Research Focus

Research Focus
As a research-oriented international business school, IBSS excels in various fields including management, economics, accounting, and finance.

Research Centres of Excellence (RCEs)

Director: Yameng Zhang

Accounting Accounting for Social, Sustainable and Professional Responsibility
Economics Environment Economics;
Sustainable Growth
Finance CSR, ESG and Sustainable Finance
Intelligent Operations and Marketing Supply Chain (Sustainability);
Marketing (Sustainable and Green Marketing)
Strategic Management and Organisations Strategy (ESG and Sustainability)

Director: Jia Zhai

Accounting Digital Accounting Research (Digital Transformation, Information Systems in Accounting)
Economics Environment Economics (Innovation and Technological Transition);
Sustainable Growth (FDI and Innovation)
Finance Fintech;
Financing Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology
Intelligent Operations and Marketing Information System;
Marketing (Online Consumer Behaviour, Innovation Adoption);
Supply Chain (Digital SC Transformation)
Strategic Management and Organisations Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Innovation Ecosystem Governance, Digital Era and Special
Dynamic Capabilities)

Director: Yue Xu 

Accounting Behavioural Research in Accounting
Economics Game Theory and Experimental Economics
Finance Financing Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology (Corporate Investment and
Financing Decision)
Intelligent Operations and Marketing Marketing (Consumer Decision Making);
Supply Chain (Supply Chain Finance, Intelligent Logistics and Transportation)
Strategic Management and Organisations Strategy (Strategic Management, International Business, Corporate Governance, Family
Business, etc.);
Human Resource Management;
Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Entrepreneurial Decision Making)

Director: Lujie Chen 

Accounting Digital Accounting Research (Textual Analysis/NLP with an Application in Accounting,
Accounting Big Data)
Economics All ECO Clusters
Finance Financial Big Data;
Asset Pricing and Financial Market Modelling
Intelligent Operations and Marketing Information System (Business Analytics, Social Network Analytics, etc.);
Marketing (Quantitative Modelling);
Supply Chain (Operations Management and Optimization)

Director: Steven Dellaportas

Accounting Educational Research in Accounting
Intelligent Operations and Marketing Case Studies;
Pedagogical Research in Project Management
Strategic Management and Organisations Strategy (Business Education)

Examples of our Impactful Research

Over the past five years (2018-2023), IBSS academic staff have published a number of research papers in the following top-tier ABS4/ABDC-A* journals:

  • Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal
  • American Journal of Agricultural Economics
  • British Accounting Review
  • British Journal of Management
  • Decision Support Systems
  • Energy Economics
  • European Accounting Review
  • European Economic Review
  • European Journal of Operational Research
  • Human Resource Management
  • Industrial Marketing Management
  • Information Systems Journal
  • Information Systems Research
  • International Journal of Information Management
  • International Journal of Operations and Production Management
  • Journal of Applied Psychology
  • Journal of Banking and Finance
  • Journal of Business Finance and Accounting
  • Journal of Corporate Finance
  • Journal of Econometrics
  • Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization
  • Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control
  • Journal of Financial Intermediation
  • Journal of Financial Markets
  • Journal of Health Economics
  • Journal of Money, Credit and Banking
  • Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology
  • Journal of Operations Management
  • Journal of Organizational Behavior
  • Journal of Retailing
  • Journal of Risk and Uncertainty
  • Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science
  • Journal of the Association for Information Systems
  • Journal of Travel Research
  • Journal of Vocational Behavior
  • Journal of World Business
  • Management Science
  • Manufacturing and Service Operations Management
  • Organization Studies
  • Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
  • Production and Operations Management
  • Research Policy
  • Review of Finance
  • The Economic History Review
  • Tourism Management
  • Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice
  • Urban Studies

Over the past five years (2018-2023), IBSS academic staff have presented their research at elite conferences, with these including but not limited to:

  • Academy of International Business – UK and Ireland Chapter Annual Conference
  • American Economic Association Annual Meeting
  • American Marketing Association (AMA) Summer Academic Conference
  • Annual conference of Academy of International Business (AIB)
  • Annual conference of Academy of Management (AOM)
  • Annual conference of Strategic Management Society (SMS)
  • Asian Meeting of Econometric Society
  • China Meeting of the Econometric Society
  • Chinese Economists Society (CES) Annual Conference
  • Econometric Society European Winter Meeting
  • EURO Conference (The Association of European Operational Research)
  • European Accounting Association Annual Congress
  • European Economic Association (EEA) Meeting
  • European Financial Management Association (EMFA) Annual Meeting
  • North American Summer Meeting of the Econometric Society
  • Production and Operations Management Society (POMS) Annual Conference
  • Royal Economic Society Annual Conference
  • The INFORMS Annual Meeting
  • The INFORMS Marketing Science Conference
  • The POMS International Conference
  • The POMS-HK International Conference

Research Institutes and Centres

Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University established the Operational and Supply Chain Excellence Institute (OSCE) in early 2017, in order to more actively provide technology and management services for economic and social development.

Research within the OSCE focuses on developing and testing innovative approaches that can be implemented in companies to meet these challenges and optimise how they operate to establish a competitive edge.

With its location, expertise and network of companies, the institute is well-placed to work with a wide range of industrial partners across the Suzhou SIP district, an area home to tens of thousands of cutting-edge firms. The aim is to generate approaches that can be tailored to assist businesses across a wide range of industry sectors and related services. The overall aim of the OSCE is to establish and cultivate the region as a hub of expertise and excellence that can be marketed to attract more enterprises.

The Centre for Responsible and Sustainable Business Education (CRSBE) aims to support and promote International Business School Suzhou (IBSS) as a leading business school in China, committed to developing the transformative capacity of students to develop higher values and become responsible global citizens. Through collaboration with multiple partners and stakeholders, CRSBE prioritizes the development of critical thinking, ethical compass, empathy, creativity, and problem-solving skills in students, guided by the principles of responsible management education and sustainable business development. CRSBE is committed to developing and educating future business management talents with a strong sense of social responsibility and the ability to change, and to promoting IBSS that is responsible and sustainable business education by providing a platform to collaborate with different stakeholders, enhancing the social impact and exporting more social value of IBSS.

Dedicated to promoting and fulfilling the objectives of the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative, the CRSBE was integral to the establishment and promotion of the “PRME China Academic Committee”, the “First PRME China Academic Committee Meeting and PRME Chapter China”, the Special Session of Education Forum for Asia “Responsible Management and Youth Development Education”, the Stockholm 50+ Lecture Series, as well as the series of translation work on the Frontiers of Responsible Management Education. Further to its work promoting international research and awareness, the centre develops and hosts seminars, domestic and international competitions, and corporate research and study opportunities for IBSS students.

The Society for the Advancement in Economic Studies (SAES) aims to become one of the leading economic studies research institutions in China, with its mission to provide an interdisciplinary research platform bringing together scholars, business community and policy makers to understand, debate and solve the practical problems related to economics.

Economics is a broad discipline with specialisation in various fields of microeconomics and macroeconomics. There is a growing consensus on the need to amalgamate various aspects of economic studies to better understand and solve problems within specific economies and the world as a whole. Moreover, in today’s integrated and interconnected world, other social science disciplines have applied ideas and methodologies found within economics and become crucial to effective and integrated economic policy formulation.

It is the goal of SAES to apply the economics toolbox both to overlapping internal fields and neighbouring disciplines, thereby taking advantage of synergies across the social sciences and stimulating the generation of new knowledge. The research activities and outcomes of the society are expected to contribute to policy creation, and to this end the society organises annual conferences inviting scholars from across the world to present papers on a wide variety of subject areas.

The W.E.leader Centre for Mindfulness originated from an innovative project funded by IBSS and was founded in 2021 with a generous external donation. The vision of the Centre is to support the rapid growth of the mindfulness industry in China through the unique perspective of XJTLU, ultimately leading to a happier and more responsible life for the Chinese people, while also facilitating understanding between east and west. The Centre’s scope of work is a triangle that consists of Research, Teaching and Community. In terms of research, the Centre not only conducts academic research but also conducts industry research and provides consultancy services. For teaching, the Centre offers scientifically proved program, such as MBCT and MBSR, and also design new intervention programs that aim at solving other problems. W.E.leader is a mindfulness-based leadership community affiliated with the Centre made up of internal and external stakeholders and volunteers to carry out the Centre’s vision and goals. There are three layers of meaning for the “W.E.” in W.E.leader, namely “West and East”, “Wisdom Explorer”, and the adoption of a WE mindset instead of ME mindset. The community organises events and projects to create social impact following the principle of “By Community, For Community”.

While finance academics are aware of the vast potential for machine-learning (ML) models to test intriguing new research questions, they generally lack the computational resources and technical knowledge to apply ML models in an efficient manner that can also convince journal editors, referees and industry practitioners on the reliability of their ML model results. The CFTS acts as a platform to consolidate all FinTech-related research activities within the Department of Finance at IBSS. The CFTS has two objectives, the first of which is to gather together the school’s research on machine-learning applications in the core Finance research areas of Corporate Finance, Asset Pricing and Financial Markets. Secondly, the Centre was created to serve as a platform for interactions between academic staff and relevant stakeholders, specifically academics and industry practitioners in the field of Data Science. Fulfilling these two objectives enables the CFTS to enhance the efficiency of FinTech-related projects implemented at IBSS.

Building on a solid research foundation and wide network of academics and industry leaders, the Smart Mobility Analytics Centre (SMAC) was established at IBSS in May 2022. The vision of SMAC is to be a leading platform on smart mobility analytics that will synergise the insights and needs of academic research, industry and education. The SMAC’s strategic objectives are to (a) Promote interdisciplinary and cutting-edge academic research on smart mobility analytics, (b) Establish close collaborative relationships with companies in the mobility sector, and (c) Explore opportunities to contribute to the school’s executive education programmes, as well as undergraduate/postgraduate student projects in the domain of mobility and transport. The SMAC consists of more than 30 members, with these including IBSS faculty and postgraduate students, non-IBSS XJTLU faculty and students, international researchers from the Centre’s research network, and industry advisors. For more information on the SMAC, please visit the dedicated website here.

Biometrics allows researchers to better understand the neuro-physiological-psychological reasons that underpin people’s behaviour; what do they do, and why they do it. The IBSS Biometrics Lab is home to state-of-the-art facilities that are able to measure emotions, eye movements, skin conductance and brain activity. The Biometrics Lab facilitates and welcomes research from different disciplines.

Experimental economics has become one of the most successful and fastest-growing fields of economics in the last several decades. It is a subfield of economics that uses experiments to explore human behavior, tests economic theories and suggests new models to better capture human behavior by providing more psychologically plausible foundations. At the IBSS Experimental Economics Lab, researchers are able to conduct a wide variety of experiments based on their individual research interests. Through participation in lab experiments, students are able to change economic factors within a specifically designed economic environment and achieve specific monetary outcomes related to their choices. With respect to teaching, classroom lab experiments are especially useful and helpful when learning about complex concepts such as individual decision-making, corporate strategy and game theory. Consistent with research-led teaching, students may further develop their research interests by running lab experiments for their dissertations.

Equipped with Bloomberg Terminals, the Bloomberg Finance Lab allows professors to bring the real world into the classroom and provides students with the same platform used by the world’s leading banks, corporations and government agencies, allowing them to enhance their academic studies across a wide range of disciplines. Our Bloomberg Finance Lab allows students to monitor and analyze a vast amount of real-time news, market data and even earn their Bloomberg certification, which is just one of many ways we help our students gain real-world skills to stand out in the job market.

This lab provides a widely-used database and platform in the financial industry, via which students can access company financial data and economic indicators and news, analytics, and productivity tools. These contents can equip students with professional knowledge and practices in the industry, such as Datastream, Workspace (previous Eikon platform), and Bloomberg. By self-studying the well-defined training modules/videos provided by Refinitiv (the previous Thomson Reuters) and Bloomberg, students have opportunities to obtain the three certificates (i.e., Bloomberg, Datastream, and Workspace certificates) after successfully passing online tests. This database training will enhance students’ macro and micro-analytical abilities based on current (real-time) and historical financial and economic data across global economies and financial markets.

The Digital Accounting Lab (DALab) aims to strengthen research and innovate teaching methods in accounting. Its main focus is on the use of digital technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing to support accounting research and teaching. The DALab will develop a series of projects to apply the latest digital technologies to accounting research and teaching.

Three high-performance workstations with GPU provide computing power for the machine learning models and natural language process (NLP) models. DALab provides computing support for IBSS researchers with GPU computing requests for their machine learning, deep learning, or NLP models.

Computational Economics and Finance Lab is built to provide significant computational power for teaching and research within IBSS. It located in BS429 with four Dell OptiPlex 7000 Desktops. Three of them have 32GB DDR4 and one 128GB DDR4. These machines can complete the small-scale but already computational expensive tasks locally in IBSS with no need to apply for the centralized computation power. Faculty members can access to the lab by staff card and log in terminals by university credentials. In addition, our PhD students, master students, SURF and FYP students can access this lab too wither permission from their supervisors.