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Supply chain management, national culture, and refugee network performance

Jason James Woldt (College of Business, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA)
Sameer Prasad (UW-Whitewater, Whitewater, Wisconsin, USA)
Jasmine Tata (Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 2042-6747

Article publication date: 19 September 2019

Issue publication date: 18 October 2019




The purpose of this paper is to examine the flow of refugees through the dual lens of supply chain management and national cultural values.


The proposed model is first developed based upon an extensive literature review. The model is then applied to an example of migrants from Honduras traveling to the USA and those being repatriated back to Honduras.


The connection between national cultural values and elements of refugee supply chain management is identified in this research. The model examines four elements of refugee supply chain management (relationship continuity, partner involvement and development, inter-organizational communication, and network structure), and identifies the influence of these four elements on integrative and collaborative processes along the supply chain and, consequently, on the delivery of services to the refugees (refugee network performance).

Research limitations/implications

The model presented in this paper is tested using a single case and does not utilize an empirical methodology.

Practical implications

This research enables local municipalities and state entities along international migration paths to better manage their relationships with upstream/downstream players and improve refugee network performance by reducing transit time, lowering overall costs, ensuring the health and safety of the refugees, and identify eligible refugees (those likely to gain asylum) to support. Furthermore, the model provides specific recommendations for international Non-Governmental Organizations to help with the integrative and collaborative processes among the supply chain partners.


This research provides a unique perspective in examining the flow of refugees within the context of an international supply chain. The authors look at the critical players along refugee supply chains and develop a model that connects elements of refugee supply chain management with the cultural characteristics of nations.



Woldt, J.J., Prasad, S. and Tata, J. (2019), "Supply chain management, national culture, and refugee network performance", Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 109-130.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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