Humanitarian supply chains (HSCs) by their very nature require urgent reaction to unforeseeable needs, making it difficult to properly plan for the support of actual demands. As such, integrating sustainability into traditional HSC practices continues to present a challenge to governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and other humanitarian-related agencies. This study focuses on identifying and categorizing the leading enablers to green humanitarian supply chains (GHSCs) and proposes a model for improving the responsiveness based upon a fuzzy total interpretive structural modelling approach.
Total interpretive structural modelling (TISM) uses group decision-making to identify contextual relationships among each pair of enablers and elucidates the nature of each underlying relationship. The fuzzy TISM shows the level of strength (very high influence, high influence, low influence and very low influence) of each enabler in relation to other enablers, which can help to inform management decision-making.
GHSC management requires strategic planning of inventory and logistics management. The importance of collaborative relationship building with HSC partners for developing capability and the effective use of available resources are keys to success. These improved relationships also help to promote postponement and similar speculation-based logistics strategies, as well as advanced purchasing and pre-positioning strategies. Finally, the speed and quality of response is found to be the top enabler in GHSC management.
One noted shortcoming of the chosen research method is its reliance on subjective expert judgement. However, collecting judgements is at the basis of many research methods, and the research team took utmost care throughout the research process to allay biases. Future empirical research can further examine the relationships suggested herein. Managers can use the model developed in this research to consider impactful ways to design and execute sustainable HSCs.
To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is a novel attempt to identify enablers to GHSC management. Secondly, the research team has used an advanced methodology (fuzzy TISM) to develop the contextual inter-relationships among the enablers which has not been used earlier in this direction before and thus advances the GHSC literature.
Bag, S., Luthra, S., Venkatesh, V. and Yadav, G. (2020), "Towards understanding key enablers to green humanitarian supply chain management practices", Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-06-2019-0124Download as .RIS
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