Personnel needs assessment in times of crisis: a focus on management of disasters


  • Vignana Jyothi Institute of Management, Department of HR, Hyderabad, India and IBS – Hyderabad, The ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education



Competency models, Content analysis, Disaster management, Humanitarian logistics, Job analysis


Purpose – This study aims to explain the importance of human resources and attempts to identify the competencies required by the personnel involved in disaster management operations.

Design/methodology/approach – The research uses a qualitative methodology to explore the competencies required by the relief workers using a content analysis approach to analyze the disaster literature and the job advertisements. The data for the content analysis was developed with the help of 23 independent coders, and exploratory inferences were drawn.

Findings – A detailed review of the literature highlighted the importance of competent personnel in disaster relief organizations. The analysis listed 34 mutually exclusive competencies and their relative importance, which were further divided into four competency clusters. The study also creates a competency dictionary that defines the competencies with the expected behaviors.

Practical implications – Deploying the right resources in the acute time frame during a disaster event can make a difference, and with lives at stake, such deployment acquires prime importance. In addition to contributing to humanitarian logistics literature, the competency model developed will also help forecast the future requirements and help the organization choose “the right person for the right job.”

Originality/value – The inferences drawn in the study are based on disaster management areas, unlike earlier research which also considered business logistics research.


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