Stephen Zhang

Professor Stephen Zhang


Adelaide Business School

Faculty of Arts, Business, Law and Economics

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Stephen Zhang is a professor of entrepreneurship and strategy at the University of Adelaide. He studies how entrepreneurs and top management teams behave under uncertainties. Stephen has published articles in top journals in entrepreneurship (e.g. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice), management (e.g. Academy of Management Journal) as well as COVID-19 research in health journals. His work has been featured in major media outlets (e.g., Yahoo; MSN; HuffPost; the Age; Sydney Morning Herald). Stephen has worked previously in University of Sydney, Catholic University of Chile, and National University of Singapore. Prior to his academic career, Stephen has worked in several industries and has founded startups. Stephen received his Bachelor Degree at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and his Ph.D. from the National University of Singapore. Prior to his academic career, Stephen has founded ventures and worked in several industries including engineering, management consultancy, market research, and innovation management.

Key research areas:

Stephen is the founding director of the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship and Innovation Society (APEIS). Check out some ongoing work on Covid-19 via google scholar or researchgate (full texts)
To PhD/postdoc applicants, Please send me your CV and identify a common interest from reading my major papers (available via researchgate for free) so that I will know whether I am in the best position to help you.


  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2020 - ongoing Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy University of Adelaide
    2016 - 2020 Senior Lecturer (Associate prof.) of Entrepreneurship and Innovation University of Sydney
    2010 - 2017 Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Catholic University of Chile
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    National University of Singapore Singapore PhD
    Nanyang Technological University Singapore Bachelor
  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2023 Wan, X., Zhang, S. X., & Wei, F. (2023). CEO–TMT Congruence in Growth-Need Strength and Firm Growth. Journal of Management Studies, 60(3), 722-751.
    DOI Scopus2 WoS2
    2023 Xu, W., Pavlova, I., Chen, X., Petrytsa, P., Graf-Vlachy, L., & Zhang, S. X. (2023). Mental health symptoms and coping strategies among Ukrainians during the Russia-Ukraine war in March 2022. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 10 pages.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS3
    2023 Zhang, S. X., Chen, J., He, L., & Choudhury, A. (2023). Responsible Innovation: The development and validation of a scale. Technovation, 124, 14 pages.
    2023 Yan, J., Zhang, S. X., & Hallak, R. (2023). MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF TOURISM ENTREPRENEURS DURING TIMES OF CRISIS. Tourism Analysis, 28(1), 147-153.
    2022 Pavlova, I., Graf-Vlachy, L., Petrytsa, P., Wang, S., & Zhang, S. X. (2022). Early evidence on the mental health of Ukrainian civilian and professional combatants during the Russian invasion. European Psychiatry, 65(1), 6 pages.
    DOI Scopus2
    2021 Zhang, X., Gao, R., Odeh, N., & Leatherbee, M. (2021). A micro-foundational model of real options reasoning: the roles of individual search propensity and perceived uncertainty. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 15(1), 98-120.
    DOI Scopus6 WoS6
    2021 Tang, J., Zhang, S. X., & Lin, S. (2021). To reopen or not to reopen? How entrepreneurial alertness influences small business reopening after the COVID-19 lockdown. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 16, e00275.
    DOI Scopus17
    2021 Noguti, V., Ho, H., Padigar, M., & Zhang, S. X. (2021). Do Individual Ambidexterity and Career Experience Help Technological Startup Founders Acquire Funding?. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 1-13.
    DOI Scopus1
    2021 Yan, J., Kim, S., Zhang, S. X., Foo, M. D., Alvarez-Risco, A., Del-Aguila-Arcentales, S., & Yáñez, J. A. (2021). Hospitality workers’ COVID-19 risk perception and depression: A contingent model based on transactional theory of stress model. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 95, 1-11.
    DOI Scopus93 WoS59 Europe PMC7
    2021 Chin, M. K., Zhang, S. X., Afshar Jahanshahi, A., & Nadkarni, S. (2021). Unpacking Political Ideology: CEO Social and Economic Ideologies, Strategic Decision-making Processes, and Corporate Entrepreneurship. Academy of Management Journal, 64(4), 1213-1235.
    DOI Scopus21 WoS15
    2021 Zhang, S. X., Foo, M. -D., & Vassolo, R. S. (2021). The ramifications of effectuation on biases in entrepreneurship – Evidence from a mixed-method approach. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 15, e00238.
    DOI Scopus4
    2021 Zhang, S., Batra, K., Liu, T., Dong, R. K., Xu, W., Yin, A., . . . Chen, J. (2021). Meta-analytical evidence on mental disorder symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic in Latin America.
    2021 Chen, J., Farah, N., Dong, R. K., Chen, R., Xu, W., Yin, A., . . . Zhang, S. (2021). The Mental Health Under the COVID-19 Crisis in Africa: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
    2021 Chen, X., Chen, J., Zhang, M., Chen, R., Dong, R. K., Dong, Z., . . . Zhang, S. (2021). One Year of Evidence on Mental Health Disorders in China during the COVID-19 Crisis - A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.
    2021 Pappa, S., Chen, J., Barnet, J., Chang, A., Dong, R. K., Xu, W., . . . Zhang, S. (2021). A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Mental Health Symptoms during the Covid-19 Pandemic in Southeast Asia.
    2020 Zhang, S., Liu, J., Jahanshahi, A. A., Nawaser, K., Li, J., & Alimoradi, H. (2020). When the storm is the strongest: Healthcare staff’s health conditions and job satisfaction and their associated predictors during the epidemic peak of COVID-19.
    2020 Jahanshahi, A. A., Dinani, M. M., Madavani, A. N., Li, J., & Zhang, S. (2020). The distress of Iranian adults during the Covid-19 pandemic – More distressed than the Chinese and with different predictors.
    2020 Zhang, S., Sun, S., Jahanshahi, A. A., Wang, Y., Madavani, A. N., & Dinani, M. M. (2020). Beyond predicting the number of infections: predicting who is likely to be COVID negative or positive.
    2020 Zhang, S., Wang, Y., Rauch, A., & Wei, F. (2020). Unprecedented disruptions of lives and work – a survey of the health, distress and life satisfaction of working adults in China one month into the COVID-19 outbreak.
    DOI Europe PMC1
    2020 Tang, P. M., Zhang, S., Li, C. H., & Wei, F. (2020). Geographical identification of the vulnerable groups during COVID-19 crisis: the typhoon eye effect and its boundary conditions.
    2020 Dai, H., Zhang, S., Looi, K. H., Su, R., & Li, J. (2020). Health Condition and Test Availability as Predictors of Adults’ Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic. SSRN Electronic Journal.
    2020 Zhang, S., Huang, H., & Wei, F. (2020). Geographical Distance to the Epicenter of Covid-19 Predicts the Burnout of Working Population: Ripple effect or Typhoon Eye effect?.
    2020 Jahanshahi, A. A., Dinani, M. M., Madavani, A. N., Li, J., & Zhang, S. X. (2020). The distress of Iranian adults during the Covid-19 pandemic - More distressed than the Chinese and with different predictors.. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 87, 124-125.
    DOI Scopus106 WoS86 Europe PMC80
    2020 Zhang, S., Afshar Jahanshahi, A., Nawaser, K., Yousefi, A., Li, J., & Sun, S. (2020). At the height of the storm: Healthcare staff’s health conditions and job satisfaction and their associated predictors during the epidemic peak of COVID-19. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 87, 144-146.
    DOI Scopus162 WoS154 Europe PMC113
    2020 Reyes, T., Vassolo, R. S., Kausel, E. E., Torres, D. P., & Zhang, S. (2020). Does overconfidence pay off when things go well? CEO overconfidence, firm performance, and the business cycle. Strategic Organization, 20(3), 510-540.
    DOI Scopus8 WoS7
    2020 Tang, S., Nadkarni, S., WEI, L., & Zhang, S. X. (2020). Balancing the Yin and Yang: TMT Gender Diversity, Psychological Safety, and Firm Ambidextrous Strategic Orientation in Chinese High-Tech SMEs. Academy of Management Journal, 64(5), 1578-1604.
    DOI Scopus33 WoS32
    2020 Chen, X., Zhang, X., Jahanshahi, A. A., Alvarez-Risco, A., Dai, H., Li, J., & Ibarra, V. G. (2020). Belief in Conspiracy Theory about COVID-19 Predicts Mental Health and Well-being: A Study of Healthcare Staff in Ecuador. JMIR Public Health Surveill, 6(3), 1-7.
    DOI Scopus104 WoS73 Europe PMC56
    2020 Zhang, S. X., & Van Burg, E. (2020). Advancing entrepreneurship as a design science: developing additional design principles for effectuation. Small Business Economics, 55(3), 607-626.
    DOI Scopus19 WoS12
    2020 Wang, W., Liang, Q., Mahto, R. V., Deng, W., & Zhang, S. X. (2020). Entrepreneurial entry: The role of social media. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 161, 120337.
    DOI Scopus22 WoS19
    2020 Zhang, S. X., Wang, Y., Rauch, A., & Wei, F. (2020). Unprecedented disruption of lives and work: Health, distress and life satisfaction of working adults in China one month into the COVID-19 outbreak. Psychiatry Research, 288, 6 pages.
    DOI Scopus459 WoS406 Europe PMC295
    2018 Schmitt, A., Rosing, K., Zhang, S. X., & Leatherbee, M. (2018). A dynamic model of entrepreneurial uncertainty and business opportunity identification: Exploration as a mediator and entrepreneurial self-efficacy as a moderator. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 42(6), 835-859.
    DOI Scopus72 WoS63
    2017 Zhang, S. X., & Cueto, J. (2017). The Study of Bias in Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 41(3), 419-454.
    DOI Scopus124 WoS100
    2012 Zhang, S. X., & 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, 14(1), 13-29.
    DOI Scopus64 WoS53
    2011 Zhang, S. X., & 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, 51(1), 119-129.
    DOI Scopus42 WoS39
    2009 Buurman, J., Zhang, S., & Babovic, V. (2009). Reducing risk through real options in systems design: The case of architecting a maritime domain protection system. Risk Analysis, 29(3), 366-379.
    DOI Scopus40 WoS35 Europe PMC3
    - Zhang, S. X., Sun, S., Jahanshahi, A. A., Wang, Y., Madavani, A. N., & Dinani, M. M. (n.d.). Beyond Predicting the Number of Infections: Predicting Who Is Likely to Be COVID Negative or Positive. SSRN Electronic Journal.
    - Wang, W., Eddleston, K. A., Chirico, F., Zhang, S. X., Liang, Q., & Deng, W. (n.d.). Family Diversity and Business Start-Up: Do Family Meals Feed the Fire of Entrepreneurship?. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 104225872311702.
  • Book Chapters

    Year Citation
    2015 Jahanshahi, A. A., & Zhang, S. X. (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 (pp. 181-196). Springer International Publishing.
    DOI Scopus4
  • Conference Papers

    Year Citation
    2019 Zhang, S. X., Choudhury, A., & He, L. (2019). Responsible innovation: The development and validation of a scale. In 79th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management 2019: Understanding the Inclusive Organization, AoM 2019 Vol. 2019 (pp. 12437). Academy of Management.
    DOI Scopus1
    2018 Chin, M. K., Xu Zhang, S., Jahanshahi, A. A., & Nadkarni, S. (2018). The effect of two dimensions of CEO political ideology on corporate entrepreneurship. In 78th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2018 Vol. 2018 (pp. 12910). Academy of Management.
    DOI Scopus2

Stephen's research has also drawn wide interest, giving Stephen opportunities to raise more than US$1.5 million of grants in several countries. With the support of World Bank and Chilean Ministry of Economy, Stephen founded the Center for Entrepreneurial Strategy Under Uncertainty in Catholic University of Chile, which ranks #1 in South America.

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

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2023 Principal Supervisor How do CEOs impact their organizations? Master of Philosophy Master Part Time Mr Brandon Savio Pinto
    2023 Principal Supervisor The Psychology of Entrepreneurs Master of Philosophy Master Full Time Miss Amira Shahin
    2022 Co-Supervisor Essays on top executives from S&P 1500 firms to advance upper echelon theory Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Ziheng Zhang
    2022 Co-Supervisor Bounded rationality in crowdfunding: investigating heuristics in investors' decision making. Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Henry Tue Le
    2022 Co-Supervisor Stewardship behaviors and employee well-being: A conceptual framework and empirical examination Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Nicholas Alex Gerald Marzohl
    2022 Principal Supervisor An Empirical Study on Shared Leadership Among Top Management Teams, Green Absorptive Capacity and SMEs' Green Innovation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Mahsa Javdanmehr
    2022 Co-Supervisor Entrepreneurs Mental Health and Institutional Constraints Doctor of Philosophy under a Jointly-awarded Degree Agreement with Doctorate Full Time Ms Yudi Hou
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 - ongoing External Supervisor Entrepreneurial behavior of ethnic minorities Southwestern University of Finance and Economics - Doctorate - Hao Huang
    2019 - ongoing External Supervisor Trust in AI UNSW - Higher Doctorate Full Time Fatemeh Jafaralijasbi
    2019 - 2020 External Supervisor Entrepreneurship in Brazil FGV São Paulo - Doctorate - Rubens Massa
  • Position: Professor
  • Phone: 83139310
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Nexus 10, floor 9
  • Org Unit: Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation, and Innovation Centre

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