Logistics-Focused Partnerships Between For-Profit Companies and Humanitarian Organizations: A Content Analysis
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Logistics is one of the most important functions of a humanitarian organization, however research has identified major shortcomings of humanitarian logistics (HL) in comparison to effective for-profit logistics operations. Little research has been conducted regarding logistics-related partnerships between for-profit companies and humanitarian organizations. Existing research indicates that these partnerships are helpful and might improve humanitarian logistics operations overall. The purpose of this thesis is to provide a structured assessment of cases relating to logistics-focused partnerships between for-profit companies and humanitarian organizations, and from these cases identify commonalities which contribute to the success of the partnerships. The author employs literature review and qualitative content analysis methods. The literature review provides a brief overview of the current state of HL and explains the origins of the research questions. The content analysis assesses five case studies and identifies commonalities between cases. Key findings of the case analysis are that cross-sector HL partnerships are successful and beneficial for both parties. These partnerships especially improve humanitarian groups’ proficiency in logistics. Additionally, the research indicates establishing shared values and principles, and outlining deployment criteria for new partnerships reduces difficulties in initiating and maintaining partnerships. This knowledge is valuable because mechanisms for overcoming barriers to partnerships can be utilized by HL practitioners to facilitate more successful cross-sector collaboration in the future.