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We introduce and empirically test the creation-dispersion model of supply chain organizational learning to align learning orientations in a supply chain context. Our paper seeks to advance the knowledge on supply chain organizational learning by showing that four distinct supply chain learning orientations (team, learning, memory, and systems), previously studied only as a collective, can be parsed strategically. We parse these four learning orientations into creation capacity (team and learning orientations) and dispersion capacity (memory and system orientations). The creation and dispersion capacity can enhance exploration (long-term) and exploitation (short-term) practices respectively in supply chain organizations. We used a survey questionnaire to collect data from 128 respondents belonging to firms of various sizes and different industries. We find that creation capacity is positively associated with exploration and indirectly associated with exploitation through exploration. Dispersion capacity is associated with exploitation and indirectly influences market share and profitability through exploitation. The findings demonstrate that creation and dispersion-based combinations of supply chain learning orientations coalesce to influence exploration and exploitation practices. We discuss the implications for supply chain organizational learning literature.


This is the authors' manuscript of a work originally published in the International Journal of Production Economics, available at



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