Visiting Professor

Health, Education, Policing and Sciences

Being a well-established research leader in the fields of (digital) innovation, entrepreneurship, and strategy, Prof Fang Zhao has published over 120 peer-reviewed research outputs internationally, many of them in top-tier leading journals.

Prof Fang Zhao has extensive experience in providing consultancy and advisory services to industry, businesses, and governments. She has led 20+ research and industry projects funded by governments, industry/businesses, and universities, including the Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant, an Australian Federal Government grant, the British Academy grant, and the UKRI and EU grants.

Prof Fang Zhao is also a passionate educator, and research mentor and has received several teaching awards during her 25+ year university career. She has successfully supervised 6 doctoral candidates to completion within the timeframe required. Being a proud global citizen, she is a strong advocate on international collaboration in research and transnational education (TNE). She has worked in several Asian countries, Australia, the UK, the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, and the South Pacific, and in various capacities, such as professor, programme leader, research lead, and university administrator.

Prof Fang Zhao is Visiting Professor at Staffordshire University after serving as Associate Dean - Research and Enterprise in Staffordshire Business School at Staffordshire University.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Academy of Management, 2005-present

  • Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM) 2016-present

Academic qualifications

  • Disruptive Strategy (Certificate of Completion) - Harvard Business School, 2019
  • Post-Doctorate - Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT), Australia, 2001
  • PhD in Management. Western Sydney University, Australia, 1998
  • Master of Education - La Trobe University, Australia, 1995


  • Digital Strategy and Innovation

  • Circular economy and environmental sustainability (waste management, brownfield redevelopment, and sustainable fishery management)
  • Smart Cities Strategy

  • Digital Government Diffusion

  • Cross-Cultural Management

  • Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Research interests

  • Digital Transformation Strategy
  • Smart Cities Strategy
  • Circular Economy (Waste Management, Brownfield Redevelopment)
  • Digital Government Diffusion
  • Digital Entrepreneurship
  • South Pacific Islands Policy Issues (in digital governance, natural environment, etc.)
  • Cross-Cultural Management 

Enterprise and commercial interests

Currently serving on the Board of Staffordshire Connected & Intelligent Mobility Innovation Accelerator project which secured £986,000 from the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership. The project employs artificial intelligence, the internet of things, big data, cloud computing, manufacturing, engineering, electronics, and creative design to offer tailored support to 45 SMEs in regional manufacturing, logistics, transport, and digital business sectors.

Served on the Executive Board of Joondalup Business Association, one of the largest business associations in Western Australia.

Had been a key team member in a multiple partnerships Smart City project: 'Yellagonga Wetlands Smart Monitoring Project’, funded jointly by the Australian Government Smart Cities and Suburbs Program and two city councils in Perth, Australia.


Selected publications


  • Zhao, F., Barratt-Pugh, L., Standen, P., Redmond, J., and SUSENO, Y. (2022) An exploratory study of entrepreneurial social networks in the digital age. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 29(1), 147-173 (Q1 journal).


  • Sewak, A., Deshpande, S., Rundle-Thiele, S. Zhao, F., and Anibaldi, R. (2021). Community Perspectives and Engagement in Sustainable Solid Waste Management (SWM) in Fiji: A Socioecological Thematic Analysis. Journal of Environmental Management. (Q1 journal)


  • Naidu, S., Zhao, F., Pandaram, A., Chand, A., Patel, A. (2021). Borrowing for health, sustainability, credit card use and ownership: a study of 74 countries. Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues, 8(4), 622-640. . (Q1 journal).


  • Zhao, F. Prentice, C. Wallis, J. Patel, A. Waxin, M. (2020) An integrative study of the implications of the rise of coworking spaces in smart cities. Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues 8(2): 467-486. (Q1 journal).


  • Waxin, M.-F.; Kumra, S.; Zhao, F. (2020). Workforce Localization in the Arab Gulf Countries: How Do Organizations Socialize the Members of A Powerful Minority? Sustainability, 12, 5847. (Q1 journal)


  • Barratt-Pugha, L., Zhao, F. Zhang, Z. and Wang, S. (2019) Exploring Current Chinese Higher Education Pedagogic Tensions Through an Activity Theory Lens. Higher Education Vol. 77, No 5. 831-852 (ABDC: A-ranked Journal)


  • Zhao, F, Naidu, S, Singh, G. Sewak, A, Chand, A. and Karan, M. (2018). An Empirical Study of E-government Diffusion in Fiji - A Holistic and Integrative Approach, Public Management Review. Vol. 20, No. 10, pp. 1490–1512 (A-ranked Journal)


  • Shen, K. N., Zhao, F. and Mohamed, K. (2017) “'Dual identity process for virtual community participation and impact of gender composition”, Internet Research: Electronic Networking, Applications and Policy, Vol. 27 No. 2, 182-198. (A-ranked Journal).


  • Wallis, J. and Zhao, F. (2017) "e-Government Development and Government Effectiveness: A Reciprocal Relationship" International Journal of Public Administration. (Q1 journal)


  • Kemp, L. and Zhao, F. (2016). “The influence of cultural orientations on Emirati women’s careers”, Personnel Review, Vol. 45, No. 5. pp. 998-1009 (A-ranked Journal).


  • Zhao, F., Wallis, J. and Singh, M. (2015). “E-government development and the digital economy: A two-way Relationship”, Internet Research: Electronic Networking, Applications and Policy, Vol. 25, No. 5. pp. 734-766 (A-ranked journal).


  • Zhao, F., Shen, K. N. and Collier A. (2014), “Effects of National Culture on E-Government Diffusion: A Global Study of 55 Countries”, Information & Management, Vol. 51, No. 8, pp. 1005-1016 (A*star journal).


  • Zhao, F. Collier, A. and Deng, H. (2014). “A multidimensional and integrative approach to study global digital divide and e-government development”, Information Technology and People, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 38-62. (A-ranked Journal).


  • Zhao, F. (2014). “A holistic and integrated approach to theorizing strategic alliances of small and medium-sized enterprises”, Business Process Management Journal 20, No. 6. pp. 887-905. (Q1 journal)


Taras, V, Zhao, F. et al. (2013). “A Global Classroom? Evaluating the Effectiveness of Global Virtual Collaboration as a Teaching Tool in Management Education”, Academy of Management Learning & Education”, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp414-435. (A* star journal). 

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021