Research Themes

Research Themes
Research Themes

Theme Leads: Dr Lisa GOH (ACY)


Understanding the Research Theme
The robustness of capital market is an essential pillar in ensuring the smooth running of the economy, matching investors and lenders with companies raising capital, and maintaining regional competitiveness. Recent developments in the financial system, such as the development of new technologies, digital finance, changes in the regulatory environment, and other pandemic-induced disruptions, mean that analysing capital markets is ever more complex. The research theme in capital markets and economics aims to bring together emerging scholars and industry experts working on contemporary issues in accounting, financial institutions, capital markets, law, taxation and economics. It provides a collaborative space for researchers, industry professionals, financial market players and even regulators to exchange knowledge, ideas, and collaborate in studying this on this ever-changing landscape.


The general nature of this research theme is designed to allow for a wide range of studies, covering the diverse research topics. The theme covers a broad spectrum of issues to be addressed by future research, including research on corporate finance and securitization activities, corporate governance and regulatory compliance, competition, mutual funds, asset liquidity, M&A activity, accounting standard-setting and international accounting, auditing practices and tax reforms as well as different economic issues. In addition, other contemporary areas will include developments in the digital era, green finance and ESG investment, digital compliance, economic and financial connectivity with Mainland China. The key objectives are to develop a repository of knowledge leading to research publications in leading international and regional journals, and to conduct impactful research which facilitates teaching and learning, to help students engage with current issues in capital markets and economics.

Theme Leads: Dr Haksin CHAN (MKT), Dr Linda WANG (MGT)


Understanding the Research Theme
The research theme consumer and organizational behaviour focuses on the antecedents, processes, and consequences of behaviours in the consumption and organizational contexts. It connects the dots between both the internal (organizations) and external (consumers) contexts, and individual and group settings.


Scope: Consumer Behaviour
Some contemporary research topics on consumer behaviour include brand management (e.g., brand naming, co-branding, loyalty programs), consumer and business ethics (e.g., ethics-related issues from the consumer’s and marketer’s perspectives), entertainment marketing (e.g., advergaming, product placements), intercultural marketing strategy (e.g., cross-cultural/cross-national comparisons of products and consumer behaviors), marketing communications (e.g., advertising, digital marketing, word-of-mouth communication), relationship marketing (e.g., guanxi and trust, service quality), marketing education and sustainable consumption (e.g. promoting green consumption, intellectual property rights, service learning), among others. This research area is believed to be relevant and interesting to all marketers and consumers, literally everyone!


Scope: Organizational Behaviour
The scope of organizational behaviour research theme includes a variety of topics but is not limited to individual characteristics (e.g., values, personality, demographic attributes, cognitive abilities), individual processes (e.g., learning, motivation, and decision-making), interpersonal processes (e.g., exchange relationships, social network, power), group characteristics and processes (e.g., diversity and inclusion, conflict), contextual influences on individuals and groups (e.g., organizational culture). Topics related to human resource management are also included such as training and development, recruitment and selection, strategic human resource management. Overall, organizational behaviour human resource management research will contribute to enhancing employees’ work experiences, facilitating groups’ effectiveness and organization’s overall performance.


Various research methodologies such as content/text analysis, experiment, survey, interview, observation, case study and critical incident technique are adopted to address the above research topics. Different analysis techniques such as regression analysis, cluster analysis, structural equation modelling, hierarchical models, or meta-analysis are applied. The research results could facilitate our understanding of the theoretical knowledge and practical implications of the field. They are beneficial to the academic community and could have immediate impact on business practices. In addition, the results could easily be integrated in class activities to enhance learning and teaching.

Theme Lead: Prof Victor LAU (MGT)


Understanding the Research Theme
The theme of cross-cultural management and international markets mainly address issues that organizations face when expanding their businesses across borders and economies. In contemporary times, firms often seek to sustain their competitiveness by extending their initial capabilities to foreign countries in which the respective product market potentials are still untapped. During such processes, there are myriad challenges at different environmental and business levels that firms have to manage. For instance, the study of international markets explores the effect of political, economic and technological factors in the host country that would affect the exit rate of the foreign subsidiaries. On the other hand, researchers can focus on strategic choices on the part of the firm, such as foreign entry mode or cross-border collaboration as a diversification vehicle.


Managing a multinational corporation involves analyzing not only the firm environments but also the behaviors of international managers who act as boundary spanners geographically and functionally. The cross-cultural management discipline, drawing on theories from psychology, sociology and behavioral economics, provides theoretical frameworks under which an international manager’s role as a leader, decision maker, motivator, and negotiator will be studied. Enmeshed in different cultural milieus, international managers have to travel between cultural styles in order to cope with the demands of working with a diverse workforce on a daily basis. One of the expert areas of our faculty in this theme is expatriate management, an area that explain why and how psychological and job characteristics of an expatriate shape his/her intercultural interactions with peers and subordinates and subsequently job performance.

Taken as a whole, the theme of cross-cultural management and international markets aims to promote research that brings insights to businesses with plans to go for an international strategy or those already with heavy foreign investment. This theme cuts across macroscopic and microscopic research areas that would help organizations formulate better strategic plans and decisions, and train personnel who can run these plans and decisions to mutual satisfaction between the headquarter and the host nationals.

Theme Leads: Prof Robin SNELL (MGT), Prof Louis CHENG (EAF)


Industry Advisor (ESG Theme):
Mr Hauman Yeung, Director of Corporate Advisory, Ascent Partners


Understanding the Research Theme
Ethics (including Junzi) is a long-lasting research area which covers different business disciplines including Accounting, Finance, Management and Marketing. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) is a relatively new research topic. ESG became prominence in 2006 with the launch of the UN PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment). This theme includes two separate but related research focuses through the integration of various disciplines into academic research as well as knowledge transfer outcomes aiming to make an impact to the society.


Scope: Ethics (including Junzi)
The Hang Seng University of Hong Kong, which has been dedicated to promoting business ethics, introduced the concept of “Junzi” character in Chinese Confucianism in 2010 and conducts an annual Junzi Corporation Survey (the Survey) to release the HSUHK Hong Kong Business Ethics Index (the Index) and commend Junzi Corporations that fulfils high ethical standards. The “Junzi Corporation” proposed by HSUHK is a comprehensive framework of virtue-based business ethics. Integrating the five virtues of “Ren (benevolence)”, “Yi(righteousness”, “Li(propriety)”, “Zhi(wisdom)”, “Xin(trustworthiness)” under the umbrella of the “Junzi” character, it also absorbs the western emphasis of integrity and fairness in business ethics theory, thus is able to more thoroughly examine the business practices of a corporation and measure the overall level of business ethics in Hong Kong.


The scope of this research themes includes quantitative and qualitative studies toward the conceptualization and operationalization of the “junzi” Confucius business ethics, and its various impact on business processes. Besides, this theme also conducts the Junzi corporation Survey annually and issues Junzi Corporation Awards.


Scope: Sustainability (including ESG)

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) developed by the United Nations have become an important international movement which attracts attention from academic research.  The 17 SDG goals extend ESG integration to a broader scope of environmental and social impacts. The term “ESG” stands for Environmental, Social and Governance. ESG is a relatively new concept and became prominence in 2006 with the launch of the UN PRI (Principles for Responsible Investment) by UNEP Finance Initiative and the UN Global Compact. ESG advocates believe that the financial industry should integrate “environmental, social and governance (ESG) aspects in asset management, securities brokerage services and the associated buy-side and sell-side research functions”. Such ESG integration can lead to more resilient investment markets and contribute to the sustainable development of societies. Under the ESG research theme of the RIB, ESG serves as an evaluation framework which prescribes a set of environmental, social and governance factors in the investment decision-making process to evaluate companies and institutions for the purpose of “sustainable investing”. ESG integration sets boundary for the factors related to E, S, and G used in the investment process.

The scope of our ESG research theme includes academic research on ESG integration, ESG reporting, and benchmark setting for investment portfolios aiming to include ESG KPIs. At the same time, we understand that industry practices in asset management evolve rapidly and financial professionals are enthusiastic about knowing new mechanisms for ESG integration. Therefore, we believe that knowledge transfer activities through engaging ESG stakeholders in the industry can be important and make an impact to the society. Finally, we strongly believe that our students can be benefited by our research and knowledge transfer events related to ESG and business sustainability. Therefore, the objective of this research theme is to promote ESG research leading to academic publications, knowledge transfer, and better education for students in the area of ESG.

Theme Leads: Prof. Louis CHENG (EAF), Dr Kenneth KWONG (MKT), and Dr Eden CHOW (ACY)


Understanding the Research Theme

Nowadays, in order to achieve teaching excellence, educational leadership is regarded as an important element in the evaluation process. Educational leadership can be reflected in teaching innovations, scholarship of teaching and learning, and other forms of contributions leading to system-wide impact. Pedagogical publication in refereed journals is regarded as the most obvious channel to demonstrate T&L scholarship. As a leading private university in Hong Kong, this theme is structured to promote educational leadership in forms of publication of journal articles and cases.


Scope: Pedagogical Research

The scope of pedagogical research theme is to develop a platform to support research for HSU colleagues in terms of data analytics and writing skills to conduct publishable education research studies. We aim to provide adequate and appropriate guidance for colleagues who are interested in pursuing pedagogical research using their existing teaching enhancements. Pedagogical publication in refereed journals is regarded as the most obvious channel to demonstrate T&L scholarship. As a leading private university in Hong Kong, HSU is well-positioned to make a strategic impact in this area.


Scope: Case Studies

One of the most prominent trends in higher education is that of learning analytics. The case method is one of the effective pedagogy involving problem-based and decision-forcing way of analytical learning where students acquire skills in critical thinking, communication, and group dynamics. By analyzing case studies, students are allowed to fulfil their potential and develop skills for learning, skills for life and skills for work. The rationale for this research area is that by fostering this research interest materials are made available to students and staff at a variety of times in the course of study.


By employing the case method, students have the opportunity to apply inter-disciplinary approaches to address real-life managerial issues, evaluate the social impact of an organization’s managerial decisions, develop strategies to generate sustainable competitive advantage, propose solutions and design new business models for sustainable growth. Analytical initiatives of this kind should be in place to shape the learning and teaching landscape in HSUHK so as to meet challenges and trends in higher education.


The scope of this research theme aims, at its modest beginning, to create data bank for teaching and learning at the tertiary education level. It is expected that case and pedagogical research interest will also be cultivated to enhance the quality of business education. The scope is to encompass every topical issues in various industries for classroom learning and teaching. At the mature stage where the repository is enriched through staff contributions and other collections, it is hoped that the RIB will strengthen the research capacity by participating in international conferences and engaging in scholarly discussions on possible research directions. The works of our staff will then be published in various international Journals.