Zhenyuan Wang
Professor, Head of Department of Business Administration School of Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Management, East China Normal University


What is your academic history?
I received my bachelor’s degree in Economics (minor in Business Administration) and my master’s in Business Administration from National Central University, Taiwan. I earned my Ph.D. in Business Management at Peking University, China. I have worked at Shanghai University, Peking University (Adjunct Associate Researcher), and Shanghai Jiaotong University (Postdoctoral Researcher), and I have visited University of Washington (Seattle, US). I currently work at the School of Business Administration, East China Normal University.


What social psychology trends are of current interest to you?
My current main research interest involves how artificial intelligence (AI) and robots affect workers in organizations. Although collaborative robots are now applied more in smart factories, there is a lack of in-depth research on the impact of human–robot collaboration on frontline employees in business management. I am the principal investigator of a project funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, in which intelligent manufacturing human–machine cooperation is the research scene, frontline employees are the research objects, and typical psychological states and behaviors of the frontline employees after they have worked with collaborative robots, are discussed.

Are you inspired by any particular researchers?
I have worked on several topics in social psychology (organizational behavior). Employee turnover was an early research topic. I read many articles by Professor Tom Lee, and was inspired by theories he and his colleagues proposed, for example, the unfolding model and job embeddedness, and proximal withdrawal states. I visited him at the University of Washington in 2012 and was inspired to start my project about newcomers’ turnover from the perspective of dynamic change of identity and fit. He warmly guided young scholars until, sadly, he died in 2021.

What has been your most surprising/interesting research finding in your years of research?
In 2015, my master students and I published an article concerning the impact of employees working from home and using IT devices during off-job time, on work–family conflict and quality of work life. Although our article was at the beginning of this now hot topic, our findings are still valid. The results show that working from home during off-job time can cause work–family conflict but does not influence quality of work life. Job control mediates the relationship between working from home during off-job time and work–family conflict and between working from home during off-job time and quality of work life. Job demand  mediates the relationship between working from home during off-job time and work–family conflict only. The total effect shows that working from home using IT devices during off-job time causes employees a large amount of work–family conflict and a small amount of quality of work life.

What initially attracted you to the field of social psychology?
I was attracted to the social psychology and organizational behavior fields when I studied for my undergraduate degree. I took psychology and sociology courses and thought about how management practices, leadership, and power can influence company employees, and how they respond to those practices and leadership.

How did you first hear of SBP Journal and what has been your involvement with the journal in the past?
My main research interests change about every five years, and I am always attracted by emerging topics concerning society or organizations. When I narrow my research topic, I search the literature in a database, and I always find relevant articles about emerging topics in SBP journal. As I am inspired by these articles, I submit my work to the journal. I have had four articles published in SBP journal, with which it had been a pleasant experience to work, and the editors and their colleagues are nice and responsive..