Examining the effects of green supply chain management practices and their mediations on performance improvements

Qinghua Zhu, Joseph Sarkis, Kee Hung Lai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

321 Citations (Scopus)


Environmental pressures have caused green supply chain management (GSCM) to emerge as an important corporate environmental strategy for manufacturing enterprises. For manufacturers to fully realise the performance potentials of GSCM, they need to integrate internal GSCM practices emphasising functional coordination with external GSCM practices such as cooperation with suppliers and customers in the implementation. Using coordination theory, this article examines three models used to evaluate the mediation relationships between the external and internal practices of GSCM with respect to environmental, economic, and operational performance. We posit that the strategic stance of manufacturing enterprises in improving their overall performance and competitive position requires a joint coordination of internal and external GSCM practices. Survey data collected from 396 Chinese manufacturing enterprises are used to validate our arguments by testing the mediation effects of two categories of GSCM practices. Our empirical results show support for the mediation effects, which indicates the importance for manufacturers to coordinate between the internal and external aspects of implementing GSCM practices to reap the performance benefits. Coordinating internal and external GSCM practices to seek performance improvements is an important aspect of the manufacturing operations strategy. The dynamics of implementing GSCM practices and the performance contingencies are worthwhile topics to pursue in future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1377-1394
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012


  • coordination theory
  • environmental management
  • mediation
  • operations strategy
  • organisational performance
  • supply chain management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

Cite this