Purpose: The aim of this paper is to conduct a systematic literature review to understand the state of the art of partnerships between humanitarian organizations and business corporations in managing humanitarian logistics. Design/methodology/approach: A systematic literature review is conducted based on the steps proposed by Denyer and Tranfield (2009). The context-intervention-mechanism-outcome (CIMO) logic is applied to identify the state of the art of partnerships between humanitarian organizations and business corporations in humanitarian logistics. Thirty-six papers related to the topic are extracted from recognized journal databases and then classified into four categories based on the CIMO logic: situational context, intervention factors, mechanisms and outcomes. Findings: The study shows that while the context and mechanisms for developing cross-sector partnerships between the humanitarian and the business sector have been examined and illuminated by many researchers, additional research (in particular, empirical studies) is needed to measure outcomes as well as the contributions of partnerships to the performance of humanitarian logistics. In addition to synthesizing the literature in this area, this study also presents challenges of such partnerships. Practical implications: The study improves the understanding of the state of cross-sector partnerships in humanitarian logistics as well as identifies opportunities for future research in this area. The study provides reasons and motives of initiating humanitarian–business partnerships in humanitarian logistics as well as their mechanisms and potential outcomes. This may help in developing successful logistics partnerships with each other. Originality/value: This is the first systematic literature review to examine the nature of partnerships between humanitarian organizations and business corporations in humanitarian logistics using CIMO logic.
- Humanitarian logistics
- Humanitarian relief