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    Impactful research into the changing world of work

    The quiet ambition of every academic is to have an impact, whether through teaching, research, publications, or involvement in public debate and discourse.

    For that to happen, though, they also need the support and guidance of an institution which can provide opportunities and bring breakthrough work to the attention of a wider international audience.

    Over the years, Lingnan University in Hong Kong has proved adept at doing just that, as confirmed by two significant metrics. One is the impressive number of citations, accolades and invitations its professors receive to speak at influential symposia and conferences. Another is the university’s consistently high position in comparative rankings of tertiary institutions in Asia and around the world.

    Indeed, the mid-2022 Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings placed Lingnan third in the world for “quality education”. Within the Greater China region, it was in the top ten for overall impact and sixth for work related to promoting “decent work and economic growth”, which is one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    This particular SDG aims to facilitate sustainable and inclusive local economies, where people have decent job opportunities, fair pay, and the chance to create better lives for themselves and their families.

    To that end, Lingnan has adopted governance practices to ensure staff well-being and prepare graduates for the world of work. And it is supporting important research into current economic models and modern workplace conditions.

    The topics range from corporate leadership, psychological health, labour welfare and the loss traditional jobs to income inequality and the poverty trap. This allows scholars to engage with society, inspire knowledge transfer, and instigate real change.

    For instance, from Lingnan’s Department of Management, Wang Nan is now exploring “Within-person dynamics of employee performance after disruption events”, something especially relevant after Covid-19. Chen Tingting is researching the phenomenon of employee silence at work plus what it means for bosses, colleagues and team productivity. And Yolanda Li Na is investigating the internet’s impact on employees’ daily work and outcomes, as well as how delivery couriers react to social media posts and frequent mistreatment by customers.

    Exemplifying the interdisciplinary nature of much Lingnan research, Francis Cheung Yue Lok of the Department of Applied Psychology is conducting a pilot study on occupational health differences between locals and new migrants from mainland China. A team at the Department of Economics is asking if Hong Kong’s current competition policy is ready for increasing economic integration with the Greater Bay Area. And Pun Ngai of the Department of Cultural Studies is spearheading a project on “Migration, mobility and labour”.

    Its objective is to assess labour conditions and measures in place to protect the interests of migrant workers in mainland China, with a special focus on newer sectors of the economy such as logistics, high-speed rail services, and online e-commerce platforms. The findings will help in understanding China’s new working class in the context of the country’s evolving “infrastructural capitalism”.

    All the latest Lingnan University publications related to stress management, psychological health, working conditions, leadership and labour welfare can be found in the webpage.

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