Human resource management (HRM) plays a critical role in every organization, shaping the practices of every department and the work life of every employee. For more than two decades, Professor Yaping Gong has made a profound contribution to the HR community, deepening its understanding of leadership, creativity, innovation, motivation and strategic talent engagement for the benefit of managers, organizations and ultimately society as a whole.
After obtaining his Bachelor and Master degrees in HRM, both from Renmin University, China, Professor Gong went to The Ohio State University to secure his doctorate. Since joining HKUST as Assistant Professor in the Department of Management in 2002, his career has gone from strength to strength. He gained his full professorship in 2014, and has served as Chair Professor and departmental Head since 2018. He was also Associate Director of HKUST’s Hang Lung Center for Organizational Research, which promotes, coordinates and stimulates research on organizational and management issues in China.
Throughout his career, Professor Gong has published extensively in the highest-ranking journals in his field, gaining more than 5,900 Google Scholar citations. In 2013 and 2016, he received the Emerald Citation of Excellence Award for papers ranked in the top 50 in the world for proven impact in the field of management. A 2017 co-authored article in the International Journal of Human Resource Management took a novel perspective on employee behavior, examining the effects of work-family conflict on flexible work arrangements. A paper forthcoming in Human Relations explores how the diversity and strength of people’s social ties influence their creativity, using data from both employees and supervisors.
Professor Gong has also served on the editorial boards of numerous prestigious journals, playing a critical role in cultivating high-quality management research. In 2015, he received the Best Senior Editors Award from Management and Organization Review, followed only a year later by the Outstanding Reviewer Award from the Academy of Management Journal. He is currently serving as an Associate Editor for Academy of Management Perspectives.
Yet Professor Gong’s contributions extend beyond academia. He considers public engagement to be just as important. His keynote speeches at practitioner conferences have had an enormous impact on the HR community, reaping praise from senior executives and HR professionals worldwide.
To expand from the local to the global marketplace, it is vital for organizations to understand how to harness the strengths of their workforce to gain a competitive advantage. Clearly, therefore, Professor Gong’s findings have important implications for organizations both locally and internationally. They have been recognized and applied by prominent consultancies and knowledge disseminators. Drawing on a 2013 study by Professor Gong and his co-researchers, for example, J. Alan Group showed that middle managers and team leaders play a key role in bridging the gap between creative ideas and actual innovations.
Education is equally close to the heart of this dedicated professor. He inspires students at HKUST through postgraduate courses on Building Effective Teams and Managing Creativity and Innovation, and served as Co-chair for the Department’s PhD program. In fall 2015, he proudly received the Dean’s Recognition of Excellent Teaching Award.
Li & Fung