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1 – 10 of 74
Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Nathan Kunz, Luk N. Van Wassenhove, Maria Besiou, Christophe Hambye and Gyöngyi Kovács

This paper is based on a panel discussion at EurOMA 2015. The purpose of this paper is to identify a number of barriers to relevant research in humanitarian logistics. The…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper is based on a panel discussion at EurOMA 2015. The purpose of this paper is to identify a number of barriers to relevant research in humanitarian logistics. The authors propose a charter of ten rules for conducting relevant humanitarian research.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use operations management literature to identify best practices for doing research with practice. The authors compile, condense and interpret opinions expressed by three academics and one practitioner at the panel discussion, and illustrate them through quotes.

Findings

The increasing volume of papers published in the humanitarian logistics literature has not led to a proportional impact on practice. The authors identify a number of reasons for this, such as poor problem definition, difficult access to data or lack of contextualization. The authors propose a charter of ten rules that have the potential to make humanitarian logistics research more relevant for practice.

Practical implications

By developing best practices for doing relevant research in humanitarian logistics, this paper enables the academic community and practice to better work together on relevant and impactful research projects. Academic knowledge combined with practice-inspired problems has the potential to generate significant improvements to humanitarian practice.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to address the problem of relevance of humanitarian logistics research. It is also one of the few papers involving a practitioner to discuss practical relevance of research. Through this unique approach, it is hoped that this paper provides a set of particularly helpful recommendations for researchers studying humanitarian logistics.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 37 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 23 August 2021

Nezih Altay, Gyöngyi Kovács and Karen Spens

Humanitarian logistics has for a long time been argued to be a new discipline. Now that even the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management (JHLSCM) has…

1783

Abstract

Purpose

Humanitarian logistics has for a long time been argued to be a new discipline. Now that even the Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management (JHLSCM) has existed over a decade, it is time to take a closer look at its evolution. This article provides some understanding for the developments of humanitarian logistics over the past decade, reveals current trends and discovers what lies behind the curtains in the humanitarian logistics and supply chain management discipline.

Design/methodology/approach

This article brings in developments and discussions in humanitarian logistics practice into the research domain.

Findings

The article conveys the concerns of humanitarian logistics practitioners to research. These include the backlash from the COVID-19 pandemic as a prime current concern, and also other longer-term issues and developments.

Research limitations/implications

The themes identified in the article can be used to inform a research agenda in humanitarian logistics and supply chain management. The article revisits a framework of global events and their cascading impacts to include non-linearities and multiple disruptions from evolutionary disasters such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Practical implications

The article argues for more collaborative and co-designed research to increase the relevance and impact of humanitarian logistics.

Social implications

Wider societal views are brought into the area of humanitarian logistics.

Originality/value

The article highlights the gaps that remain in humanitarian logistics and supply chain management research.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 5 December 2019

Gyongyi Kovacs, Mohammad Moshtari, Hlekiwe Kachali and Pia Polsa

2349

Abstract

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Article
Publication date: 16 October 2018

Graham Heaslip, Gyöngyi Kovács and David B. Grant

The purpose of this paper is to present a literature review and conceptual consideration of servitization in humanitarian logistics (HL) and provide a research agenda for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a literature review and conceptual consideration of servitization in humanitarian logistics (HL) and provide a research agenda for HL scholars and insight for practitioners and by doing so will fill a gap in existing research and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a literature-based approach that extends concepts usually applied in a commercial context to the area of HL.

Findings

The paper initiates a discourse on the importance of taking into account servitization in developing and managing effective emergency relief chains. This paper argues that a broader servitization paradigm needs to be integrated for international humanitarian organisations (IHOs) to maintain a competitive advantage.

Originality/value

The authors investigate servitization as a management innovation in IHOs and plot a research agenda for scholars.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Peter Tatham, Yong Wu, Gyöngyi Kovács and Tim Butcher

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the supply chain management (SCM) skills that support the sensing and seizing of opportunities in a changing business environment.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the supply chain management (SCM) skills that support the sensing and seizing of opportunities in a changing business environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the previous literature on the T-shaped model of SCM skills, data were collected through a mail survey among Australian business executives. The resultant skill sets are grouped along factors that support the sensing vs seizing of opportunities.

Findings

Interestingly from an SCM perspective, functional logistics-related skills are important to maintain competitiveness but are not the ones contributing to a firm’s ability to sense opportunities and threats, and to seize opportunities in a changing business environment. The authors, therefore, support the notion that supply chain managers should be managers first. Factual SCM knowledge is the solid basis, but otherwise only an entry requirement in this field.

Research limitations/implications

Problem-solving skills, along with forecasting and customer/supplier relationship management, stand out as important components that support the ability of supply chain managers to sense and shape opportunities and threats in a turbulent business environment. This focus would tend to suggest the importance of supply chain integration and collaboration as management approaches. Other SCM skills from warehousing and inventory management to transportation and purchasing are more prevalent for maintaining competitiveness.

Practical implications

The results of the survey and the consequential analysis indicate that the content of tertiary-level educational programmes should be significantly reviewed to deliver two distinct (but partially overlapping) streams that focus on the generalist and functionalist managers who must work together in the management of the increasingly global and complex supply chains.

Social implications

Functional skills often form the basis of training and education programmes for supply chain managers. Whilst these form the solid foundation for their jobs, they are entry requirements at best. In a changing business environment, other skills are needed for success. Given that turbulence is becoming the norm rather than the exception, this finding necessitates rethinking in training and education programmes, as well as in the recruitment of supply chain managers.

Originality/value

Testing the T-shaped model of SCM skills from a dynamic capabilities perspective, the results of the factor analysis lead to a regrouping of skill sets in terms of sensing and seizing opportunities in a turbulent business environment.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 31 October 2018

Graham Heaslip and Gyöngyi Kovács

The purpose of this paper is to explore service triads in humanitarian logistics (HL). The study uses agency theory to understand the dynamics between principal(s) and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore service triads in humanitarian logistics (HL). The study uses agency theory to understand the dynamics between principal(s) and agent(s) and how contractual arrangements influence the service buyer–service provider alignment in humanitarian service triads.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a case study on a specific humanitarian service triad, with qualitative data being collected in a field study, utilising participant observation and in-context interview techniques for rich data collection.

Findings

The findings highlight the importance of both contractual and relational contracts between the service buyer, service provider and end customer – here donor (government), United Nations agency and implementing partner (IP). The alignment of the three parties in the service triad is more easily achieved through hybrid contracts rather than legal arrangements focussing on outcomes only.

Research limitations/implications

Results stem from a specific case study that constitutes a typical humanitarian service triad. An increased understanding of managing services and their service providers in the triadic context of outsourced service delivery adds to the body of knowledge in supply management.

Originality/value

This is the first examination of governance structures in contractual arrangements in a humanitarian service triad. The research fills the gap in humanitarian literature regarding the interaction of practitioners in HL, specifically, a service buyer organisation (a donor – government), a service provider (a UN agency) and the end customer (an IP). The research is field based and is grounded in empirical observations thus adding to the literature and offering insights to practice.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 8 October 2021

Gunnar Stefánsson, Heidi Dreyer, Gyöngyi Kovács, Henrik Pålsson and Jan Stentoft

221

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 51 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

David B. Grant, Gyöngyi Kovács and Karen Spens

The purpose of this paper is to discuss questionable research practices (QRPs) in business research, particularly in the logistics and supply chain management discipline…

1061

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss questionable research practices (QRPs) in business research, particularly in the logistics and supply chain management discipline, in light of antecedents influenced by the current academic environment and the consequences for academic rigour and relevance to stimulate thinking and debate among the academic community.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review and autoethnographic approach were used to examine these issues based on over 60 years’ collective academic experience of the authors. Data were collected from discussions among the paper’s authors as well as recounting open discussions with other academics and journal editors to collate their observations.

Findings

Evidence is provided of issues the authors have seen first-hand where antecedents in the academic environment influences QRPs, which then detrimentally affect research rigour and relevance, integrity and proper contributions to ground-breaking research and knowledge advancement.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is based on personal observations and experiences of the three authors as well as open-ended discussions with others in the academic community. Suggestions are provided for various academic stakeholders to address these issues.

Practical implications

Practical implications are only provided for academics in their roles as authors, journal editors and reviewers.

Social implications

Encouraging the academic community to eliminate QRPs to improve the rigour, relevance and quality of research will provide more credibility and integrity resulting in better impact and outcomes for society at large.

Originality/value

The value of this paper is in stimulating thinking and debate among academics to return to core issues and values in academia opposed to focusing on narrow university goals focussed on other antecedents of QRPs.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 1 July 2022

Ioanna Falagara Sigala, Mikhail Sirenko, Tina Comes and Gyöngyi Kovács

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has emerged as an unprecedented health crisis worldwide and heavily disrupted the healthcare supply chain. This study focuses…

2065

Abstract

Purpose

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has emerged as an unprecedented health crisis worldwide and heavily disrupted the healthcare supply chain. This study focuses on analysing the different types of disruptions occurring in personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic and on proposing mitigation strategies that are fit to the global scale and many interdependencies that are characteristic for this pandemic. The authors construct a conceptual system dynamics model (SD) based on the literature and adjusted with the use of empirical data (interviews) to capture the complexity of a global supply chain and identify leverage points (mitigation strategies).

Design/methodology/approach

This research follows a mix-methods approach. First, the authors developed a conceptual framework based on four types of disruptions that usually occur during health emergencies (direct effect, policy, supply chain strategy, and behaviourally induced disruptions). Second, the authors collected and analysed data from interviews with experts in the PPE supply chain. Based on the interviews data, the authors developed a conceptual system dynamics (SD) model that allows to capture the complex and dynamic interplay between the elements of the global supply chain system, by highlighting key feedback loops, delays, and the way the mitigation strategies can impact on them. From this analysis, the authors developed four propositions for supply chain risk management (SCRM) in global health emergencies and four recommendations for the policy and decision makers.

Findings

The SD model highlights that without a combination of mitigation measures, it is impossible to overcome all disruptions. As such, a co-ordinated effort across the different countries and sectors that experience the disruptions is needed. The SD model also shows that there are important feedback loops, by which initial disruptions create delays and shortages that propagate through the supply chain network. If the co-ordinated mitigation measures are not implemented early at the onset of the pandemic, these disruptions will be persistent, creating potential shortages of PPE and other critical equipment at the onset of a pandemic – when they are most urgently needed.

Originality/value

This research enriches the understanding of the disruptions of PPE supply chains on the systems level and proposes mitigation strategies based on empirical data and the existing literature.

Article
Publication date: 23 February 2018

Graham Heaslip, Gyöngyi Kovács and Ira Haavisto

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the financial and material flows in cash-based responses (CBRs) and their implications for humanitarian operations. This research…

1383

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the financial and material flows in cash-based responses (CBRs) and their implications for humanitarian operations. This research proposes to view cash as a commodity used by humanitarian actors in emergency operations and therefore aims to explore how CBRs impact on humanitarian logistics and ultimately, affect beneficiaries.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodological approach of grounded theory was chosen for this inquiry because it allowed the researchers to generate a general explanation for the process of CBRs in emergency situations based on the views of participants interviewed. Interviews were conducted with senior managers, supply chain managements and logistics officers from international humanitarian organisations (HOs), United Nations agencies and commercial organisations involved in humanitarian operations. Examples of topics covered during the field work included, procedures and policy; knowledge and information management; systems and technology; actors and agents.

Findings

The impact of CBRs on humanitarian operations can though not be understated. They alter supply chain design, the very role of beneficiaries as well as HOs, and change the strategy of aid delivery from push to pull. Perhaps, the most important factor is the elimination of many logistical activities that needed to be performed by HOs. Delivering cash diminishes the needs for lengthy procurement and assessment processes, pre-positioning, transportation and distribution. This bears the potential of significant reductions in costs for delivering humanitarian aid at the same time as it is an important move from aid to trade.

Practical implications

The challenge for humanitarian agencies in the coming years is to overcome their fears surrounding CBRs, and to implement cash programmes where they are judged to be the most appropriate response. This will require not only a change in donor policies, but also a fundamental change in the skill set of humanitarian logisticians, who are used to identifying needs and providing commodities and thus to maintaining control over the provision of assistance.

Originality/value

The contribution of this research is twofold: this is the first examination of cash-based interventions in humanitarian operations through the prism of supply chain management. Second, the research is field based and grounded in empirical observations thus adding to the literature and offering insights to practice.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

1 – 10 of 74