Humanitarian Organizations Under Pressure

  • Günter Müller-StewensEmail author
  • Tami Dinh
  • Bettina Hartmann
  • Martin J. Eppler
  • Fabienne Bünzli
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Business book series (BRIEFSBUSINESS)


In this chapter we offer an overview on the characteristics of humanitarian organizations (HO). We describe the challenges that such organizations face and describe our research objectives. We also briefly present the design of the current study. We then identify emergency response and relief work as specificities and key challenges of humanitarian organizations, as the intention of any HO is to save lives, alleviate suffering and protect human dignity. Studying HOs should help us understand how to decide and proceed in a complex stakeholder environment and under immense pressure. We use the perspective of stakeholder theory to examine these phenomena throughout this and subsequent chapters. With regard to decision making at the ICRC, we analyze various decisions in a context of high complexity, high urgency, and high ambiguity.


Humanitarian Organizations (HOs) International Committee Of The Red Cross (ICRC) Stakeholder Theory Cooperative For Assistance And Relief Everywhere (CARE) Large Bureaucratic Machine 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Günter Müller-Stewens
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tami Dinh
    • 2
  • Bettina Hartmann
    • 3
  • Martin J. Eppler
    • 4
  • Fabienne Bünzli
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of ManagementUniversity of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland
  2. 2.Institute of Accounting, Control and AuditingUniversity of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland
  3. 3.University of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland
  4. 4.Institute for Media and Communications ManagementUniversity of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland

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