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Dr Karen Tian


Newcastle Business School (International Business)

Career Summary


Dr. Karen Tian is Lecturer of International Business at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Karen comes from Shenyang, a Manchu historical city of north-eastern China, with a population of 8 million. Karen's research focus on knowledge transfer, international business and Chinese economics and Management.

Research Expertise
- Knowledge management - Absorptive transfer - Cultural differences - Chinese firms and international business - Knowledge transfer - Knowledge stickiness - MNC and Alliances

Teaching Expertise
Dr. Tian's teaching areas are focus on International Business discipline, particularly cross cultural management.

Dr. Tian has been actively collaborate with numbers of Chinese Universities and successfully attracted RMB 540,000 Chinese National Social Science Grant with Dr. Yan Liu from ShuZhou University China in 2012.


  • PhD, University of Ballarat
  • Graduate Diploma in Business and Management, Prime College - Malaysia
  • Master of Business Administration, University of Ballarat


  • Absorptive Capacity
  • International Alliances
  • International Business
  • Internationalisation
  • Knowledge management
  • Knowledge transfer


  • Mandarin (Fluent)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
150308 International Business 60
159999 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services not elsewhere classified 40

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
Newcastle Business School

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/8/2008 -  Lecturer in International Business University of Newcastle
Business and Law


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Journal article (10 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2019 Lo MF, Tian F, 'Enhancing competitive advantage in Hong Kong higher education: Linking knowledge sharing, absorptive capacity and innovation capability', HIGHER EDUCATION QUARTERLY, (2019)
DOI 10.1111/hequ.12244
2019 Zhou L, Li J, Liu Y, Tian F, Zhang X, Qin W, 'Exploring the relationship between leader narcissism and team creativity: Evidence from R&D teams in Chinese high-technology enterprises', Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 40 916-931 (2019) [C1]

© 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the mediating effect of information search effort on the relationship between leader narci... [more]

© 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the mediating effect of information search effort on the relationship between leader narcissism and team creativity in China based on attention theory. The paper also explores participative decision making as a moderator in the relationship between team leader narcissism and information search effort. Design/methodology/approach: Through a survey of 667 team members and their team leaders from 96 research and development teams at 23 high-tech enterprises in China with paired samples, cross-time data were collected. Confirmatory factor analysis, hierarchical regression and path analysis were adopted to analyze the data. Findings: This paper found that leader narcissism had a positive impact on team information search effort, thereby promoting team creativity, and the effect of leader narcissism on team information search effort is more positive in the context of high participation in decision making. Practical implications: Narcissism should be a noteworthy trait in manager selection and promotion especially for the departments and teams which focus on innovation and creation. And companies should pay attention to the team work processes to ensure that team members have the opportunity to participate in decision making for promoting the team leader¿s narcissistic ¿bright¿ side in the institutional environment and avoiding the ¿dark¿ side. Originality/value: This paper discusses how and when leader narcissism influences team creativity in Chinese high-technology enterprises based on attention theory. This research expands the application of attention theory at the team level.

DOI 10.1108/LODJ-03-2019-0099
2018 Xue R, Zhang F, Tian F, 'A system dynamics model to evaluate effects of retailer-led recycling based on dual chains competition: A case of e-waste in China', Sustainability (Switzerland), 10 1-18 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.3390/su10103391
Citations Scopus - 1
2018 Chen SY, Tian F, Zhou L, Zhao S, Zhang X, 'Visionary leadership and employee creativity in China', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MANPOWER, 39 93-105 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.1108/IJM-04-2016-0092
Citations Scopus - 3Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Stephen Chen
2018 Xue R, Zhang F, Tian F, Oloruntoba RO, Oloruntoba RO, Miao S, 'Dual Chains Competition under Two Recycling Modes Based on System Dynamics Method', Sustainability, 10 1-14 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.3390/su10072382
Citations Scopus - 4Web of Science - 2
Co-authors Richard Oloruntoba
2018 Tian F, Liu Y, Zhao S, Li Y, Zhou L, 'The relationship between organizational identification and internal whistle-blowing: the joint moderating effects of perceived ethical climate and proactive personality', Review of Managerial Science, 12 113-134 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.1007/s11846-016-0214-z
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 1
2018 Li J, Zhou L, Zhang X, Chen Z, Tian F, 'Technological configuration capability, strategic flexibility, and organizational performance in Chinese high-tech organizations', Sustainability (Switzerland), 10 1-17 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.3390/su10051665
2017 Mitchell RJ, Boyle B, O'Brien R, Malik A, Tian K, Parker V, et al., 'Balancing cognitive diversity and mutual understanding in multidisciplinary teams', Health Care Management Review, 42 42-52 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1097/HMR.0000000000000088
Citations Scopus - 6Web of Science - 3
Co-authors Rebecca Mitchell, Ashish Malik, Brendan Boyle
2014 Tian F, Mahmood A, 'Exploring antecedents of successful international knowledge transfer through strategic alliance: Evidence from China', Academy of Taiwan Business Management Review, 10 34-40 (2014) [C1]
2012 Tian F, Lynch D, Mardaneh K, 'Absorptive capacity in strategic alliances with Chinese firms: Implications for strategic management education', Journal of Strategic Management Education, 8 1-16 (2012) [C1]
Show 7 more journal articles

Conference (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2015 Tian F, Zhou L, Zhao SM, Zhang XF, 'Visionary leadership and employee creativity: evidence from knowledge intensive organizations in China', London, UK (2015)
2009 Tian F, 'Determinants of knowledge transfer in Chinese companies', CIOS: Centre for Institutional and Organisational Studies Inaugural Conference Abstracts, Newcastle, NSW (2009) [E3]
2009 Tian F, Lowe J, Lynch D, 'Managing knowledge transfer in new environments: A study of Chinese firms', SMS 29th Annual International Conference: Session Details, Washington, D.C. (2009) [E3]
2008 Tian F, Lowe J, Lynch D, 'Knowledge transfer and absorptive capacity in Chinese companies', Proceedings: 2008 International Conference on Technology Management and Innovation in China: Challenges and Opportunities in the 21st Century, Beijing, China (2008) [E1]
Show 1 more conference

Grants and Funding


Number of grants 3
Total funding $110,100

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

20132 grants / $108,400

Ethical issues and sustainability in Chinese organizations$92,900

Funding body: Chinese National Social Science Grant

Funding body Chinese National Social Science Grant
Project Team

Karen Tian

Scheme Discovery Project
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2015
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE

FDI Technology Transfer and Spill Over and Domestic Chinese Firm’s Innovation$15,500

Funding body: Chinese Education Department

Funding body Chinese Education Department
Project Team

Karen Tian

Scheme Discovery Project
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2013
Funding Finish 2015
Type Of Funding External
Category EXTE

20081 grants / $1,700

Camot International Conference, beijing China, 21/10/2008 - 23/10/2008$1,700

Funding body: University of Newcastle

Funding body University of Newcastle
Project Team Doctor Karen Tian
Scheme Travel Grant
Role Lead
Funding Start 2008
Funding Finish 2008
GNo G0189554
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE

Research Supervision

Number of supervisions


Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2020 PhD Use a Variety of Marketing Tools to Help Accelerate the Integration of Online and Offline(O2O) e-commerce Business PhD (Management), Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2019 PhD Feasible Practices with Combination of Art and Products in Arts Marketing PhD (Management), Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2018 PhD Exploring the Adjustment Challenges of Global Health Care Expatriates: Chinese Nurses in Australia PhD (Management), Faculty of Business and Law, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor

Dr Karen Tian


Newcastle Business School
Faculty of Business and Law

Casual Academic
Newcastle Business School
Faculty of Business and Law

Focus area

International Business

Contact Details

Phone (02) 4921 5981
Fax (02) 4921 7398


Room X-742
Building NeW Space
Location City Campus