BiographyBorn and raised in China, I have studied and worked in Japan, the UK and Germany. My training in social anthropology at the University of Oxford covered a broad spectrum of international and transnational subjects and has equipped me with interdisciplinary perspectives and methods. I also had various industry experiences in Chinese and Japanese business organisations. The combination of academic endeavours and practical business experiences enables me to bring a deep understanding of cross-cultural comparative aspects of management and organisational research. It also provides me with the flexibility to teach across a wide range of courses related to my research interests in globalisation, organisational behaviour, human resource management, discourse analysis and research methods. Within these fields, I focus on actor-centred everyday working life issues (including gender, class, personhood, leadership, emotion and stress) and how these issues are inextricably linked with broader economic, political and cultural structures in ever-shifting processes.
I have conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork inside Japanese business organisations, which is the basis of my first book entitled An Emerging Non-Regular Labour Force in Japan: The Dignity of Dispatched Workers (Routledge 2011). The book examines the impact of increased use of temporary labour in post-bubble Japan against the backdrop of a global employment trend towards labour flexibilisation. More recently, I have enlarged the research scope to include cross-national comparisons. My second edited book entitled Temporary Agency Work and Globalisation: Beyond Flexibility and Inequality (Gower 2015) is international in scope and interdisciplinary in approach, bringing together a number of scholars from different disciplines (sociology, anthropology and business & management) and geographies (East Asia, Western Europe, the US, Singapore and Brazil).
I was recently appointed to the prestigious International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP) as Lead Author for The 2017 Report: Rethinking Society for the 21st Century. Similar to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this new panel will tackle global social challenges including inequality, the future of work and global socio-economic governance. The panel is led by a distinguished council, which includes several Nobel Prize winners.