Disaster Relief Supply Chain Management: the Effect of Organizational Factors on Improvisation and Performance



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Within the past decade disasters have taken a tremendous humanitarian and economic toll globally. Providing effective relief to the victims of these disasters requires efficient management of a quickly formed supply chain in the context of a rapidly changing and extremely uncertain environment. Supply chain management under these circumstances requires both planning and improvisation. In an effort to help organizations use scarce time and resources more efficiently, this research examines the relationships between planning, capability factors, improvisation, and performance in disaster relief supply chains. Survey data from disaster relief practitioners is analyzed using the partial least squares method of structural equation modeling. Factors and capabilities which affect the effectiveness of planning and the incidence and effectiveness of improvisation in disaster relief supply chain management are presented. Incidence of Improvisation is found to have a positive effect on the performance of disaster relief supply chains. Creative capability, empowerment, and information focus are found to increase the incidence of improvisation. Information focus and empowerment are found to have a positive direct effect on performance. Overall, the factors studied show how planning, capabilities, improvisation, and performance are related in the realm of disaster relief supply chain management.



Supply chain management, Disaster relief, Improvisation, Partial least squares