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Barriers to information and digital technology adoption in humanitarian supply chain management: a fuzzy AHP approach

Gaurav Kabra (Jindal Global Business School, OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India)
Anbanandam Ramesh (Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee, India)
Vipul Jain (Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)
Pervaiz Akhtar (Business School, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK)

Journal of Enterprise Information Management

ISSN: 1741-0398

Article publication date: 25 January 2023

Issue publication date: 7 March 2023

578

Abstract

Purpose

The humanitarian supply chain (HSC) area is rich with conceptual frameworks with a focus on the importance of information and digital technology (IDT) applications. These frameworks have a limited scope in investigating and prioritizing barriers to IDT adoption in HSCs. The present study thus identifies and prioritizes the barriers to IDT adoption in organizations involved in HSCs.

Design/methodology/approach

By using a literature review allied with expert discussions and a fuzzy analytic hierarchy process (F-AHP), the study identifies and prioritizes a comprehensive set of barriers that organizations involved in HSCs may consider to improve IDT adoption.

Findings

The study investigates five main barriers (strategic, organizational, technological, financial and human) interlocked with 25 sub-barriers impacting the level of IDT adoption in organizations involved in HSCs. The findings indicate that strategic barriers (SBs) are of greatest importance, followed by organizational, technological, financial and human barriers. The findings indicate the difference in ranking barriers influencing the adoption of IDTs in HSCs compared to the commercial supply chain.

Research limitations/implications

Although a three-step method adopted for this study is rigorous in terms of the way this research is conducted, it is essential to report that prioritization is based on the subjective opinions of the experts.

Practical implications

The findings aim to assist policymakers and practitioners in developing effective strategies to improve IDT adoption in organizations engaged in HSCs. Moreover, the prioritization of barriers provides a systematic way to overcome any barriers to improve HSC performance.

Originality/value

This study is first of its kind that investigates and prioritizes the barriers to IDT adoption in HSCs.

Keywords

Citation

Kabra, G., Ramesh, A., Jain, V. and Akhtar, P. (2023), "Barriers to information and digital technology adoption in humanitarian supply chain management: a fuzzy AHP approach", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 36 No. 2, pp. 505-527. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEIM-10-2021-0456

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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