University of Leicester
2019BhimaniSPhD.pdf (3.64 MB)

The Art Of Aid And War In Supply Chain Management

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posted on 2019-11-25, 11:57 authored by Shawn Bhimani
This thesis uses mixed-methods to study key areas of concern in supply chain management for the improved delivery of humanitarian aid and the fight against dark supply chains, specifically human trafficking. The growing field of supply chain management finds some of its antecedents in the operations of war, business, and in the delivery of aid. These three areas employ similar supply chain management tools and are inextricably linked, yet prior research is compartmentalised with the study of one area at a time, often with the questionable assumption of altruistic objectives of the main actors. This thesis challenges such common notions by providing new insights on:
• supply chain vulnerabilities that span across industries,
• an objective of stopping a supply chain rather than improving it, and
• an understanding of how to disrupt human trafficking supply chains.
To begin, I perform a literature survey to outline the key humanitarian areas that can benefit from further research in supply chain management (Chapter 1). This extends the realm of humanitarian research to include dark (i.e. hidden) supply chains as a field of study. To better understand dark supply chains, I employ multiple methodologies which are introduced in Chapter 2. I provide an exposition of the operational methods of dark supply chains in Chapter 3. In Chapter 4, I use game theory to analyse established industry and government protocols to optimise the decisions that underpin supply chain regulation on forced labour. In order to combat human trafficking supply chains, I use econometrics to study historical supply chain failures and categorise their vulnerabilities in Chapter 5. Chapter 6 applies the findings from the previous chapters to the dark supply chains involved in the case of illegal gold mining in Peru. The thesis ends with discussion and relevant directions for future research in supply chain management.



Dimitris Papadopoulos; Simon Lilley

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Business

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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