in isolation. Hence, for each to be able to make a contribution to meaningful social change, there is need to develop organisational networks with sister organisations so as to secure rare resources that facilitate change efforts coupled with the ability to reorganise themselves and adapt to changing environmental circumstances.Originality/valueThe paper examines (1) the extent to which self-organisation, adaptability and organisational networks influence inter-organisational coordination; (2) the mediating role of both adaptability and organisational networks between self-organisation and inter-organisational coordination in the context of humanitarian organisations against the backdrop of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management Emerald Publishing

Self-organisation, adaptability, organisational networks and inter-organisational coordination: empirical evidence from humanitarian organisations in Uganda

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2042-6747
DOI
10.1108/jhlscm-10-2019-0074
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

To coordinate humanitarian organisations with different mandates that flock the scenes of disasters to save lives and respond to varied needs arising from the increased number of victims is not easy. Therefore, the level at which organisations self-organise, network and adapt to the dynamic operational environment may be related to inter-organisational coordination. The authors studied self-organisation, organisational networks and adaptability as important and often overlooked organisational factors hypothesised to be related to inter-organisational coordination in the context of humanitarian organisations.Design/methodology/approachThe study’s sample consisted of 101 humanitarian organisations with 315 respondents. To decrease the problem of common method variance, the authors split the samples within each humanitarian organisation into two subsamples: one subsample was used for the measurement of self-organisation, organisational network and adaptability, while the other was for the measurement of inter-organisational coordination.FindingsThe partial least square structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) analysis using SmartPLS 3.2.8 indicated that self-organisation is related to inter-organisational coordination. Organisational network and adaptability were found to be mediators for the relationship between self-organisation and inter-organisational coordination and all combined accounted for 57.8% variance in inter-organisational coordination.Research limitations/implicationsThe study was cross sectional, hence imposing a limitation on changes in perceptions over time. Perhaps, a longitudinal study in future is desirable. Data were collected only from humanitarian organisations that had delivered relief to refugees in the stated camps by 2018. Above all, this study considered self-organisation, adaptability and organisational networks in the explanation of inter-organisational coordination, although there are other factors that could still be explored.Practical implicationsA potential implication is that humanitarian organisations which need to coordinate with others in emergency situations may need to examine their ability to self-organise, network and adapt.Social implicationsSocial transformation is a function of active social entities that cannot work in isolation. Hence, for each to be able to make a contribution to meaningful social change, there is need to develop organisational networks with sister organisations so as to secure rare resources that facilitate change efforts coupled with the ability to reorganise themselves and adapt to changing environmental circumstances.Originality/valueThe paper examines (1) the extent to which self-organisation, adaptability and organisational networks influence inter-organisational coordination; (2) the mediating role of both adaptability and organisational networks between self-organisation and inter-organisational coordination in the context of humanitarian organisations against the backdrop of complex adaptive system (CAS) theory.

Journal

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 2, 2020

Keywords: Self-organisation; Adaptability; Organisational networks; Inter-organisational coordination; Humanitarian organisations

References