Performance measurement in humanitarian logistics: a customer-oriented approach

Sarah Schiffling*, Maja Piecyk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a performance measurement framework that takes into account the key stakeholders of the logistics departments or personnel in humanitarian organisations. It reflects their views and characteristics by adapting the balanced scorecard (BSC) to this environment. The key stakeholders are identified using the stakeholder salience framework by Mitchell et al. (1997). Design/methodology/approach – This is a conceptual paper based on a systematic literature review on stakeholders, customers and performance measurement in humanitarian supply chains. Findings – Beneficiaries are the customers that are the reason for the existence of humanitarian supply chains. Donors are the stakeholder group with the highest salience due to the greatest amount of power. Both groups have their own interests, creating a challenging environment for performance measurement. Standard business tools such as the BSC have to be adapted accordingly to be useful in this environment. Research limitations/implications – This paper is conceptual and the proposed framework is yet to be tested empirically. Practical implications – The proposed framework can help humanitarian organisations focus on the aspects of performance that are most relevant to their key customer groups. Originality/value – The research brings together the complexities of humanitarian supply chains with the increasing customer focus that can be seen in commercial service supply chains. Based on an assessment of stakeholder salience, the difference in key customer groups is analysed. The resulting framework provides indications for balancing their diverging needs.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)198-221
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 07.10.2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Balanced scorecard
  • Customer focus
  • Humanitarian logistics
  • Stakeholder theory
  • Supply chain management
  • Systematic literature review


Dive into the research topics of 'Performance measurement in humanitarian logistics: a customer-oriented approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this