Learning alliances: a customersupplier focus for continuous improvement in manufacturing

Peter E.d. Love, A. Gunasekaran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The manufacturing industry is becoming increasingly competitive. In order to remain competitive there is a need for improved interorganizational relations between organizations so as to improve the performance. In an attempt to improve cost effectiveness and improve quality, as well as create a longterm competitive advantage, manufacturing organizations are beginning to initiate strategic alliances with their customers and suppliers as part of their supply chain management. This paper suggests that the key to gaining a competitive advantage and improving customer satisfaction lie with the ability of manufacturing organizations to form learning alliances. Essentially, learning alliances are strategic partnerships that are based on creating an environment that encourages mutual and reflective learning between supply chain partners. It is suggested that an alliance based on cooperation can encourage higher levels of trust and commitment. This paper presents a learning framework founded on total quality management for the formation of cooperative alliances between manufacturing organizations in a supply chain. The implications of forming a learning alliance in manufacturing are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-96
Number of pages9
JournalIndustrial and Commercial Training
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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