City Research Online

Dynamic Capabilities of Global and Local Humanitarian Organizations with Emergency Response and Long-Term Development Missions

Son, B-G. ORCID: 0000-0002-7395-0598, Roscoe, S. & ManMohan, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-2031-4387 (2024). Dynamic Capabilities of Global and Local Humanitarian Organizations with Emergency Response and Long-Term Development Missions. International Journal of Operations and Production Management, doi: 10.1108/ijopm-12-2022-0778


Purpose – This study aims to answer the question: What dynamic capabilities do diverse humanitarian organizations have?

Design/methodology/approach – We examine this question through the lens of dynamic capabilities with sensing, seizing, and reconfiguring capacities. The research team interviewed 15 individuals from 12 humanitarian organizations that had (a) different geographic scopes (global versus local) and (b) different missions (emergency response versus long-term development aid). We also gathered data from secondary sources, including standard operating procedures, company websites, and news databases (Factiva, Reuters, and Bloomberg).

Findings – The findings identify the operational and dynamic capabilities of global and local humanitarian organizations while distinguishing between their mission to provide long-term development aid or emergency relief. (1) The global organizations, with their beneficiary responsiveness, reconfigured their sensing and seizing capacities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic by pivoting quickly to local procurement or regional supply chains. The long-term development organizations pivoted to multi-year supplier agreements with fixed pricing to counter price uncertainty and accessed social capital with government bodies. In contrast, emergency response organizations developed end-to-end supply chain visibility to sense changes in supply and demand. (2) Local humanitarian organizations developed the capacity to sense demand and supply changes to reconfigure based on their experiential learning working with the local community. The long-term-development local organizations used un-owned and scalable relief infrastructure to seize opportunities to rebuild affected areas. In contrast, emergency response organizations developed their capacity to seize opportunities to provide aid stemming from their decentralized decision-making, a lack of structured procedures, and the authority for increased expenditure.

Originality/value – We propose a theoretical framework to identify humanitarian organizations' operational and dynamic capabilities, distinguishing between global and local organizations and their emergency response and long-term aid missions.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © the authors. This AAM is provided for your own personal use only. It may not be used for resale, reprinting, systematic distribution, emailing, or for any other commercial purpose without the permission of the publisher.
Publisher Keywords: Humanitarian operations, COVID-19, dynamic capabilities, long-term aid, emergency response, global and local humanitarian organizations
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Departments: Bayes Business School
Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of IJOPM-12-2022-0778.R3_Proof_hi.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Download (1MB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login