Does R&D intensity promote the adoption of circular supply chain management? Evidence from China

Xiaohong Chen, Lujie Chen*, Mengqi Jiang, Ji Yan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the relationship between research and development (R&D) intensity and circular supply chain management (CSCM) adoption of high-tech manufacturing companies in China to deepen our understanding of how to improve CSCM adoption in emerging economies. In particular, we examine the moderating effect of three kinds of institutional pressures (i.e., regulatory pressure from governmental regulations, mimetic pressure from industry competition, and normative pressure from overseas customer demand) from the perspective of institutional theory. Based on the panel data of 310 Chinese listed companies from 2006 to 2019, we find that R&D intensity positively affects firms’ CSCM adoption. We further observe that this positive effect is strengthened when the ratio of state-owned shares or the degree of industry competition is higher. However, overseas operating income does not affect the impact of R&D intensity on CSCM adoption. Our study contributes to the literature on the innovation – circular economy debate, confirming the positive effect of R&D intensity on firms' CSCM adoption, and provides insights into moderating effects on this relationship in an emerging economy context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-166
Number of pages14
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2021


  • CSCM
  • Circular economy
  • Innovation
  • Institutional theory
  • R&D intensity


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