Barriers to promoting eco-lndustrial parks development in China: Perspectives from senior officials at National Industrial Parks

Qinghua Zhu, Yong Geng*, Joseph Sarkis, Kee Hung Lai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


For at least the past two decades, eco-industrial parks (EIPs) have been promoted as policy and commercial instruments for achieving industrial sustainable development. Yet, few EIPs have seen successful operational implementation, especially if they begin as standard industrial parks. Rapid economic growth, commensurate with increasing environmental damage in China, has resulted in officials' further pursuing EIP policy as a significant element of the broader circular economy and ecological modernization efforts, This article examines the barriers for EIP development from industrial park senior manager perspectives. Using resource dependence theory and the resource-based view as theoretical lenses, we investigate the external and internal barriers for EIP development in 51 Chinese industrial parks. A number of barriers are identified and grouped through a factor analysis. Cluster analysis is utilized to help categorize and evaluate the perceived levels of barriers and hardships experienced by various senior officials that manage the EIPs. It is found that few respondents encounter no significant barriers. Barriers related to technological development and capacity building are the most prevalent. These results highlight the relative importance of various activities that may be necessary by policy makers and other stakeholders to overcome the barriers. For example, cooperation in developing technological solutions for EIPs seems to be a major thrust that should be pursued by EIP development stakeholders. Other policy and managerial insights based on the general findings of this study are also presented.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Industrial Ecology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)457-467
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 06.2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Eco-industrial park (EIP)
  • Ecological modernization
  • Factor analysis
  • Industrial ecology
  • Resource dependence theory (RDT)
  • Technological development


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