An integrated approach to agility in humanitarian logistics

Cécile L’Hermitte*, Marcus Bowles, Peter Tatham, Ben Brooks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose first, a comprehensive model of the concept of agility in a humanitarian logistics context, and second, to generate a research agenda to test and operationalise this model. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on the dynamic capabilities model originated by Teece and uses a topical literature review of research in various business disciplines in order to reflect on the concept of agility in a humanitarian logistics context, to demonstrate that its current scope needs to be widened, and to propose an alternative approach. Findings – The proposed model extends the existing concept of agility in a humanitarian logistics context by integrating agility drivers, responsive and flexible operations, agility enablers, and strategic level agility capabilities into a single model. Research limitations/implications – Further research should focus on the nature of the risks/uncertainties encountered by humanitarian organisations, the interactions between the strategic and operational levels of such an organisation, and the impact of strategic level agility capabilities on field responsiveness and flexibility. Originality/value – This paper brings new insights into the concept of agility in a humanitarian logistics context and contributes a model that reflects a more comprehensive understanding of this concept. In particular, it demonstrates that agility stems from strategic decisions and managerial practices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-233
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Agility
  • Capacity building
  • Dynamic capabilities
  • Humanitarian logistics
  • Humanitarian supply chain
  • Risk management

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