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Network Coordination of Relief Logistics and Its Impact on Field Operations in Emergency Health Services: The Ebola Crisis in Liberia in 2014

Yoon Ah, Shin (2020) Network Coordination of Relief Logistics and Its Impact on Field Operations in Emergency Health Services: The Ebola Crisis in Liberia in 2014. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This research aims to answer the following question: What are the major coordination features and strategies of a humanitarian relief logistics system that will improve the entire response operation where a great number of diverse types of participating organizations engage in collective action under uncertain complex situations? This research investigates a relief logistics network during the Ebola crisis in Liberia 2014 as a case to analyze the evolution process of a humanitarian relief logistics system to meet emerging needs in a changing situation. Based on the complex adaptive system framework, this case is analyzed with an institutional analysis and development framework, institutional collective action, social networks, and theory of fields. This system evolution process is decomposed with two different levels: individual organizational behaviors in developing partnerships and collective action structures derived by organizational partnerships. As a core mechanism of a system evolution, the changes of coordination manners play a critical role in leading organizational choices of partners, in turn, re-structuring collective action structure. A set of data was collected by mixed methods, including network coding, semi- structured interviews, and documentation reviews. Then, this research utilized documentary analysis, logistics regression analysis, descriptive/statistical social network analyses, and qualitative analysis based on grounded theory.
By demonstrating a complex phenomenon into different levels of analyses, this research showed the evolution process of each level not only independently in parallel but also interactively. Findings suggest that a county level as a meso-level of a society plays a central role in engaging
diverse participating organizations across different operational levels into a face-to-face coordination process. Face-to-face coordination plays an active role in establishing a mutual learning process among diverse organizations to reduce perceptive gaps caused by environmental and organizational differences. Without overcoming those perceptive gaps, participating organizations fail to develop new collective rules to adapt and meet emerging needs in a fast- changing environment. This research suggests policy recommendations that can manage the contextual, structural, procedural, and perceptual impediments, and enhance the value of the collective action systems in policy and practice.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Yoon Ah, ShinYOS28@pitt.eduYOS28
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairComfort, Louise K.lkc@pitt.edulkc
Committee MemberPicard, Louis A.picard@pitt.edupicard
Committee MemberLinardi, Seralinardi@pitt.edulinardi
Committee MemberJallah, James
Date: 30 January 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 2 December 2019
Approval Date: 30 January 2020
Submission Date: 19 December 2019
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 255
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Epidemic crisis, Complex adaptive system, Relief logistics network, Inter-organizational coordination, International disaster management
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2020 15:33
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2022 06:15


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