Find us on Facebook Find us on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to our YouTube channel Instagram

Stephen Zhang

Stephen Zhang

BEng (Hons), NTU Singapore; PhD, NUS
Senior Lecturer

Rm 4229
H70 - Abercrombie Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Telephone +61 2 8627 5663
stephen.zhang@sydney.edu.au
Curriculum vitae Curriculum vitae

Bio

Stephen’s research program focuses on entrepreneurs and top management teams of new ventures and SMEs. This research program seeks to answer questions such as how do founders, CEOs, top management teams, and other key strategic leaders shape their companies. The results of this research program can help to predict which kinds of entrepreneurs and top management help or hinder certain aspects of their companies during certain stages. The research carries implications on the selection and evaluation of entrepreneurs and top management, a problem faced by entrepreneurship assistance projects, venture and angel capitals, government innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives, executive training and development programs, among many others.

Before coming to Sydney, Stephen was an assistant professor of entrepreneurship and founded the Center for Entrepreneurial Strategy Under Uncertainty in Catholic University of Chile, which ranks #1 in South America. Stephen received his Bachelor Degree at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and his Ph.D. from National University of Singapore. Prior to his academic career, Stephen gained experiences in several industries including engineering, management consultant, market research, project evaluation as well as founding new ventures.

Stephen teaches entrepreneurship with an action-based approach. This approach has generated many entrepreneurs with highly scalable businesses, and Stephen has been rated consistently as the best professor for his entrepreneurship course in the master program.

Research Interests

Stephen’s research program focuses on entrepreneurs and top management teams of new ventures and SMEs. This research program seeks to answer questions such as how do founders, CEOs, top management teams, and other key strategic leaders shape their companies. To answer these questions, Stephen utilizes the theories of bias, personality, self-efficacy, risk-taking, and cognition, and the methods of field survey and experiment. And the results of this research program can help to predict which kinds of entrepreneurs and top management help or hinder certain aspects of their companies during certain stages. The research carries implications on the selection and evaluation of entrepreneurs and top management, a problem faced by entrepreneurship assistance projects, venture and angel capitals, government innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives, executive training and development programs, among many others.

Founders and top executives view their situations through their own highly personalized lenses. These individualized construals of strategic situations arise because of differences among executives in their personalities, cognition, bias, risk-taking, and other human factors. In order to understand these human factors of strategic leaders, i.e. "people side of strategy, Stephen researches how individuals and teams lead new ventures and Small to Medium Enterprise (SMEs). This research integrates insights from psychology and strategy, an interlink widely recognized as important in entrepreneurship, strategic leadership, and innovation literature but rarely done. Stephen’s research projects establish such interlinks of how do CEOs, top management teams, and founders shape key strategic behaviours such as innovation, opportunity recognition, sustainability, strategic flexibility (real options), and performance? Stephen’s research utilizes multiple methods (longitudinal survey, experience sampling, experiment, etc.) and data of CEOs, top management team, and cofounders, from a wide range of countries (Australia, Chile, Iran, China, USA, etc.).

Such research has generated numerous awards from publishers and journals, sizeable funding (>1.5 million US$ from World Bank and National Science Foundations), and the potential to help with the selection and evaluation of entrepreneurs and top management, an urgent problem faced by entrepreneurship assistance projects, venture and angel capitals, government innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives, executive training and development programs, as well as anyone that cares about the strategy and performance of firms.

2018

4
Journal Article/s

Schmitt A, Rosing K, Zhang S and Leatherbee M 2018 Forthcoming 'Facing the Challenge of Uncertainty: The Role of Entrepreneurial Self-efficacy for Exploration and Business Opportunity Identification under Perceived Uncertainty', Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice

6
Conference Proceeding/s

Chin MK, Zhang S, Jahanshahi AA and Nadkarni S 2018 Forthcoming 'The Effect of Two Dimensions of CEO Political Ideology on Corporate Entrepreneurship', Proceedings of the 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, Chicago, United States, 14th August 2018

2017

4
Journal Article/s

Zhang S and Cueto J 2017 'The Study of Bias in Entrepreneurship', Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, vol.41:3, pp. 419-54 [Link]

2015

2
Book Section/s

Afshar-Jahanshahi A and Zhang S 2015 'Real Options Reasoning and Innovative Performance in the Context of Dynamic Capabilities' in Adoption of Innovation: Balancing Internal and External Stakeholders in the Marketing of Innovation, ed. Brem, Alexander, Viardot, Éric, Springer International Publishing, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 181-196 [Link]

2013

4
Journal Article/s

Afshar-Jahanshahi A, Zhang S and Brem A 2013 'E-commerce for SMEs: empirical insights from three countries', Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol.20:4, pp. 849-865 [Link]

Zhang S, Pramanik N and Buurman J 2013 'Exploring an innovative design for sustainable urban water management and energy conservation', International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, vol.20:5, pp. 442-454 [Link]

2012

4
Journal Article/s

Zhang S and Babovic V 2012 'A real options approach to the design and architecture of water supply systems using innovative water technologies under uncertainty', Journal of Hydroinformatics, vol.14:1, pp. 13-29 [Link]

2011

4
Journal Article/s

Zhang S and Babovic V 2011 'An evolutionary real options framework for the design and management of projects and systems with complex real options and exercising conditions', Decision Support Systems, vol.51:1, pp. 119-129 [Link]

2009

4
Journal Article/s

Buurman J, Zhang S and Babovic V 2009 'Reducing Risk Through Real Options in Systems Design: The Case of Architecting a Maritime Domain Protection System', Risk Analysis, vol.29:3, pp. 366-379 [Link]

Selected grants

Recent Units Taught

  • IBUS5002 Strategy, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

    2017: S1,

  • IBUS6012 Business Innovation and Sustainability

    2017: S2,