Contemporary corporate eco-innovation research: A systematic review

Fang He, Xin Miao, Wing Yan Wong, Stacy Hyun Nam Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


Interest in eco-innovation in the corporate environment has grown considerably in recent years. Given the profound role of eco-innovation, it is therefore important to obtain a better understanding on the latest research progress in the academia and the recent organizational efforts in practice. This review paper addresses this need and contributes to the current literature in three ways. First, this paper presents a descriptive overview on eco-innovation in the corporate environment by examining 395 representative articles published from 2006 to 2015, collected from the Social Citation Index Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index databases. The characteristics of the terminologies and journals, prevailing themes and changes, the geographical location of prolific authors and main geographical context of research studies in eco-innovation are identified to unravel the evolution of the concerned research studies and institutional contexts. Second, by using co-word and social network analyses, this study finds that the current literature on eco-innovation in the corporate environment is mainly focused on nine areas, including the influence of stakeholders, drivers of eco-innovation, eco-innovation systems, eco-design, new product developments, product service systems, environmental management systems, green supply chain management, and performance & small medium enterprises (SMEs). Third, this study provides an extended conceptual framework that incorporates the notion of ‘driver→source→position→performance’ (D→S→P→P) to find the relationships among the research topics in the eco-innovation field. This framework allows examination of the overall strategies for eco-innovation in the corporate environment so that a firm can gain a competitive edge through their adoption, implementation, assessment, and investment. This systematic review will benefit practitioners and academics by providing the major strands of research in the current studies on eco-innovation. This study also provides insights into four distinctive features of eco-innovation in the corporate environment as well as research gaps of recent eco-innovation studies. This study thus provides future research directions for subsequent eco-innovation research, as well as insights for managers and policy makers on how to enhance and strategize strategies for eco-innovation in the corporate environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-526
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2018


  • Cluster analysis
  • Co-word analysis
  • Driver-source-position-performance framework
  • Eco-innovation in corporate environment
  • Social network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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