Toward a conceptualization of humanitarian service providers

Diego Vega*, Christine Roussat

*Motsvarande författare för detta arbete

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review

3 Citeringar (Scopus)

Sammanfattning

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.

OriginalspråkEngelska
Referentgranskad vetenskaplig tidskriftThe International Journal of Logistics Management
Volym30
Utgåva4
Sidor (från-till)929-957
Antal sidor29
ISSN0957-4093
DOI
StatusPublicerad - 11.11.2019
MoE-publikationstypA1 Originalartikel i en vetenskaplig tidskrift

Nyckelord

  • 512 Företagsekonomi

Styrkeområden och områden med hög potential (AoS och AoHP)

  • AoHP: Humanitär och samhällslogistik

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