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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The social construction of donations: Agility, adaptability, and alignment as success determinants in relief supply chains
by Nelan, Mary M., Ph.D., University of Delaware, 2016, 176; 10191730
Abstract (Summary)

The convergence of material donations following disaster events is well documented in the literature. This influx of goods is often dubbed a “second disaster” with non-priority and unnecessary goods causing transportation and storage challenges to the community of survivors. Interviews were conducted following Hurricane Sandy in 2013 and two tornadoes outside of Oklahoma City in May 2013. By utilizing the Triple-A model (agility, adaptability, and alignment), which has previously been applied to commercial and humanitarian supply chains, and the social construction paradigm, this dissertation investigates how stakeholders understand donations and the roles of the features of the Triple-A model in the disaster relief supply chain. Findings illustrate conflicting views about the necessity for agility, adaptability, and alignment. From a broader perspective, the findings reveal that individuals involved in the supply chain differentially assign value in the donations process, including if they value donor needs over survivor needs, and if cash or materiel items are of greater value to the donors and survivors. Agility, the timing, flexibility, and reaction time in the supply chain, was viewed as necessary to a healthy supply chain, however there was not a universal understanding of how to achieve an agile supply chain. Overall, alignment of donor interests and survivor interests was constructed as necessary by stakeholders in the disaster affected community, however donation drive coordinators lacked a clear understanding of how to align the interests of survivors and donors. Lastly, adaptability to structural changes was constructed as necessary, except in the cases of individuals and organizations that placed a higher value on donor generosity over survivor interests. Further research is necessary into the social construction of the value of donations, as well as how agility, adaptability, and alignment are understood in the disaster relief supply chain.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wachtendorf, Tricia
Commitee: Bowler, Anne, Holguin-Veras, Jose, Kendra, James
School: University of Delaware
Department: Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice
School Location: United States -- Delaware
Source: DAI-A 78/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Sociology
Keywords: Adaptability, Agility, Alignment, Disaster donations, Materiel convergence, Triple-A model
Publication Number: 10191730
ISBN: 978-1-369-35146-0
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