The purpose of this article is to investigate the influences of green product innovation and product process innovation on two constructs of green innovation casual chain: green product competitive advantage and green new product success. The impacts of green product competitive advantage as a partial mediator in the link between green product/process innovations and green new product success are also examined.
A model with four constructs is presented and tested on a sample of 203 R&D project leaders of electronics firms operating in China using quantitative methods.
It is found that green product and process innovations are positively associated with green product competitive advantage and green new product success, and green product competitive advantage partially mediates the relationships between green product/process innovations and green new product success. It is also found that green product innovation exerts a stronger influence on the consequential constructs than green process innovation.
The positive causalities among the constructs suggest that green innovation is more than a branding support. It pays to pursue green innovation. Green product innovation is demonstrated to have a positively stronger influence on both green product competitive advantage and green new product success than green process innovation. The difference in impact signals that when operating under limited resources, green product innovation should be pursued first.
The article addresses the gap in green innovation theory concerning the associations among the key constructs of green innovation causal chain. It is the first green innovation research ever conducted in the e‐industry in China. The causalities identified can be leveraged to improve Chinese e‐industry players’ innovative and competitive capabilities and to encourage them to stay proactive in addressing challenges arising from environmental issues.
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