US Federal Government Contracting for Disaster Management

Published In

Journal of Operations Management

Document Type


Publication Date



Disasters affect hundreds of millions of people every year and the response of governments is crucial in alleviating the suffering of those affected. Despite the importance of contracting in response to disasters, research on this topic is conspicuous by its absence. This paper begins to address this gap by investigating the choice of procurement contract type by US federal agencies during disaster management operations. The research relies on 47,560 contracts issued by the US federal government in response to 14 major disasters between 2005 and 2016. We build on agency theory to investigate the choice of the contract type made by federal agencies at the different stages of a relief operation. This research provides empirical evidence of the key factors underpinning the choice of contract in the context of disaster management, namely the amount of spend per contract and the type of acquisition (product or service), and reveals the moderating role of the stage of the relief operation.


© 2024 Association for Supply Chain Management, Inc.

Locate the Document



Persistent Identifier


Wiley Online