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An integrated approach to agility in humanitarian logistics

Cécile L'Hermitte (Australian Maritime College, National Centre for Ports and Shipping, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia)
Marcus Bowles (Australian Maritime College, National Centre for Ports and Shipping, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia)
Peter Tatham (Department of International Business and Asian Studies, Griffith Business School, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia)
Ben Brooks (Australian Maritime College, National Centre for Ports and Shipping, University of Tasmania, Launceston, Australia)

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 2042-6747

Article publication date: 3 August 2015

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose first, a comprehensive model of the concept of agility in a humanitarian logistics context, and second, to generate a research agenda to test and operationalise this model.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the dynamic capabilities model originated by Teece and uses a topical literature review of research in various business disciplines in order to reflect on the concept of agility in a humanitarian logistics context, to demonstrate that its current scope needs to be widened, and to propose an alternative approach.

Findings

The proposed model extends the existing concept of agility in a humanitarian logistics context by integrating agility drivers, responsive and flexible operations, agility enablers, and strategic level agility capabilities into a single model.

Research limitations/implications

Further research should focus on the nature of the risks/uncertainties encountered by humanitarian organisations, the interactions between the strategic and operational levels of such an organisation, and the impact of strategic level agility capabilities on field responsiveness and flexibility.

Originality/value

This paper brings new insights into the concept of agility in a humanitarian logistics context and contributes a model that reflects a more comprehensive understanding of this concept. In particular, it demonstrates that agility stems from strategic decisions and managerial practices.

Keywords

Citation

L'Hermitte, C., Bowles, M., Tatham, P. and Brooks, B. (2015), "An integrated approach to agility in humanitarian logistics", Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 209-233. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHLSCM-04-2014-0016

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited