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Dr Keith Thomas

PhD (Deakin),GradDip (Joint Services Staff College), Grad Dip (ANU), MBA (MacQuarrie), Grad Dip (Canberra College of Advances Education), BA (UNSW)

Senior Lecturer, College of Business

Dr. Keith Thomas retired from the military in 1999 after some 25 years' service in varying operational (including the Special Air Service Regiment and the Defence Signals Directorate), policy development and Defence analysis roles.

He has since worked in a number of universities and tertiary-level professional education schools. These include, most recently, the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), where he was the Associate Director and Head of Evaluation Services (QA and curriculum development roles) at the Centre for Learning Enhancement and Research.

Prior to this Dr. Thomas worked as a Senior Lecturer at the School of Business at the Australian Defence Force Academy campus of the University of New South Wales (UNSW), and earlier at the Graduate School of Management at La Trobe University (LTU).

He has also worked in parallel for some years as a research supervisor at the Mt Eliza Business School in Melbourne. Higher education roles in the Australian Defence Organisation include senior staff development and research appointments at the Army Command and Staff College, Directorate of Army Research Analysis, Joint Services Staff College and the then Australian Defence Studies Centre at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra.

Dr. Thomas has taught on both under-graduate and post-graduate (MBA & MIB) programs in Australia, China and Vietnam, and worked in a quality assurance and curriculum development role at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Since joining CUHK in 2008, Dr. Thomas has received grants as Principal Investigator (PI) for 5 projects totalling HKD 3 million, and as Co-Investigator (Co-I) for 2 projects totalling HKD 1.5 million – (USD1~HKD 7).

Dr. Thomas has authored a number of major reports in his military career, including a study into the Risk Management Training Needs for ADF personnel as a result of a BOI following the Blackhawk helicopter accident, and is the principal author of the Army Leadership handbook.

Key publications

Book chapters

Thomas, K. (2011). "Using programme-level student feedback: The Chinese University of Hong Kong" in S. Nair and P. Mertova (Eds.), Student feedback in social sciences – a global perspective, Woodhead Publishing, Cambridge, UK (in production)

Thomas, K. & Walker, A. (2011). "Life at the sharp end", in C. Millar, & E. Poole (Eds.), Ethical Leadership: the global perspective: Vision, theory and practice (pp. 93-108). UK: Palgrave Macmillan

Thomas, K. & Zhu, C. (2011). "A Handbook for Teaching in Higher Education", The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong SAR

Thomas, K. (2009), "Changing Step: Realigning one's life and work choices", in Beyond Doctorates Downunder, Carey Denholm and Terry Evans, ACER Press, Camberwell, Victoria

Thomas, K. (2008), "The Dark Side of Leadership: A Sociological Perspective", chapter in International Strategic Leadership Development, Canadian Defence College, Kingston, Canada (in production 2009)


Thomas, K. & Ho, A. (2011), "Supporting e-learning diffusion. Using Absorptive capacity as a policy framework". British Journal of Educational Technology (manuscript ID is BJET-0289-Jul-2011-OMS). Submitted for review July 2011

Thomas, K., McNaught, C., Wong, K-C., & Li, Y-C. (2011), "Early-career academics' perceptions of teaching and learning in Hong Kong: Implications for professional development". International Journal for Academic Development, 16(3), 257–268. DOI: 10.1080/1360144X.2011.596731

Thomas, K. & Walker, A. (2010), "The Sharp End: Real life challenges in a complex activity space", Journal of Public Affairs (Issue 3, September 2010)

Thomas, K. & Bose, S. (2010), "Best or Right: Scoping complex tensions in leadership activity", International Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Change Management (under consideration)

Bartram, T., Stanton, P. & Thomas, K. (2009), "Good morning Vietnam: new challenges for HRM", in Management Research News, Vol. 32, No. 10, pp 891-904

Refereed conference papers

Thomas, K., & Wong, M. (2011). "Mentoring teaching assistants in higher education". Shanghai International Conference on Social Science, 17-20 August 2011, from

Thomas, K. & Ho, A. (2011). "Absorptive capability: A framework for leveraging diffusion in e-learning", ED-MEDIA 2011--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications held in Lisbon, Portugal, June 27-July 1, 2011, from

Thomas, K. & Ho, A. (2010). "Leveraging Diffusion in eLearning: Organisational Learning Attributes", in I. Ismail (Ed.), 5th International Conference on e-Learning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia, 12-13 July 2010 (pp. 400–407). Reading: Academic Publishing Limited. Retrieved November 10, 2010, from

Lower, M., Thomas, K. & Ho, A. (2010). "Using podcasts to support students in a land law class", in I. Ismail (Ed.), 5th International Conference on e-Learning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia, 12-13 July 2010 (pp.230–237). Reading: Academic Publishing Limited. Retrieved November 10, 2010, from

Thomas, K. & Bose, S. (2010). "Best or right: Scoping complex tensions in leadership activity". Tenth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture & Change in Organisation, Montreal, Canada, 26-29 Jul 2010

View the full list of Keith's publications in Victoria University's Institutional Repository.

Professional membership

  • Reserve Officer in the military
  • Research Fellow at the Centre for Defence Leadership Studies


  • Australian Bravery medal (1976)
  • Australian Defence Forces Service medal (1992, 1997)
  • Commissioned officer in the Royal Australian Signal Corp, Australian Army (1976)
  • Graduate, Australian Joint Services Staff College, Weston Creek, Canberra (1994)
  • Member Editorial Advisory Board (EAB), The Learning Organisation (2011)


Areas of expertise

  • Organisational and team leadership
  • Organisational behaviour
  • Strategic Human Resource Management

Contact details

+61 3 9919 1954