This paper examines learning to collaborate in the context of industrial supply relationships. Evidence of collaboration, and individual and organizational learning, from an in-depth case study of a large organization and its relations with two key suppliers is discussed. Analytic methods developed to elicit such evidence and provide insights into learning processes and outcomes are presented. It is argued that it is possible for an organization and individuals to learn to develop resilient collaborative relationships, but this requires a more thorough consideration and understanding of issues such as trust, commitment and teamwork than has been typical to date. Suggestions for future practice and research are presented.
- industrial purchasing and marketing
- organizational learning
- interorganizational collaboration