Issues of Leadership in Humanitarian Aid Operations


Mojtaba Salem (Kühne Logistics University - KLU), Prof. Maria Besiou, PhD (Kühne Logistics University - KLU), Prof. Dr. Niels Van Quaquebeke (Kühne Logistics University - KLU)

Funded by Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF)

Brief description

Given the number of disasters such as famine, earthquakes and floods in our world, there is a need for well-executed humanitarian aid. Yet, aid organizations continue to face many problems during their operations. While the field of humanitarian aid has traditionally been looked at from an operational angle this research project, financed by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, seeks to advance behavioral insights in the respective dynamics of the execution by leaders to better understand the organizational dynamics such as teamwork and communication  in order to make humanitarian  aid more effective.

Purpose

Practitioner reports suggest that aid organizations continue to face many problems during their operations despite available financial and human resources. While the field of humanitarian aid has traditionally been looked at from an operational angle to address the respective challenges  this research project seeks to advance behavioral insights in the respective dynamics of the execution by leaders. As such, the research focuses on leaders and the role they play for 1) effective collaboration between local and expatriate humanitarian staff, 2) effective use of local knowledge, skills, and abilities, and 3) effective trust-building between field offices and headquarters. To this end, three empirical study areas examine categories of mediation and moderation factors that can tie well-established organizational leadership theories to central humanitarian operation outcomes.The project seeks to draw actionable recommendations for humanitarian practice but also help the respective research mature beyond the immediate focus on finances and logistics.

Subjects

Humanitarian Logistics, Leadership

Project partners

Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), Kühne Logistics University

Website

Contact person

Mojtaba Salem

PhD Candidate