How Humanitarian Culture Informs Change Adoption: A Case Study of Humanitarian Logistics

  • Rebecca WaltonEmail author
  • Robin Mays
  • Mark Haselkorn
Part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science book series (ISOR)


This chapter presents a longitudinal case study of change management within a geographically distributed emergency logistics team at a large international humanitarian organization. We found four categories of factors affecting change adoption: (1) individual barriers to change, (2) individual drivers of change, (3) collective barriers to change, and (4) collective drivers of change. These factors reflected specific instances of humanitarian culture at play in influencing whether change is adopted. Our findings identified not only singular factors but, more importantly, the interplay among factors that contributed to the ultimate outcome—whether change was adopted. Key findings include that (1) individual barriers have a stronger influence for advancing or inhibiting change in humanitarian teams and (2) collective factors establish an environment that can either catalyze or prohibit individual change factors. These findings have practical implications for facilitating change adoption in humanitarian organizations.


Change management change adoption humanitarian culture logistics humanitarian organizations longitudinal research 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technical and Professional CommunicationUtah State UniversityLoganUSA
  2. 2.Human Centered Design & EngineeringUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA

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