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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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1911

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

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Leila Schwab, Stefan Gold, Nathan Kunz and Gerald Reiner

The purpose of this paper is to explore how operations decision-making may keep the growing firms within the boundaries of corporate and societal sustainability.

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6054

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how operations decision-making may keep the growing firms within the boundaries of corporate and societal sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors classify operations decisions during growth periods according to the three dimensions of the triple bottom line (economic, social and environmental). By means of a longitudinal case study of a family-owned wood construction firm that is in a process of intense growth, the authors identify, visually represent and analyse the complex sequences of selected managerial operations decisions.

Findings

The empirical data suggest that operations decisions made by managers during growth periods follow specific patterns. From the analysis, the authors derive various research propositions that investigate how a well-understood and therefore efficient and effective decision-making process can facilitate sustainable business growth.

Research limitations/implications

The findings offer opportunities for future studies to zoom in on specific parts of the decision-making process during growth periods. Moreover, given the exploratory nature of this study, future research should test hypotheses derived from the research propositions.

Practical implications

This study investigates operations decision-making during growth, which is crucial for guiding companies through this complex transition phase.

Originality/value

This conceptual and empirical analysis explores new theory and contributes to the vastly under-researched subject of sustainable business growth.

Details

Journal of Global Responsibility, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2041-2568

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Lysann Seifert, Nathan Kunz and Stefan Gold

The purpose of this paper is to map and analyse the literature from 1989 to 2016 on humanitarian supply chain management (SCM) responding to refugees. This literature…

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10496

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to map and analyse the literature from 1989 to 2016 on humanitarian supply chain management (SCM) responding to refugees. This literature review systematically assesses existing literature, thereby highlighting gaps, challenges and directions for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors apply a structured content analysis method which has been recognised as a traceable, systematic and reproducible research tool to analyse qualitative and quantitative aspects of existing literature.

Findings

The relative scarcity of literature implies that the interface of the fields of Humanitarian SCM and refugees has been rarely addressed. More specifically, the quantitative content analysis highlights a dearth of research that focusses on both fields in a well-balanced manner. In particular, empirical, practice-led studies, as well as research on development aid operations are under-represented. The qualitative analysis finds that further research on logistics models as well as technological innovations is necessary to increase data availability, forecast accuracy and the efficiency of (local) supply network operations during disasters.

Research limitations/implications

The review suggests a number of areas in need of future research, proposes possibilities of collaborations between different actors and provides a research agenda for Humanitarian SCM in the context of refugees.

Originality/value

This review is the first to analyse the literature on Humanitarian SCM related to refugees.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 December 2016

Nathan Kunz and Gerald Reiner

Foreign governments do not always welcome international humanitarian organizations responding to a disaster in their country. Many governments even impose restrictions on…

Abstract

Purpose

Foreign governments do not always welcome international humanitarian organizations responding to a disaster in their country. Many governments even impose restrictions on humanitarian supply chains through import barriers, travel restrictions or excessive bureaucracy. The purpose of this paper is to analyze these restrictions and try to identify the government characteristics that best explain the tendency to impose such restrictions.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a multiple case study among four international humanitarian organizations the authors identify and analyze the restrictions imposed on humanitarian supply chains in 143 different programs. The authors compare the average number of restrictions per country with different governmental and socio-economic situational factors.

Findings

The authors find that state fragility, a combination of government ineffectiveness and illegitimacy, is the characteristic that best explains the tendency of a government to impose restrictions on humanitarian supply chains.

Practical implications

Knowing that fragile states tend to impose a high number of restrictions helps humanitarian organizations to prepare adequately before entering a country with a fragile government. The organization can, for example, anticipate possible concerns and establish trust with the government. Commercial companies starting to do business in such country can learn from this knowledge.

Originality/value

Multiple studies have mentioned the strong impact of governments on humanitarian supply chains, but no paper has yet analyzed this problem in detail. The paper is the first to identify the characteristics that explain the number of restrictions governments impose on humanitarian supply chains, and what humanitarian organizations can do to address them.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 April 2019

Nathan Kunz

Access to high-quality data is a challenge for humanitarian logistics researchers. However, humanitarian organizations publish large quantities of documents for various…

Abstract

Purpose

Access to high-quality data is a challenge for humanitarian logistics researchers. However, humanitarian organizations publish large quantities of documents for various stakeholders. Researchers can use these as secondary data, but interpreting big volumes of text is time consuming. The purpose of this paper is to present an automated quantitative content analysis (AQCA) approach that allows researchers to analyze such documents quickly and reliably.

Design/methodology/approach

Content analysis is a method to facilitate a systematic description of documents. This paper builds on an existing content analysis method, to which it adds automated steps for processing large quantities of documents. It also presents different measures for quantifying the content of documents.

Findings

The AQCA approach has been applied successfully in four papers. For example, it can identify the main theme in a document, categorize documents along different dimensions, or compare the use of a theme in different documents. This paper also identifies several limitations of content analysis in the field of humanitarian logistics research and suggests ways to mitigate them.

Research limitations/implications

The AQCA approach does not provide an exhaustive qualitative analysis of documents. Instead, it aims to analyze documents quickly and reliably to extract the contents’ quantifiable aspects.

Originality/value

Although content analysis has been used in humanitarian logistics research before, no paper has yet proposed an automated, step-by-step approach that researchers can use. It also is the first study to discuss specific limitations of content analysis in the context of humanitarian logistics.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Ali Anjomshoae, Adnan Hassan, Nathan Kunz, Kuan Yew Wong and Sander de Leeuw

In recent years, the balanced scorecard (BSC) has received considerable interest among practitioners for managing their organization’s performance. Unfortunately existing…

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1901

Abstract

Purpose

In recent years, the balanced scorecard (BSC) has received considerable interest among practitioners for managing their organization’s performance. Unfortunately existing BSC frameworks, particularly for humanitarian supply chains, lack causal relationships among performance indicators, actions, and outcomes. They are not able to provide a dynamic perspective of the organization with factors that drive the organization’s behavior toward its mission. Lack of conceptual references seems to hinder the development of a performance measurement system toward this direction. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors formulate the interdependencies among key performance indicators (KPIs) in terms of cause-and-effect relationships based on published case studies reported in international journals from 1996 to 2017.

Findings

This paper aims to identify the conceptual interdependencies among KPIs and represent them in the form of a conceptual model.

Research limitations/implications

The study was solely based on relevant existing literature. Therefore further practical research is needed to validate the interdependencies of performance indicators in the strategy map.

Practical implications

The proposed conceptual model provides the structure of a dynamic balanced scorecard (DBSC) in the humanitarian supply chain and should serve as a starting reference for the development of a practical DBSC model. The conceptual framework proposed in this paper aims to facilitate further research in developing a DBSC for humanitarian organizations (HOs).

Originality/value

Existing BSC frameworks do not provide a dynamic perspective of the organization. The proposed conceptual framework is a useful reference for further work in developing a DBSC for HOs.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2015

Nathan Kunz, Luk N. Van Wassenhove, Rob McConnell and Ketil Hov

Fleet management is a key function in humanitarian organizations, but is not always recognized as such. This results in poor performance and negative impacts on the…

Abstract

Purpose

Fleet management is a key function in humanitarian organizations, but is not always recognized as such. This results in poor performance and negative impacts on the organization. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrates how the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) managed to substantially improve its fleet management through the introduction of an Internal Leasing Program (ILP), in which headquarters procures vehicles and leases them to field offices.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper develops a framework for fleet management based on a longitudinal case study with UNHCR. It compares fleet performance indicators before and after implementation of an ILP.

Findings

At UNHCR, vehicle procurement was driven by availability of funding. Fleet management was highly decentralized and field offices had limited awareness of its importance. These systems and behaviors led to major challenges for the organization. The introduction of the ILP positively impacted fleet management at UNHCR by reducing fleet size, average age of fleet and procurement costs.

Practical implications

This paper provides fleet managers with a tool for analyzing their fleet. The frameworks and actions described in this paper contain practical recommendations for achieving a well-performing fleet.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to analyze fleet management before and after introduction of an ILP. It describes the benefits of this model based on empirical data, and develops frameworks to be used by researchers and practitioners.

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2012

Nathan Kunz and Gerald Reiner

The purpose of this paper is to give an up‐to‐date and structured insight into the most recent literature on humanitarian logistics, and suggest trends for future research…

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4217

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to give an up‐to‐date and structured insight into the most recent literature on humanitarian logistics, and suggest trends for future research based on the gaps identified through structured content analysis.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a quantitative and qualitative content analysis process to analyse the characteristics of the existing literature, identifying the most studied topics in six structural dimensions, and presenting gaps and recommendations for further research.

Findings

It was found that existing humanitarian logistics research shows too little interest in continuous humanitarian aid operations, in slow onset disasters and man‐made catastrophes. While several papers address different phases of disasters, very few focus particularly on the reconstruction following a disaster. Empirical research is underrepresented in the existing literature as well.

Research limitations/implications

While five of the authors’ structural dimensions are inspired by previous reviews, the sixth dimension (situational factors) is derived from a theoretical framework which the authors developed and which has never been tested before. The validity of the study could therefore be increased by testing this framework.

Originality/value

The authors analyse the broadest set of papers (174) ever covered in previous literature reviews on humanitarian logistics. A quantitative analysis of the papers was conducted in order to analyse the situational factors which have mostly been studied so far in literature. This paper is also the first in humanitarian logistics to use content analysis as the main methodology to analyse literature in a structured way, which is of particular value to the academic community as well as practitioners.

Details

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

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

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166

Abstract

Details

Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6747

Content available
Article
Publication date: 6 November 2017

Gerald Reiner, Pamela Danese and Stefan Gold

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1018

Abstract

Details

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

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