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Authors: Kabra, Gaurav
Keywords: Analytic Hierarchy Process
Humanitarian Supply Chain Management
Information Technology
Performance Management
Technique for order performance by similarity to ideal solution
Issue Date: Apr-2016
Abstract: The steadily growing number of disasters and its severe impact throughout the world are calling for a more efficient and effective handling of disaster relief operations. The need for a systematic disaster response process is an increasing concern for both the practitioners on the ground and the academicians involved in this field of study. Hence, humanitarian supply chain management (HSCM) that become visible immediately after the occurrence of disaster, is a prevalent and widely studied research topic. The recent disasters such as disaster that occurred in Uttarakhand (a Northern state in India) reveal that the existing preparedness is less than satisfactory and particularly, in emerging economics like India, such preparedness require high priority. In particular, India is prone to natural disasters and is one of the most disasters prone country in the world due to its unique geo-climatic condition. Consequently, the research presented in this thesis addresses what is argued to be the under-representation on the management of the relief supply chain. The low use of information technology (IT) in the HSCM was among the issues criticized by most of the keynote speakers during several international conferences such as “International Conference on Humanitarian Logistics (ICHL, 2013)” held at Indian Institute of Management Raipur, India during December 2-3, 2013. The utilization of IT have proved to be one of the success driver in commercial supply chain management (CSCM); and the adoption of IT in HSCM has been promoted as a “silver bullet” in many areas of disaster relief supply chain. Despite the fact that India is the well-known IT hub, the utilization of IT inherent within CSCM have not been observed in the HSCM and is still a major concern. Therefore, this research is aimed at examining the supply chain management (SCM) practices; particularly in the Indian context with reference to utilization of IT by stakeholders involved in the disaster relief operations. Subsequently, the research presented here answers the following question that why should and how could the stakeholders effectively improve the utilization of IT in the area of HSCM? Through a combination of qualitative and quantitative research, the research draws on the results of research contributions on the utilization of IT in the relief operations, as well as on insights arising from the case study on the disaster that occurred in the Uttarakhand (a Northern state in India) on June 14, 2013. A study was carried out to review the available literature on HSCM which helped in encapsulating various research outcomes in a structures manner, and issues related to conceptual frameworks, empirical studies, field and case studies, etc. were bought out. This research bridges some of the gaps in the contemporary research. The research analyze various factors related to the utilization of IT in humanitarian supply chain (HSC) within Indian context. Firstly, 25 factors that hamper the utilization of IT were identified through comprehensive literature review and were empirically verified through middle level managers involved in past relief operations that occurred in India. Thereafter, the factors were iii prioritized using fuzzy Analytic hierarchy process (AHP). Secondly, 19 solutions to overcome the factors affecting the maximum utilization of IT were proposed and empirically verified through the experts of HSCM. Further, these solutions are prioritized using fuzzy Technique for order performance by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS); that considers the ambiguity, uncertainty and impreciseness rather than a crisp value. The result indicate that the stakeholders of HSC should plan strategically to utilize the advantages of IT in the coming years. There is strong need to pay special attention to providing adequate training and support to the organizations for adopting the IT in HSC. The plan should be aligned with their goals as they have limited resources in terms of capital, time and human resources. Furthermore, the research presented here, empirically investigate the relationship between various factors affecting the utilization of IT in HSCM using structural equation modeling (SEM). An integrated technology adoption model based on technological and organizational (TO) framework, interorganizational relationships (IOR), and unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) model is proposed and empirically validated. For the purpose, a questionnaire instrument and hypotheses are developed and tested to gain insight on various factors affecting the utilization of IT in HSCM. The result indicates that managerial obstacles, technology readiness, financial resources of an organization and mutual trust and information sharing among organizations significantly affect the successful implementation and utilization of IT in HSC. The findings of the research shed some new light on the IT utilization issues in humanitarian as well as for commercial supply chain, provides a more effective, efficient, robust and a systematic way to overcome barriers so that the decision makers can realize the benefits of IT in relief operations. The findings will be of great benefit to the practitioners, academicians and policy makers in the area of humanitarian relief supply chain, as it will help the decision makers to better understand the benefits and impediments associated with the adoption and utilization of IT by helping to provide a set of critical success and failure factors. Smaller organizations in particular can benefit from the services that become accessible through a more cooperative approach by the utilization of IT in HSCM. Moreover, the research concludes with some of the issues which, if addressed will improve the utilization of IT and thereby benefit overall efficiency and effectiveness to the general betterment of future relief provision. Finally, an attempt is made to identify scope for future research work. In summary, the research presented in this thesis is both timely and pertinent as it investigates themes and issues that have significant implications for the practitioners, academicians and researchers in order to improve the performance of HSCM
Appears in Collections:DOCTORAL THESES (Management)

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