Improving information alignment and coordination in humanitarian supply chain through blockchain technology

Rameshwar Dubey, Angappa Gunasekaran, Cyril R.H. Foropon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: The coordination among the various entities such as the military, government agencies, civilians, non-governmental agencies, and other commercial enterprises is one of the most challenging aspects of managing the humanitarian supply chain. Blockchain technology (BCT) can facilitate coordination, but the cost and other hindrances have limited their application in disaster relief operations. Despite some studies, the existing literature does not provide a nuanced understanding of the application of blockchain technology to improve information alignment and coordination. Motivated by some recent examples where blockchain technology has been used to trace and mobilize resources in the form of funds and materials from the origin to the destination, the authors develop a theoretical model grounded in the contingent resource-based view. Design/methodology/approach: To empirically validate the model and test the research hypotheses, the authors gathered cross-sectional data using a structured pre-tested questionnaire. In this study, the authors gathered our responses from international non-governmental organizations from twenty-four countries. The authors performed the statistical analyses using variance-based structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) with the help of commercial software (WarpPLS 7.0). Findings: The findings of the study offer some useful implications for theory and practice. The results obtained through statistical analyses suggest that the BCT significantly affects information alignment and coordination. However, contrary to popular beliefs the study suggests that intergroup leadership has no significant moderating effect on the paths joining BCT and information alignment/coordination. Moreover, the authors found that the control variable (interdependence) significantly affects the information alignment and coordination further, which opens the room for further investigation. Practical implications: The result of the study offers some useful guidance. Firstly, it suggests that humanitarian organizations should invest in BCT to improve information alignment and coordination which is one of the most complex tasks in front of humanitarian organizations. Secondly, intergroup leadership may not have desired influence on the effects of BCT on information alignment/coordination. However, the interdependence of the humanitarian organizations on each other may have a significant influence on the information alignment/coordination. Originality/value: The study offers some useful implications for theory. For instance, how BCT influences information alignment and coordination was not well understood in the context of humanitarian settings. Hence, this study offers a nuanced understanding of technology-enabled coordination in humanitarian settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-827
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Enterprise Information Management
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 13 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences

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