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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr Xiaoxian Zhu specialises in talent management, learning&development and employability in high-tech industries. She is the REF Lead for UoA Business & Management and a Postgraduate Research Tutor. She is a programme leader of MA in HRM at Teesside University Business School, an academic member of CIPD and a subject examiner of international examining bodies. For her academic performance in this field, she has a good record of high quality public presentations in the UK and internationally, publications and research funding. She is a Distinguished Professor at Xi'an International University and a Visiting Professor at Zhejiang University of Technology, China.

Xiaoxian has taught in HRM and Business Management at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctorate levels at universities in the UK and overseas. She has held roles of principal lecturer (International) and programme leader of MBA at TUBS. She has served leading UK universities for online MBA and MSc HRM programmes. Prior to her academic career, she was a marketing executive at Porsche Centre China.

Summary of Research Interests

  • Talent Management
  • International HRM
  • Learning and Development; Skills, training and employability; Knowledge management
  • SME and Entrepreneurship, Tech, Regional development

Research Projects & External Funding

Research Awards, Honours and Prizes:

  • 'Creative Fuse North East’, AHRC. Co-Investigator. 2016-2018
  • ‘Emergency Medical Response Evaluation’, ILG. Co-Investigator. 2016
  • ‘Prime Minister Initiative 2 (PMI2) British Council Project on Regional Economic Development and University Educational partnership between UK and China’. LeedsMet-ZJUT. With Prof. J. Shutt and Prof. P. Iles.  Funded by British Council. 2010-2013.
  • ‘Fun Door: An open door for your better future career’ Project. CEEMAN 2012 Global Challenge Future Competition. Finalist. With Tingting Jiang. Grand Summit Funded by CEEMAN and UNESCO.
  • ‘Talent Management and Employability in High-Tech Industries in Hangzhou, China’. As part of PhD, working with Prof P. Iles, Prof G. Aouad. Awarded Postgraduate Research Funding, University of Salford, 2010/2011 and 2011/2012.
  • ‘Talent Management and HRD in high-tech’. Research Funding. Centre of Organisational Behaviour and Leadership Research, University of Salford, 2010/2011 and 2011/2012.
  • ‘Organisational Transformation and Innovative Development in Industrial Leading Enterprises in Zhejiang, China’. With Prof H. Cheng and Prof. J. Shutt. Funded by Zhejiang Province Government and High Education Key Research Centres. 2011-2013.

PhD and Research Opportunities

Xiaoxian is currently supervising (DoS) the following research students:

  • Maragaret Amala (PhD, Learning and development in public sector)
  • Euphemia Okoye (PhD, Talent Management and Human capital development)
  • Kholud Ben Salim (PhD, Talent Management)
  • Kristofer Costello (PhD, Talent Management)
  • Muhammad Arslan (PhD, CRS, Organisational development and SMEs)
  • Anil Kumar (PhD, Decision Making, organisational development)
  • Tim Low (PhD, Decision Making)
  • Sayed Alawi (DBA, Learning and development)
  • Elizabeth Coffin (DBA, Employee engagement and organisational development)

She is currently co-supervising (2nd supervisor) the following research students:

  • Ze Gao (PhD, Gender issues and Talent Management)
  • Alsharif Abogsesa (PhD, Talent Management)

Enterprise Interest and Activities

Non-Executive Advisory Board: Summit

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

FHEA, Certified online academic facilitator.


  • Learning and Development (L7)
  • Human Resource Planning (L7)
  • Data Analysis and Presentation (Doctorate)
  • Research Methods for Doctorate Students (Doctorate)

External Roles and Professional Activities

  • Academic Member CIPD, Committee Member CIPD Tees Valley
  • Academic Advisory Board: Overseas Returnees Centre
  • Association of Business Executive
  • PhD external examiner, Sunderland University, 2016-2018
  • External Examiner, University of Greenwich, 2018-2022
  • Distinguished Professor: Xi'an International University, China

External positions

External Examiner, University of Greenwich

1 Sep 201830 Dec 2022

Distinguished Professor, Xi'an International University

13 Apr 2018 → …

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Projects 2016 2018

Creative Fuse North East

Archer, G., Ciesielska, G., McKeown, S., Paterson, S., Reid, P., Stockton, M. & Zhu, X.


Project: Research

Research Output 2014 2019

Projectification and Partnering: An Amalgamated Approach for New Venture Creation in an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Li, Z., Liu, J., Wang, F., Xia, S. & Zhu, X., 27 Feb 2019, In : Journal of Emerging Markets Finance and Trade. 19 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
New venture creation
New ventures

'Talent Development as a Strategy Corporate Leaders of Libyan Oil Companies Can Use to Pursue Sustainable Organisational Performance: the RBV Theory aspect'

Ben Salim, K. & Zhu, X., 2019, (Submitted) The University Forum for HRD 20th Anniversary Celebratory Conference.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearch

An exploration of the gender-atypical challenges for women in tech professions where they are unequal represented

GAO, ZE., Ciesielska, M. & Zhu, X., 2018, An exploration of the gender-atypical challenges for women in tech professions where they are unequal represented: Gender, Work and Organisations, Sydney, June 2018.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearch

E-commerce adoption factors affecting the SMEs: A case study investigation of a developing economy - Pakistan

Nazir, M. & Zhu, X., 4 Sep 2018.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Open Access

Gender-inclusive talent management in high-tech in UK

Zhu, X. & GAO, ZE., 7 Feb 2018.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Press / Media

How HR can support SMEs competitive advantage

Xiaoxian Zhu


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research

Why SMEs face extra talent identification challenges

Xiaoxian Zhu


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research