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 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 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
    2022 Wan, X., Zhang, S. X., & Wei, F. (2022). CEO–TMT Congruence in Growth-Need Strength and Firm Growth. Journal of Management Studies, 30 pages.
    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 Scopus7
    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.
    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 Scopus62 WoS41
    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 Scopus11 WoS8
    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 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 Scopus4 WoS4
    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 Scopus98 WoS76 Europe PMC66
    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 Scopus137 WoS137 Europe PMC80
    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 Scopus5 WoS5
    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 Scopus17 WoS16
    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 Scopus79 WoS59 Europe PMC26
    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 Scopus14 WoS11
    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 Scopus11 WoS10
    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 Scopus398 WoS354 Europe PMC213
    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 Scopus54 WoS50
    2017 Zhang, S. X., & Cueto, J. (2017). The Study of Bias in Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 41(3), 419-454.
    DOI Scopus106 WoS86
    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 Scopus58 WoS50
    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 WoS34 Europe PMC3
  • 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.
    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
    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 Does entrepreneurship education nurture and develop entrepreneurial passion and entrepreneurial intention of young adolescents? Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Henry Tue Le
    2022 Co-Supervisor Well-being in mining communities: An expanded stakeholder view Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Nicholas Alex Gerald Marzohl
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2020 - ongoing External Supervisor How CEO/TMT influence new firms Tongji University/University of Adelaide Higher Doctorate Full Time Skylar Wan
    2019 - ongoing External Supervisor Trust in AI UNSW Higher Doctorate Full Time Fatemeh Jafaralijasbi
  • Position: Professor
  • Phone: 83139310
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Nexus 10, floor 9
  • Org Unit: Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation, and Innovation Centre

Connect With Me
External Profiles

Other Links