Professor Fang Zhao has worked as a Full Professor (in Management, Innovation and Strategy) for the past 8 years.

She served in several senior academic leadership positions internationally, including:

  • Associate Dean - Research and Enterprise in Staffordshire Business School of Staffordshire University, the United Kingdom
  • Associate Dean – Management at the School of Business and Law of Edith Cowan University, Australia
  • Professor and Head of the School of Management and Public Administration of the University of the South Pacific
  • Acting Head of the Management Department at the School of Business and Management (AACSB-Accredited) of the American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.


  • Victoria University Business School

Areas of expertise

  • Digital transformation strategy
  • Smart Cities Strategy (urban planning and governance)
  • Circular economy (waste management)
  • Brownfield redevelopment
  • Digital government diffusion
  • Digital entrepreneurship

Contact details


Professor Fang Zhao has supervised 6 PhD candidates to successful completion. She has supervised a large number of Honours and MBA research projects.

Research grants (Recent)

  • Staffordshire Connected & Intelligent Mobility Innovation Accelerator jointed funded under European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Role: Board Member & Advisor (2021)
  • Global Challenges Research Fund – UKRI/Research England. Role: Principal Investigator. Project title ‘Policy Framework for Achieving Sustainable Poverty Alleviation in Less Developed Rural Regions in China’. (2020-21)
  • British Academy Special Research Grant – Covid-19. Role: Co-Investigator. Project title: ‘The Impact of COVID-19 on BAME Owned Businesses in the UK’. (2020-21)
  • Smart Cities and Suburbs Program (Australia Federal Government funding). Yellagonga Wetlands Smart Monitoring Project. Role: Project advisor and researcher of Edith Cowan University as a partnering organization in this joint project with Cities of Joondalup and Wanneroo (WA) and industry partners (2017-2019).


Refereed journal articles

Zhao, F., Barratt-Pugh, L., Standen, P., Redmond, J., and SUSENO, Y. (2022) An exploratory study of entrepreneurial social networks in the digital age. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 29(1), 147-173 (Q1 journal).

Zhao, F. Fashola, O., Olarewaju, T., and Onwumere, I. (2021) Smart city research: A holistic and state-of-the-art literature review. Cities. (Q1 journal)

Zhao, F. Mapuru, D., Waxin, M. Prentice, C. Scavarda, A. (2021). Addressing issues and challenges in managing migratory tuna resources in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. International Journal of the Commons, 15(1), 119–131. (Q1 journal)

Sewak, A., Deshpande, S., Rundle-Thiele, S. Zhao, F., and Anibaldi, R. (2021). Community Perspectives and Engagement in Sustainable Solid Waste Management (SWM) in Fiji: A Socioecological Thematic Analysis. Journal of Environmental Management. (Q1 journal)

Barratt-Pugha, L., Zhao, F. Zhang, Z. and Wang, S. (2019) Exploring Current Chinese Higher Education Pedagogic Tensions Through an Activity Theory Lens. Higher Education (Q1 journal) Vol. 77, No 5. 831-852


Zhao, F. (2008), (Ed), Information Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Hershey (USA): IGI Global. ISBN 1-59904-901-5. 500 pages.

Zhao, F. (2006), Maximize Business Profits through E-partnerships, Hershey (USA): IDEA Group Publishing. ISBN 1-59140-788-5. 260 pages.

Zhao, F. (2006), (Ed), Entrepreneurship and Innovation in E-business: An Integrative Perspective, Hershey (USA): IDEA Group Publishing. ISBN 1-59140-920-9. 300 pages.

Refereed book chapters

Waxin, M-F, Bartholomew. A, Zhao, F., Knuteson, S. (2022) (accepted). Environmental Management Systems in Public Sector Organisations, in Goldfinch, S. (ed) International Handbook of Public Administration Reform, Edward Elgar, UK.

Waxin, M, Al Ariss, A and Zhao, F. (2021). Global Talent Management of Skilled Migrants: Current and Future Research. In Tarique (Ed.), Contemporary Talent Management: A Research Companion (1st ed). Routledge: NY, New York

Daú G., Scavarda A., Zhao F., Chavan M. (2020) The Healthcare Operations Management and the Industry 4.0: The Disruptive Technology Use in the Continuous Education. In: Leiras A., González-Calderón C., de Brito Junior I., Villa S., Yoshizaki H. (eds) Operations Management for Social Good. Springer, Cham.

Conference presentations

Waxin, M-F, Bartholomew. A, Zhao, F., Knuteson, S. (2022) Environmental Management Systems in Public Sector Organizations: What are the Outcomes? 39th EBES Conference Proceedings, ROME, ITALY, APRIL 6-8, 2022.

Zhao, F., Fashol, O., Olarewaju, T., Moran, F., Dobson, P., Reszka, M., Mitchell, K. (2021). How hybrid learning can enhance the student experience and teaching outcomes in the wake of Covid-19 – A case study of a business school in the UK. 35th EBES Conference Proceedings, pp. 387-405, ROME, ITALY, APRIL 7-9, 2021.

Zhao, F., Zhang, T. and Waxin, M.-F (2021). Why Immigrant Entrepreneurs Are More Prone to Exit Than Non-Immigrant Entrepreneurs? 35th EBES Conference, ROME, ITALY, APRIL 7-9, 2021.

Professional memberships

  • Academy of Management
  • Australia and New Zealand Academy of Management (ANZAM)

Industry experience

  • Board member and project advisor of Staffordshire Connected & Intelligent Mobility Innovation Accelerator
  • Board member of Joondalup Business Association (Western Australia)

Appearances in the media

Zhao, F. Contributor to Safety Cities Index 2021, A report by The Economist Intelligent Unit.

Zhao, F.  (5 May 2021) Digital entrepreneurship in the wake of Covid-19, Innovation Enterprise Zone’s #StaffsInnovation webinar series.

Zhao, F.  (15 September 2020) Covid-19 and smart cities – what’s changed and how to get ahead of the game, Innovation Enterprise Zone’s #StaffsInnovation webinar series.

Zhao, F.  (17 June 2019) Should more universities embrace co-working spaces, Campus Review.

Zhao, F. (3 March 2017) Innovation breakdown dead ahead without Internet rev-up: Lack of a national strategy on digital entrepreneurship hurts regional businesses, The Australian.