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The Implications of Complexity for Humanitarian Logistics: A Complex Adaptive Systems Perspective

Schiffling, S, Hannibal, C, Tickle, M and Fan, Y The Implications of Complexity for Humanitarian Logistics: A Complex Adaptive Systems Perspective. Annals of Operations Research. ISSN 0254-5330 (Accepted)

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Abstract

In this study we argue that recognising humanitarian logistics (HL) as a complex system is a key step in developing supply chain design and management strategies that meet the needs of stakeholders. This study draws on complex adaptive systems theory to examine the characteristics and implications of complexity for HL. Through case-study research of humanitarian responses in Haiti and Pakistan, characteristics of complexity across organisational boundaries are identified. We find that the complexity of the context impacts the outcome of the humanitarian response and conclude that HL must not only react to its environment, it must also create its environment. As HL must work within significantly differing environments to create solutions, the standardised approaches used to manage supply chains are less desirable. While this paper focuses on HL, wider applicability to other complex logistics operations is also discussed, informing the design and management of contextually specific supply chains.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 01 Mathematical Sciences, 08 Information and Computing Sciences, 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Business & Management (new Sep 19)
Publisher: Springer
Date Deposited: 18 May 2020 10:55
Last Modified: 18 May 2020 11:00
DOI or Identification number: 10.1007/s10479-020-03658-w
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12952

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