Big data and predictive analytics in humanitarian supply chains: Enabling visibility and coordination in the presence of swift trust

Rameshwar Dubey, Zongwei Luo, Angappa Gunasekaran, Shahriar Akter, Benjamin T. Hazen, Matthew A. Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to understand how big data and predictive analytics (BDPA), as an organizational capability, can improve both visibility and coordination in humanitarian supply chains. Design/methodology/approach: The authors conceptualize a research model grounded in contingent resource-based view where the authors propose that BDPA capabilities affect visibility and coordination under the moderating effect of swift trust. Using ordinary least squares regression, the authors test the hypotheses using survey data collected from informants at 205 international non-government organizations. Findings: The results indicate that BDPA has a significant influence on visibility and coordination. Further, the results suggest that swift trust does not have an amplifying effect on the relationships between BDPA and visibility and coordination. However, the mediation test suggests that swift trust acts as a mediating construct. Hence, the authors argue that swift trust is not the condition for improving coordination among the actors in humanitarian supply chains. Research limitations/implications: The major limitation of the study is that the authors have used cross-sectional survey data to test the research hypotheses. Following Guide and Ketokivi (2015), the authors present arguments on how to address the limitations of cross-sectional data or use of longitudinal data that can address common method bias or endogeneity-related problems. Practical implications: Managers can use this framework to understand: first, how organizational resources can be used to create BDPA, and second, how BDPA can help build swift trust and be used to improve visibility and coordination in the humanitarian supply chain. Originality/value: This is the first research that has empirically tested the anecdotal and conceptual evidence. The findings make notable contributions to existing humanitarian supply chain literature and may be useful to managers who are contemplating the use of BDPA to improve disaster-relief-related activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)485-512
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Transportation


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