For many firms, using their supply chains as competitive weapons has become a central element of the strategic management process in recent years. Drawing on the resource-based view and theory from the organizational learning and information-processing literatures, this study uses a sample of 201 firms to examine the influence of a culture of competitiveness and knowledge development on supply chain performance in varied market turbulence conditions. We found that synergies exist between a culture of competitiveness and knowledge development: their interaction has a positive association with performance. In addition, based on behavioral and contingency theories, we found that market turbulence moderates these relationships, having a positive influence on the knowledge development–performance link and a negative influence on the culture of competitiveness–performance link. Managers who are confident about the level of market turbulence they will face can use this sense to decide whether to emphasize developing either a culture of competitiveness or knowledge development in their supply chains. For those firms whose managers are unlikely to be able to predict the degree of turbulence they will face over time, a focus on both a culture of competitiveness and knowledge development is critical to ensuring success. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.