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Investigating the strategic antecedents of agility in humanitarian logistics

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 08:28 authored by L'Hermitte, C, Benjamin BrooksBenjamin Brooks, Marcus Bowles, Tatham, PH
This study investigates the strategic antecedents of operational agility in humanitarian logistics. It began by identifying the particular actions to be taken at the strategic level of a humanitarian organisation to support field-level agility. Next, quantitative data (n = 59) were collected on four strategic-level capabilities (being purposeful, action-focused, collaborative, and learning-oriented) and on operational agility (field responsiveness and flexibility). Using a quantitative analysis, the study tested the relationship between organisational capacity building and operational agility and found that the four strategic-level capabilities are fundamental building blocks of agility. Collectively they account for 52 per cent of the ability of humanitarian logisticians to deal with ongoing changes and disruptions in the field. This study emphasises the need for researchers and practitioners to embrace a broader perspective of agility in humanitarian logistics. In addition, it highlights the inherently strategic nature of agility, the development of which involves focusing simultaneously on multiple drivers.


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Australian Maritime College


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

© 2017 The Author(s). Disasters © Overseas Development Institute, 2017 This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: L'Hermitte, C., Brooks, B., Bowles, M., Tatham, P. H., 2017. Investigating the strategic antecedents of agility in humanitarian logistics, Disasters, 41(4), 672-695, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

International aid and development