Zhijian-web Zhijian Cui
Ph.D in Operations Management, INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France
Associate Professor of Operations Management
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Dr. Zhijian Cui is currently an Associate Professor of Operations Management at Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Business and a Professor of Business Administration at University of Science and Technology of China School of Management.    Before joining Nazarbayev University,   Zhijian was a tenured Associate Professor of Operations Management at IE Business School (Spain) and a Visiting Assistant Professor of Operations Management at HKUST Business School, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong).   He received PhD in Operations Management from INSEAD (France), M.B.A. from Pepperdine University (U.S.), M.S. in Management from EuroMed Marseille School of Management (France) and Bachelor in Engineering from Tsinghua University (China).

Zhijian’s research is focused on the management of collaborations and conflicts in new product development (NPD) process. His research has been published in Production and Operations Management, Decision Sciences, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Research-Technology Management, etc. and received numerous awards from different academic entities. Zhijian is the current President of INFORMS (Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences) Technology, Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship Section  (till 2019).   He received the National “Sexenio de Investigación” Accreditation from Spanish National Commission for the Evaluation of Research Activity (CNEAI) in July 2017. 

At IE business school, Zhijian supervised the dissertation research of two doctoral students and taught Operations and Supply Chain Management core course and Strategic New Product and Service Development elective course for PhD, M.B.A. and Master of Management Programs. He received “Best Ten Lecturers” award from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2016 and was voted as one of ten “HKUST Great Minds” speakers in the same year. He also received “Best Professor of Master of Management Program” award from IE Business School in 2015 and “Best Professor of the Year” award from the MBA Program of Shanghai International Studies University in 2014. 

Prior to joining the academia, Zhijian worked as a plant manager for three years in a kitchen cabinet factory in California. On this position, he implemented dramatic reforms on operational process and significantly improved the profits. He also worked as an engineer for Siemens (China) before going abroad. In addition, he was involved in a couple of consultancy projects for Philips (Netherlands) and Siemens (Germany).

Link to the Zhijian’s Academic Site


  1. Managing Conflict and Collaboration in New Product Development: Understanding the Strategy, Selecting the Partner and Designing the Governance Structure,  Scholars’ Press, 2013

Book Chapter

  1. Game Theoretical Models in New Product Development, Encyclopedia of Business Analytics and Optimization, edited by J. Wang, IGI-Global Press, 2013

Journal Publications

  1. Cui Z.,  S. Kumar and D. Goncalves,  2018.  Ranking vs. Scoring:  An experimental study of idea evaluation processes,   forthcoming at Production and Operations Management   DOI:10.1111/poms.12910    online pre-print:  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/poms.12910
  2. Cui Z. (single author). 2017. The impact of switching costs on the outsourcing of knowledge intensive business processes, Decision Sciences, 48(1),  pp.71-107   DOI: 10.1111/deci.12211
  3. Yan W., Cui Z. and Álvarez Gil M.. 2016. Assessing the impact of environmental innovations in the airline industry: An empirical study of emerging market economies, Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 21, pp.81-94
  4. Revilla E., Cui Z. and Prado B. 2016. A knowledge-based perspective of innovation strategy: The differential effect of knowledge sources, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 63(4),  pp.362-376
  5. Yan W. and Cui Z. 2016. On the factors contributing to the popularity of loyalty programs – evidence from the emerging markets, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 57(2), pp.184-192
  6. Cui Z. (single author). 2016 Decision making in cross-functional teams: the role of decision power, Decision Sciences, 47(3), pp.492-523.  DOI: 10.1111/deci.12188
  7.  Cui Z., Loch C., Grossmann B., He R.. 2012. How the selection and management of providers contribute to successful innovation outsourcing, Production and Operations Management, 21(1), pp. 29 – 48
  8. Cui Z. and Loch C., 2011. A strategic decision framework for external innovation sourcing, lead article in International Journal of Innovation Management, 15(5), pp. 899 – 930
  9. Cui Z., Loch C., Grossmann B., He R. 2009. Outsourcing innovations to different providers: lessons from Siemens, featured article in Research-Technology Management, 52(6), pp.54-63  

Refereed Conference Proceedings

  1. Cui Z. and C. Loch, Why do Collaborative Projects Often Fail? – Causes and Cures from Conflict Management Perspective, Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Management 2014 Annual Conference,  Japan, 07/2014
  2. Cui Z., C. Loch, B. Grossmann, R. He, Matching Innovation Outsourcing Motivations and Innovation Providers: An Empirical Study at Siemens, 16th Annual International Conference of EurOMA (European Operations Management Association), Goteborg, Sweden, 06/2009. 


  1. Li Q,  Hughes R and Cui Z.., Labor Problems at 7-Eleven’s Combined Distribution Center,  UST 0815-044,   The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Thompson Case Center,  2016

Research Grants

  • Faculty Development Competitive Research Grant,  Nazarbayev University,   Principle Investigator,   On the Mechanism of Idea Selection,  Grant Number: 17007,  75,000 US Dollars,  2018-2020
  • National Natural Science Foundation of China,  State Key Program,  Social Operations Management – Theory, Methodology and Applications (PI: Pro. Gongbing Bi),  Co-PI,  Grant number:  71731010,  2,450,000 RMB (365,000 US Dollars)    2018 – 2022
  • Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness,  Technological and Organizational Foundations of Supply Chain Resilience (PI: Dr. A. Tenhiala),  Grant ECO2016-80106-R,  20,000 Euros
  • National Natural Science Foundation of China, Procurement Contract Negotiation and Decision Making in Multi-tier Supply Chains (PI:  Dr. Baozhuang Niu), Grant number: 71571154,  584,000 RMB (80,500 Euros).
  • Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, Global Knowledge Network (PI: Dr. Fabrizio Salvador), Grant Number: ECO2013-48403-R,  16,000 Euros.
  • IE Business School,   Junior Faculty Seed Research Grant,  12,000 Euros. 
  • INSEAD, A Study on Multiple Party R&D Alliance, Doctoral Program Research Grant,  3,000 Euros
  • Siemens Corporate Technology, Open Innovation and its Implications for Siemens (PI: Dr. Christoph Loch),  30,000 Euros. 

Articles in Business Media

    EUROBiz, Journal of European Union Chamber of Commerce in China

     Forbes (India) Online Magazine

     Euro-China News (Spain)

Technology Management, New Product Development, R&D Strategy, Emerging Market, Empirical Research, Game Theory

Operations and Supply Chain Management, Project Management, New Product Development, Business Model Innovation, Service Management

Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Business

Office No. Block C3,  6048

E-mail:   zhijian.cui@nu.edu.kz

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