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Michael Zhang

Michael Zhang

Associate Professor

Nottingham Business School

Staff Group(s)
Department of Management


Michael is an Associate Professor (Reader) in International Strategy at NBS. He has been teaching strategic management and international business at various levels. He was initially the module leader (ML) of the following three modules: (1) FT-MBA core module of Managing the Strategic Dimension; (2) MSc IB core module of International Strategy; and (3) BABM final year core module of Corporate Strategy and Organisational Change. Since 2018 he has designed and delivered a module Advanced Global Strategic Management (AGSM) for online MBAs. In 2019 he designed an elective module Networks and International Strategic Alliances (NISA) for MSc students, based on his 2018 Routledge book. The NISA module has been running successfully twice annually since 2020. At the doctoral level, since 2018 he has designed and delivered Module One of the restructured DBA (Doctoral of Business Administration) as ML: Introduction to the DBA and Project Scoping. He has made contribution as Seminar Tutor to the final year UG students’ research project with supervision of ten students annually.

In addition, after joining NBS in 2008, Michael has taken on a number of roles for course and module development and research activities aligned with the university and school's strategies. He was seconded to be the Leader of the MBA Programme in 2011 for six months. In May 2018 he successfully led the revalidation of the DBA Programme and led the NBS Doctoral Programmes till September 2020. He was also involved in staff resources planning for the Department of Management for an academic year in 2010.

Michael acted as Vice-Chair of the then BLSS (Business, Law and Social Sciences) College Research Degree Committee (CRDC) for three years until the summer of 2020 when the colleges were removed from the university structure.  He also served as a member of the school's Research Ethics Committee (SREC) for eight years from 2010. He was a senior reviewer of the university's research ethics applications related to business and management studies till October 2021.

Career overview

Michael is a passionate higher educational scholar and researcher, with industrial and international experiences. Upon graduation from Tsinghua University in Beijing, he worked as a research engineer in China's automotive sector, during which he participated in a Sino-Japanese technology transfer programme and went to Japan. He earned his PG qualifications, both MA and PhD, from UK universities, Universities of Essex and Sheffield respectively. He received a prestigious Postdoctoral Fellowship from the United Nations University and worked at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Tokyo, Japan in 2000. Thereafter he joined Manchester Metropolitan University Business School in 2001 where he became a Senior RF conducting an ESRC project on the evolution of business knowledge amongst SMEs in the Northwest of England. In 2008 Michael joined NBS as a Senior Lecturer teaching strategic management and international business to MSc students, and innovation management to undergraduates. Since 2016 Michael's teaching has been primarily on MBA and MSc workshops, in addition to his training and supervision of doctoral students. Michael has worked in China, Japan, UK and France, and travelled to more than twenty countries.

Research areas

Michael's current research themes include stakeholder ecosystems and sustainability transitions. In the past he developed interests in the following three inter-related areas:

  • International management, with a focus on IJVs
  • Entrepreneurship, with a focus on processes of opportunity discovery and creation
  • Economic development, with a focus on transition economies

Since 2003 Michael has supervised seven PhDs and four DBAs to successful completion.

Michael feels comfortable to supervise potential doctoral students using either quantitative, qualitative, or 'mixed' method, with an emphasis on longitudinal process of transitions.

External activity

  • 06/2022-06/2023 Certified Management & Business Educator (CMBE) of the Chartered Association of Business Schools
  • 2014-present Visiting Professor on the Excellence in Pedagogy Program of Burgundy School of Business, Dijon, France
  • 2018-present Invited reviewer with DRUID Annual Conference, CBS, Denmark
  • 2019-2020 External Examiner of a DBA candidate from University of Liverpool Management School
  • 2018-present Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA)
  • 2018-present Member of the Editorial Review Board (ERB) of IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
  • 2013-2018 Annual lecture to MiM students on Chinese EMNEs strategies, Course INB400 at Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), Bergen, Norway
  • 2016 Session Chair of Organization and Implementation of the Multinational Space, sponsored by the IM Division, AOM 2016 Annual Meeting, 5-9 August, 2016, Anaheim, USA
  • 2015 External Examiner of a PhD candidate from Essex Business School, University of Essex
  • 2014-2016 Editor-in-Chief Journal of Sustainable Mobility
  • 05/2015 Keynote Speaker at 2014 International Symposium on Sustainable Mobility, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
  • 2014 External Examiner of a DBA candidate from Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University
  • 04/2012- Member of the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of International Business Studies
  • 03-04/2012- ESRC Rapporteur to evaluate the outcomes of an ESRC-sponsored research project
  • 2012-2015 External Examiner of a Master Course on Innovation and Entrepreneurship with six MSc Awards comprising 16 modules, Essex Business School, University of Essex
  • 2012 External Examiner of a PhD candidate from Essex Business School, University of Essex
  • 10/2011- Co-editor of a special issue for the International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation on the theme of "Technology incubators: promoting science business?"
  • 11/2010 Cultural Diversity in Technology: Business Imperative or Entertaining Luxury? Invited speaker at UKI Nottingham Diversity Day, 23 November, Thomson Reuters, Nottingham
  • 01/2009 Referee to evaluate a Postdoc Proposal for the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)
  • 09/2003-08/2006 Senior RF conducting research on an ESRC project. Award number: RES334-25-0015
  • 07/2001 Guest lecturer on Economic Transition and Emerging Environmental Issues in China to a group of Indonesian government officials at the Institute for Global Environmental Strategy (IGES) in Shonan, Japan

Sponsors and collaborators

  • 06/09/2018 NTU Sustainable Futures Seedcorn Fund (£4,600) for the project on sustainable business models in a local clean air special delivery services business
  • 08/2010-07/2011: PI of the recent HEIF funds for a research project on East Midlands businesses’ coping with the current recession with a total grant of £39,502
  • 10/2009-03/2010 CIMA Seedcorn grant (£3400) to investigate a small sample of regional businesses’ responses to the current recession
  • 01-12/2007 Evaluation of a national project Embedding Innovation within SMEs with a total grant of £10,048 from HEFCE
  • 09/2003-08/2006 Co-applicant and ESRC researcher of the ESRC project on the Evolution of Business Knowledge in SMEs 2003-06. Award number: RES334-25-0015 with a total award of £346,000
  • 01-09/2001 JSPS (the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Sciences) sponsored visiting fellow at the Department of Industrial Management, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan
  • 10/2000-09/2001 Postdoc Fellowship, Institute of Advanced Studies, United Nations University