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Building institutional capacity for industrial symbiosis development : a case study of an industrial symbiosis coordination network in China

Wang, Qiaozhi; Deutz, Pauline; Chen, Yong


Qiaozhi Wang

Yong Chen


Recent research has examined how the concept of institutional capacity relates to the ability of organisations to deliver industrial symbiosis, and in particular how that ability itself can develop over time. One approach to developing industrial symbiosis has been to build a network of local bodies to work together to this end. Terming such a body an industrial symbiosis coordination network, this study innovatively applies institutional capacity building theory in the context of a Chinese eco-industrial park. It examines how the coordination network developed the expertise to encourage local companies to engage in industrial symbiosis. This research consisted of a qualitative study, including participant observation, semi-structured interviews and document analysis to analyse the development of an industrial symbiosis coordination network in Tianjin Binhai New Area. It is found that the network increased institutional capacity for local IS development by promoting relational links across organisational divisions and governance levels, and by increasing various types of knowledge for coordinating IS. The concept of institutional capacity building is shown to have cross-cultural applicability. Reflections on this study indicate that local government can play a vital role in building and maintaining an IS coordination network in the Chinese context, but that other bodies are also needed to mobilise institutional capacity for IS development.


Wang, Q., Deutz, P., & Chen, Y. (2017). Building institutional capacity for industrial symbiosis development : a case study of an industrial symbiosis coordination network in China. Journal of cleaner production, 142(4), 1571-1582.

Acceptance Date Nov 23, 2016
Online Publication Date Nov 30, 2016
Publication Date Jan 20, 2017
Deposit Date Dec 22, 2016
Publicly Available Date Dec 13, 2017
Journal Journal of cleaner production
Print ISSN 0959-6526
Electronic ISSN 1879-1786
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 142
Issue 4
Pages 1571-1582
Keywords Industrial symbiosis; Coordination network; Institutional capacity; China; Circular economy; Eco-industrial park; Resource efficiency
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement ©2017, Elsevier. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article published in: Journal of cleaner production, 2017, v.142, part 4.


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