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Humanitarian cluster leads: lessons from 4PLs
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Marketing and Logistics.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Humanitarian Logistics and Supply Chain Management, ISSN 2042-6747, Vol. 2, no 2, 148-160 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of the role of humanitarian cluster leads through applying lessons from the fourth-party logistics (4PL) literature.

Design/methodology/approach – The primary data for this paper are based on an extensive case study of coordination mechanisms in humanitarian logistics covering specifically the UNJLC (United Nations Joint Logistics Centre) and the Logistics Cluster. In total, 37 semi-structured interviews were conducted, together with site visits and review of official documentation.

Findings – The paper finds that the 4PL concept provides a partial match for the cluster leads with important lessons from the 4PL literature. In particular, lessons are related to selectivity of central participants for the cluster, and the need to develop relationship management skills.

 Research limitations/implications – The paper shows some clear areas where lessons from the 4PL literature are highly relevant to the logistics cluster lead. Some of these implications can also be applied to the other clusters, but further concepts should be developed for the cluster system as a whole.

Social implications – The analysis shows that cluster leads should think of themselves more as facilitators rather than channel captains.


Originality/value – The tasks for the humanitarian cluster leads have been outlined in some detail, but the ways to accomplish them and how they should operate in relation to other actors in the field has been less clear. By using the 4PL concept the paper demonstrates a number of lessons that are relevant to the logistics cluster lead in particular.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012. Vol. 2, no 2, 148-160 p.
Keyword [en]
Humanitarian logistics, Channel relationships, Inter-organizational co-operation
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-19862DOI: 10.1108/20426741211260732OAI: diva2:571205
Available from: 2012-11-26 Created: 2012-11-21 Last updated: 2012-11-26Bibliographically approved

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