Building humanitarian supply chain relationships: lessons from leading practitioners

Ron McLachlin (Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada)
Paul D. Larson (Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada)

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 2042-6747

Publication date: 20 May 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advance thought and practice on supply chain relationship building, in the context of humanitarian logistics, drawing on lessons from leading practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

The presentations were treated like data, enabling grounded research concerning practitioners. The presentations were recorded, transcribed, vetted, and imported into qualitative software (NVivo8) to facilitate further analysis, which led to testable propositions.

Findings

Three themes emerged, centered around relationship benefits, challenges, and advice on relationship building. Advice from the practitioners led to 11 propositions.

Research limitations/implications

While the presentations were treated as interview data, there was no opportunity to probe statements made by the speakers. Also, speakers were the sole representatives for their organizations. Finally, the findings cannot be generalized beyond the types of situations and organizations represented at the conference.

Practical implications

The propositions represent advice from experienced humanitarian practitioners on building supply chain relationships.

Social implications

Supply chains are economic entities. They are also social entities. Humanitarian supply chains involve people working together to help other people in need.

Originality/value

There are few published articles on supply chain relationship building, and only several pieces on humanitarian partnerships or relationships. This paper contributes to the literature in a novel way, by drawing on expert speakers at a humanitarian conference.

Keywords

Citation

McLachlin, R. and Larson, P. (2011), "Building humanitarian supply chain relationships: lessons from leading practitioners", Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 32-49. https://doi.org/10.1108/20426741111122402

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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