Trust is essential for any team working together. In humanitarian logistics operations, relief organizations often have to work collaboratively in hastily formed networks. Trust in such a context, termed as “swift trust” in the literature, is an important but less explored topic. The purpose of this paper is to empirically explore the antecedents of swift trust as well as its impact on the coordination among the humanitarian workers.
The authors choose the humanitarian workers in Southeast Asia as the research sample. An exploratory survey study is conducted in three Southeast Asian countries, namely, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines, with 89 usable responses.
The empirical results have shown support for most hypotheses. Third-party certification, competency, similarity in procedure standards and organizational values, can all generate swift trust. Moreover, swift trust can lead to greater openness in information sharing for coordination, though not to active assistance. Both coordination activities would lead to greater coordination effectiveness.
Future studies could examine the four antecedent conditions for swift trust with better proxies. The connection between swift trust and coordination effectiveness can be explored in depth.
NGOs and governments could use these means effectively to build swift trust among the humanitarian players. For example, organizing field-oriented training activities would be beneficial for humanitarian workers in both network building and enhancing personal competency.
The findings point to the importance of swift trust in humanitarian operations and identify several means to enhance this trust. It has filled a research gap on the empirical investigation of the antecedents and impact of swift trust on inter-organizational coordination in humanitarian logistics operations.
The authors express their gratitude and appreciation to all organizations and individuals supporting this study; in particular, the research assistance provided by Dr Lindawati and Mr Colin Wee. The authors have also benefited from the insightful comments from the anonymous reviewers.
Lu, Q., Goh, M. and De Souza, R. (2018), "An empirical investigation of swift trust in humanitarian logistics operations", Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 70-86. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHLSCM-07-2017-0033Download as .RIS
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