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A theoretical framework for consolidation in humanitarian logistics

Alain Vaillancourt (Supply Chain Management and Corporate Geography, Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland)

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 2042-6747

Article publication date: 4 April 2016



The purpose of this paper is to develop a theoretical framework to better understand incentives and obstacles to consolidation of materials in humanitarian logistics.


This study uses a content analysis for its literature review method to code 87 articles related to supply chain and logistics and understand what are the incentives and obstacles to consolidation. It then discusses these issues from the point of view of humanitarian logistics.


Through the combination of a literature review and discussion, the framework developed in this conceptual paper identifies specific sources of delays and impediments to cooperation present in disaster response and development activities. These issues can be related to disaster type, the focus of the organization and the stakeholders as well as the resources required for consolidation themselves.

Research limitations/implications

There are limitations to a conceptual paper, one being the lack of empirical proof for the findings. Another limitation is the use of coding; even though the coding grid was iterative to take into account the findings in the literature, there might still be shortcomings inherent to the categories.


This study offers a comprehensive review of consolidation activities in the last decades and offers an abstract model to further investigate consolidation in the context of humanitarian logistics.



The author would like to acknowledge the Finnish Cultural Foundation for their support for his research as well as Louise Ouellet for her help with coding.


Vaillancourt, A. (2016), "A theoretical framework for consolidation in humanitarian logistics", Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Vol. 6 No. 1, pp. 2-23.



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