Environmental Requirements, Knowledge Sharing and Green Innovation: Empirical Evidence from the Electronics Industry in China


Correspondence to: Stanley Kam Sing Wong, University of Newcastle – Newcastle Graduate School of Business, Callaghan, New South Wales, Australia. E-mail: stanleykswong@gmail.com


Building on the Porter hypothesis, which posits that regulatory stringency triggers innovation and thereby allows firms to achieve the dual purpose of environment protection and enhanced business performance, the present research develops an integrative model that explores the determinants of green innovation with a focus being placed on knowledge sharing. Data were collected from 203 green innovation project leaders from electronics manufacturers operating in China. The results indicate that knowledge sharing mediates the relationship between green requirements and new green product success as well as that between green requirements and green product and process innovations. Interestingly, the empirical analysis rejects the hypothesized positive influence of green requirements on green product and process innovations as well as that on new green product success, while confirming that there exists a direct and positive association between green requirements and knowledge sharing. The direct positive impact of knowledge sharing is the strongest on green process innovation. This study provides a theoretical basis for investigating the possible determinants in the causal links between green requirements and green innovation success and establishes that knowledge sharing and green process innovation may be the points where leverage can be applied to best secure innovation success. Implications of the findings on environmental policy and law design are also discussed to see how the regulatory role of the government can be better positioned to facilitate compliance and innovation. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.