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Literature review of humanitarian logistics research: trends and challenges

Adriana Leiras (Department of Industrial Engineering, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and Graduate Program in Logistics Systems Engineering, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Irineu de Brito Jr (Department of Production Engineering, University of Sao Paulo and Fatec Jessen Vidal, S J dos Campos, Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Eduardo Queiroz Peres (Department of Production Engineering, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Tábata Rejane Bertazzo (Department of Production Engineering, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Hugo Tsugunobu Yoshida Yoshizaki (Department of Production Engineering and Graduate Program in Logistics Systems Engineering, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 2042-6747

Article publication date: 6 May 2014

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Abstract

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.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank The State of Sao Paulo Research Foundation – FAPESP, and Vanzolini Foundation, Brazil.

Citation

Leiras, A., de Brito Jr, I., Queiroz Peres, E., Rejane Bertazzo, T. and Tsugunobu Yoshida Yoshizaki, H. (2014), "Literature review of humanitarian logistics research: trends and challenges", Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 95-130. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHLSCM-04-2012-0008

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited