Firms' green R&D cooperation behaviour in a supply chain: Technological spillover, power and coordination

Xu Chen, Xiaojun Wang*, Mingmei Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

125 Citations (Scopus)
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In response to the global fight against climate change, a growing number of firms cooperate with their supply chain partners on green innovations. This study explores firms’ green R&D cooperation behaviour in a two-echelon supply chain in which a manufacturer and a retailer first cooperate to invest green R&D and then organise production according to a wholesale price contract. Through a comparison with non-cooperation models, we evaluate the effects of green R&D cooperation on the economic, environmental and social performances of the supply chain while simultaneously considering the technological spillover and supply chain power relationship. Our findings show that the R&D cooperation’s improvement of firms’ economic performance is mainly determined by firms’ own green contribution level. This level is dependent on firms’ green R&D investment efficiency and spillover as well as on their relevant power relationship with their supply chain partners. Interestingly, there is a Pareto improvement region in which the green R&D cooperation has a positive impact on firms, customers and the environment. In the case of a non-Pareto improvement region, supply chain coordination can be achieved through a two-part tariff contract. This applies to all three of the supply chain power structures investigated in this research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-134
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Early online date4 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Cooperation
  • Green R&D
  • Low-carbon supply chain
  • Technological spillover


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