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Humanitarian supply chain use of cloud computing

Dara G. Schniederjans (Department of Supply Chain Management, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, USA)
Koray Ozpolat (Department of Supply Chain Management, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, USA)
Yuwen Chen (Department of Supply Chain Management, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island, USA)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 8 August 2016




The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of cloud computing (CC) use on collaboration and its ultimate impact on the agility of humanitarian supply chains. Further, this paper aims to analyze the moderating role of inter-organizational trust in the relationship between CC use and collaboration.


This paper provides an empirical assessment of CC use based on an interview analysis of 19 individuals from humanitarian organizations. A survey questionnaire is later used with 107 participants from US relief organizations. Partial least squares test is used to examine the relationships depicted in the conceptual model.


The results provide an account of how CC is used in a humanitarian context. Further, the results indicate that CC use has a positive and significant impact on collaboration between humanitarian organizations and their suppliers. Collaboration is found to be significantly positively associated with agility in humanitarian organizations.

Research limitations/implications

No study, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, has empirically assessed the impact of CC use on humanitarian supply chain collaboration. This will be the first study to empirically analyze the relationships between CC use, inter-organizational trust, collaboration and agility in a humanitarian context.

Practical implications

This study provides a theoretically and empirically validated model depicting the relationships between CC use, collaboration, agility and inter-organizational trust in humanitarian supply chains. Humanitarian organizations can use these findings to optimize agility.


This study contributes to supply chain management research, particularly humanitarian supply chain management knowledge, by empirically examining the usefulness of CC use on collaboration and agility in the supply chain.



Schniederjans, D.G., Ozpolat, K. and Chen, Y. (2016), "Humanitarian supply chain use of cloud computing", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 569-588.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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