Inderscience Publishers

Socially shaping supply chain integration through learning

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This conceptual paper is concerned with improving supply chain integration through social innovation. It specifically argues for a greater focus on, and more systematic attention towards social and situated learning as the critical means of achieving the integration of the social systems of supply chain participants. The key proposals in this paper diverge from and extend upon the current limited and quite general rhetoric offered about the need to better understand the social systems in supply chains. The conceptual arguments presented are yet to be tested in practice. However, the practical implications of adopting them likely revolve around: supply chain participants conceiving supply chain settings as significant situated learning opportunities; participants conceiving themselves as learners, and; participants reshaping their inter-organisational social networks. Thus, this paper makes a valuable contribution to scholarly and practitioner knowledge and debate about alternate and socially innovative ways to integrate supply chains.

Keywords: supply chain integration, social systems, situated learning, social innovation, supply chain management, SCM, inter-organisational social networks

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