3592 Organizational Learning in Cleaner Production among Mexican Supply Networks

Bart van Hoof , School of Management, University of los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Full Papers
  • OL in CP in MSSP 04_08_2012 BvH GIN2012.pdf (387.0 kB)
  • Justification of the paper:

    This article describes the experience of a Mexican program designed to promote organizational learning in cleaner production (CP) among suppliers of large companies.  The study illustrates how organizational learning comes about in a training program for supply networks employing blended learning methods. Insights are provided on how the characteristics of participating firms influence organizational learning in cleaner production.


    The purpose of this study is to understand the learing process that occured and the learning effects that were achieved in a supply program designed as a cleaner production dissimination mechanism.

    Theoretical framework:

    Principles of organizational learning theory are used as a framework of analysis; learning outcomes among firms participating in the Mexican program are assessed in light of the organizational and individual learning levels described by Snell & Chak (1998). This integrated model for the evaluation of organizational learning has been used by studies with similar purposes cited in the literature.


    The study’s findings show how a significant number of supplier firms met single loop learning levels, whereas only a small group of supplier firms evidenced higher organizational learning levels. This finding confirms a tendency highlighted in the literature on evaluation of CP programs. Other findings drawn from the study show how a participant’s combined technical and administrative profile contributes to higher-level organizational learning by supplier firms. Large firms that participated several times in the program as supply-group leaders showed mixed learning effects.


    The study’s conclusions suggest the potential benefits of employing a blended learning method as a training approach in supply networks. The method fulfills the principles of workplace democracy and liberation, empowerment, organizational learning and dissemination of cleaner production among firms. Nonetheless, the Mexican program yielded little evidence of ongoing, higher-level organizational learning.