Coordination Barriers between Humanitarian Organizations and Commercial Agencies in Times of Disaster

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/Internationella Handelshögskolan


This research study is designed to analyze the vertical coordination barriers that are present between humanitarian organizations and commercial agencies in times of emergency situation when delivering aid. The main aim of this research study is to identify those barriers that hinder coordination between both entities.

The methodology of this research study is based on a deductive theoretical approach. This research is qualitative and exploratory in nature. Primary data has been collected through interviews, and secondary data has been collected through libraries, and websites. Data gathered was analyzed in light of the literature review in the frame of reference.

Conclusions arrived from this study reflect the answers from the humanitarian organizations and commercial agencies that have been interviewed.

Research from the perspective of humanitarian organizations indicate that humanitarian agencies lag behind when it comes to managing their supply chains in times of disaster, whereas, literature from the commercial agencies indicate that commercial agencies manage their supply chains efficiently and effectively. Moreover, humanitarian organizations and commercial agencies have different organizational objectives and manage their supply chains differently and for different purposes. The research shows that humanitarian organizations speak a different language in the sense where humanitarian organizations are not concerned with making profit, as their main goal is to provide aid and assistance to beneficiaries in times of disaster, where this statement is not true for commercial agencies since their end aim is to generate profit. This can be the cornerstone of their main differences and causes of barriers when coordinating together and delivering aid in times of disaster.

Based on the conducted interviews and literature review it becomes obvious that there are many vertical coordination barriers between humanitarian organizations and commercial agencies, thus hindering the process of efficient aid delivery to areas struck by disaster. Also, this research study findings suggest that there is an obvious and vast demand for humanitarian organizations to coordinate with commercial agencies and learn from their supply chain practices especially when it comes to logistical capabilities and services.

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