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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2019

Diego Vega and Christine Roussat

Service development and outsourcing are growing trends in humanitarian logistics (HL). Humanitarian organizations (HOs) have developed specialized units to perform logistics…

Abstract

Purpose

Service development and outsourcing are growing trends in humanitarian logistics (HL). Humanitarian organizations (HOs) have developed specialized units to perform logistics activities on behalf of other aid organizations, as a commercial logistics service provider (LSP) would do. The purpose of this paper is to explore the characteristics of HOs acting as LSPs and the differences with their commercial counterparts.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses a two-level content analysis of 149 annual reports from 50 local and international HOs, performed with the help of qualitative data analysis software. First, a manifest content analysis identified the number of occurrences of logistics-related words and later, a latent content analysis studies the use in context of such words to characterize the nature of HOs as LSPs.

Findings

Evidence shows that some international HOs – in some cases through specialized logistics units – perform the same activities as commercial LSPs, providing similar services. However, due to the characteristics of the humanitarian context, HOs acting as LSPs can offer a wider range of value-added and dedicated services to clients (other HOs) than commercial LSPs.

Research limitations/implications

Exploring the activities performed by HOs on behalf of other aid organizations and characterizing them as service providers constitutes a first attempt to grasp the unique features of these particular humanitarian LSPs. The results open the discussion about the services HOs offer, thus contributing to theory development in HL.

Practical implications

The identification of HOs acting as LSPs introduces a new actor to the humanitarian network, which the authors refer to as humanitarian service provider (HSP). This supposes two main managerial implications. First, the results support the idea of seeing servitization as a competitive difference, having a substantial impact on the way HOs build their strategies and achieve competitive advantage. Second, HSPs can push their commercial equivalents to identify new activities or services to offer and maintain their competitive advantage with regard to the newcomers.

Originality/value

This paper furthers the discussion on the concept of HSPs and demonstrates its uniqueness, thus contributing to the ever-growing body of knowledge of HL research.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 July 2018

Diego Vega

Considered a strong method for exploratory investigations, case study research has become part of the mainstream approach, particularly in the field of humanitarian logistics (HL…

1148

Abstract

Purpose

Considered a strong method for exploratory investigations, case study research has become part of the mainstream approach, particularly in the field of humanitarian logistics (HL) and supply chain management. Nevertheless, similar to other logistics and SCM-related fields, rigor is not at its best. The purpose of this paper is to propose a framework for crafting case study research in HL, based on an analysis of published case study-based research.

Design/methodology/approach

The study classifies and compares the use of case studies in HL research, based on criteria developed from the methodology literature including purpose, type and volume of data, and type of analysis.

Findings

While case studies become more frequent, the results point out a lack of rigor, particularly regarding chain of evidence and the use of frameworks for case study rationale and analysis.

Research limitations/implications

The study proposes a framework for case study design, based on four “check questions” that can help researchers to go through the process of crafting a case study.

Practical implications

The study provides practitioners with more understanding of case studies in HL research, which they can use when calling for or evaluating such studies in their organizations.

Originality/value

This paper offers an initial framework for conducting case studies in HL.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 28 July 2023

Félicia Saïah, Diego Vega and Gyöngyi Kovács

This study focuses to develop a common humanitarian supply chain process model (HSCPM) that enables effective enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for NGOs, and the study…

Abstract

Purpose

This study focuses to develop a common humanitarian supply chain process model (HSCPM) that enables effective enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems for NGOs, and the study also investigates the role of modularity as a dynamic capability that supports creating such model.

Design/methodology/approach

A multifocus group study was performed as part of a larger project, the Frontline Humanitarian Logistics Initiative, aiming to establish a common data model that would serve as the backbone of humanitarian ERP systems. Fourteen international humanitarian organizations (IHOs) participated in the process, reaching a consensus on the structure of the process model.

Findings

An HSCPM was proposed based on the consensus reached across IHOs. Four degrees of customization differentiating between “generic,” “tailored,” “specific,” and “unique” processes are presented and discussed.

Research limitations/implications

The findings show modularity applied to process as a mean to create dynamic efficiencies and position the modular process model within the dynamic capabilities framework, supporting supply chain responsiveness and expanding the literature on supply chain management (SCM), dynamic capabilities, and humanitarian logistics.

Practical implications

This research proposes a consensus-based data model, facilitating the advancement of ERP systems in the humanitarian context and lays a foundation for interoperability among ERP systems across diverse IHOs.

Originality/value

First attempt to elucidate the specific characteristics and unique processes defining an HSCPM, this study reached an unprecedented consensus for the humanitarian sector, setting the base toward an industry standard.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 43 no. 13
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 11 January 2023

Elvira Kaneberg, Wojciech D. Piotrowicz, Jana Abikova, Tore Listou, Sarah Aline Schiffling, Claudia Paciarotti, Diego Vega and Kristjana Adalgeirsdottir

The purpose of this study is to analyse the crisis network response of European countries and the role played by defence organizations (DOs) during the early response phase of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyse the crisis network response of European countries and the role played by defence organizations (DOs) during the early response phase of the pandemic, here set to encompass 75 days.

Design/methodology/approach

Published materials – reports, news and communications – provided by authorities and DOs were used. Some of the authors actively participated in national pandemic response networks. An exploratory approach and qualitative content analysis were applied. The data were collected in national languages from 13 European countries, and they were coded and analysed using the actors, resources and activities (ARA) framework.

Findings

This study identified three main categories of activity structures in which the DOs interacted with civilian members of response networks, health-related services, logistics services and public support services. These networks among actors were found within formal response systems and emergent networks. The DOs engaged as actors that provided a range of services when civil authorities could not cope with the huge demand for specific services and when resources were scarce in the initial response phase.

Originality/value

This study contributes by filling an important research gap with regard to the civil-military relations associated with the use of DO resources in the civil response to the pandemic crisis in Europe, which is described as an untraditional response. The ARA network approach provides a framework for arranging ARA and extends the wider civil-military network to expand the formal networks of the early crisis response. The study lays knowledge about the co-operation between civilian and military actors in different contexts and provides a broader understanding of the roles that DOs played in the response operations.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 28 October 2022

Diego Vega, Ala Arvidsson and Félicia Saïah

This study investigated how organizations can maintain their supply chain (SC) resilience in situations where high-impact shocks cannot be absorbed and what capabilities are…

2630

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigated how organizations can maintain their supply chain (SC) resilience in situations where high-impact shocks cannot be absorbed and what capabilities are needed. The article is an empirical exploration of a socio-ecological view of resilience in the SC context.

Design/methodology/approach

The case under study in this article is that of Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) and MSF's reconfiguration of its supply management processes in response to the supply shocks during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. In total, 503 internal documents and ERP extractions from six databases from late 2019 to September 2020, 43 semi-structured interviews and a 3-round policy Delphi process were used to investigate this phenomenon.

Findings

The authors' results show that throughout the pandemic, MSF adapted its procurement and supply processes to cope with supply shortages at both the international and local levels of the SC. This was possible due to the organization's capacity to use its exploitation and exploration capabilities of the organization at the same time.

Research limitations/implications

This research is based on the single in-depth case study of a medical aid organization. Further research should investigate this phenomenon in commercial companies with similar or different organizational structures.

Originality/value

This study constitutes a first attempt to empirically demonstrate that the four phases of the adaptive cycle put forth in the panarchy theory constitute a suitable representation of the reconfigurations that SCs follow in response to a high-impact shock. The study also adds to the growing body of knowledge on resilience by including ambidexterity as a mechanism to achieve resilience.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 25 October 2017

Abstract

Details

Mid-Range Management Theory: Competence Perspectives on Modularity and Dynamic Capabilities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-404-0

Book part
Publication date: 27 October 2014

Frédéric Pellegrin-Romeggio and Diego Vega

This paper proposes a competence that enables the pivot organization to dynamically combine (assemble/disassemble, activate/deactivate) resources as needed, and introduces the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper proposes a competence that enables the pivot organization to dynamically combine (assemble/disassemble, activate/deactivate) resources as needed, and introduces the concept of “dynamic assembly” that integrates this new competence into the historic pivot’s capacities.

Methodology/approach

Two in-depth case studies performed in two different contexts support our theoretical construct and exhibit the strategic role of the pivot-assembler in the conception, combination, coordination, and control of temporary chains and networks.

Findings

The results of our research confirm that dynamic assembly is an important characteristic of both, the travel industry and humanitarian relief, in which the four dimensions (conception, combination, coordination, and control) were found.

Research implications

From this research it is possible to consider that the theoretical construct of dynamic assembly is meaningful in these types of contexts where chains are temporarily assembled from a dynamic network. Complementary research should look at the characteristics of the organizational structure and the management of competences in loosely-coupled organizations (Weick, 1982) and hastily formed networks (Denning, 2006).

Details

A Focused Issue on Building New Competences in Dynamic Environments
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-274-6

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Diego Vega and Christine Roussat

In recent years, logistics service providers (LSPs) have become important players in the humanitarian field, providing support for NGOs and governments when they respond to major…

5293

Abstract

Purpose

In recent years, logistics service providers (LSPs) have become important players in the humanitarian field, providing support for NGOs and governments when they respond to major disasters. However, the academic literature on humanitarian logistics has not really explored the roles that LSPs play in relief supply chains. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of LSPs in humanitarian relief.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses a two-stage exploratory approach: first, it systematically reviews the humanitarian logistics literature to see the extent to which LSPs are taken into account. Then it analyses the web sites of leading LSPs to examine how they communicate about their role in humanitarian relief.

Findings

This research produces some surprising findings. While the academic literature seems to neglect the roles of LSPs in humanitarian logistics, some major third-party firms highlight their roles in relief networks. A number of research propositions are presented describing emerging roles for LSPs in relief supply chains.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focuses on academic humanitarian logistics literature; a review of practitioner articles and the LSP literature might also be relevant. The web site analysis is based on corporate communication which may contain bias. Further research should add to this work with NGO/government perspectives and produce primary data in order to demonstrate the external validity of the research propositions.

Practical implications

The research identifies different roles LSPs could play in humanitarian supply chains, suggesting opportunities for new business lines.

Originality/value

The main contributions of this paper are to explore the roles LSPs could play in humanitarian logistics and to bring a new perspective to humanitarian logistics research.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 25 October 2017

Diego Vega and Ron Sanchez

Effective competence-based management (CBM) requires in the first instance an ability to identify an organization’s competences and the sources of those competences. Identifying…

Abstract

Effective competence-based management (CBM) requires in the first instance an ability to identify an organization’s competences and the sources of those competences. Identifying competences can be especially challenging in the context of not-for-profit organizations, which have often been characterized as being “different” from for-profit organizations. In this paper we argue that not-for-profit organizations have fundamentally the same systemic requirements for survival and success as for-profit organizations – and therefore that not-for-profits ought to be amenable to competence identification and analysis through use of CBM concepts and theory in essentially the same way as for-profit organizations. We support this basic proposition through a case study of competence identification and analysis in a humanitarian relief organization (HRO), an increasingly important kind of not-for-profit organization.

Details

Mid-Range Management Theory: Competence Perspectives on Modularity and Dynamic Capabilities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-404-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2005

Anwar Ouassini

As a general response to Gary Alan Fines article, The Sad Demise, Mysterious Disappearance and Glorious Triumph of Symbolic Interactionism, this performance narrative account of a…

Abstract

As a general response to Gary Alan Fines article, The Sad Demise, Mysterious Disappearance and Glorious Triumph of Symbolic Interactionism, this performance narrative account of a dialogue between G. Fine (Dr. Gary Alan Fine) and Sowsh Stud (Sociology student) intends to explain the subtleties of the current state of Symbolic Interactionism through the use of hip hop/inner city gangster terminology; drawing many parallels between Symbolic Interactionism as a discipline and street gang cultures to show that Symbolic Interactionism as a “gang” and Symbolic Interactionists as “gangsters” embrace the same gangster mentality, as they continuously try to find an identity and role within the gang (S.I.).

Details

Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1186-6

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