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Yan Shen

Gustavson researcher Yan Shen

Associate Professor; Academic Director, MGB Program

Office: BEC 444 250-721-6312
BA in English for Science and Technology and BS in Engineering for Industrial Foreign Trade, Dalian University of Technology; Master in Law, East China University of Politics and Law; Doctorate in Business Administration, Boston University
Area of expertise:
Expatriates and international assignments, mentoring and developmental relationships/networks, leadership and careers across cultures


Dr. Yan Shen joined the Gustavson School of Business at UVic in 2011. She brings a passion for helping organizations and individuals understand the impact of globalization on the changing career landscape and the importance of building high quality relationships for career and personal development.

Yan’s primary research centers on careers, expatriation and repatriation, and developmental relationships across different cultures with a focus on individuals' careers across cultures, mentoring, and individuals living and working in foreign countries. She has a particular interest in China and emerging economies. Yan’s articles have appeared for journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Human Relations, Human Resource Management, Human Resource Management Journal, Sloan Management Review, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Career Development International, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology and the Journal of World Trade.

For her research, Yan has been honoured with 3 Academy of Management Careers Division awards including a 2014 award for the paper she co-authored with Dr. Rick Cotton and Dr. Kathy Kram about the importance of building a diversified personal board of advisors in career development. Her research on expatriates and cross-cultural careers also won Best International Paper Awards from Academy of Management Careers Division in 2009 and 2010.

Prior to joining the Gustavson School of Business, Yan was a post-doctoral fellow at Boston University and served at the School of Management of Donghua University in Shanghai, China.


Courses taught

  • Global Leadership & Cultural Intelligence (MGB)
  • International Business (BCom)
  • Doing Business in China (BCom)
  • ISIBM Summer program (Executive Programs)
  • Collaborative teamwork in organizations (MM)

Selected publications

Journal publications

Kim, H., Tasker, S. L., & Shen, Y. (2022). How to persevere in a ballet performance career: Exploring personal wisdom of retired professional ballet dancers. Research in Dance Education, 23(4), 425-450

Briscoe, J. P., Kaše, R., Dries, N., Dysvik, A., Unite, J. A., Adeleye, I., … Shen, Y., ... & Zikic, J. (2021). Here, there, & everywhere: Development and validation of a cross-culturally representative measure of subjective career success. Journal of Vocational Behavior130, 103612.

Mao, J. & Shen, Y. (2020) Identity as career capital: Enhancing employability in the creative industries and beyond. Career Development International, 25(2), 186-203.

Kase, R., Dries, N., …, Shen, Y., et al. (2020) Career success schemas and their contextual embeddedness: A comparative configurational perspective. Human Resource Management Journal, 30(3), 422-440.

Andresen, M., Gunz, H., Apospori, E., Suzanne, P., Lysova, E., … Shen, Y. et al. (2020) Careers in context: An international study of career goals as mesostructure between societies’ career-related human potential and proactive career behavior. Human Resource Management Journal, 30(3), 365-391.

Shen, Y., Cotton, R., & Kram, K. (2018). Personal development also requires an advisory board (REPRINT IN MANDARIN). Business Review, (247), 6–17.

Mao, J., & Shen, Y. (2015). Cultural identity change in expatriates: A relational and social network approach. Human Relations, 10(68), 1533–1556.

Shen, Y., Cotton, R., & Kram, K. E. (2015). Assembling your personal board of advisors. MIT Sloan Management Review, 56(3), 81–90.

Shen, Y., Demel, B., Unite, J., Briscoe, J. P., Hall, D. T., Chudzikowski, K., … Zikic, J. (2015). Career success across eleven countries: Implications for human resource management and career theory. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 13(26), 1753–1778.

Cotton, R., & Shen, Y. (2013). The company you keep: The relational models and support expectations of key developer relationships. Career Development International, 18(4), 328–356.

Shen, Y., & Kram, K. (2011). Expatriates’ developmental networks: Network diversity, base, and support functions. Career Development International, 16(6), 528–552.

Cotton, R., Shen, Y., & Livne-Tarandach, R. (2011). On becoming extraordinary: The content and structure of the developmental networks of Major League Baseball Hall of Famers. Academy of Management Journal, 54(1), 15–46.

Chudzikowski, K., Demel, B., Mayrhofer, W., Briscoe, J., Unite, J., Bogicevic, B., Hall, D.T., Las Heras, M., Shen, Y., & Zikic, J. (2009). Career transitions and their causes: A country-comparative perspective. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 82(4), 825–850.

Shen, Y., & Hall, D. T. (2009). When expatriates explore other options: Retaining talent through greater job embeddedness and repatriation adjustment. Human Resource Management, 48(5), 793–816.

Book chapters

Shen, Y., & Kim, N. 2022. Successful expatriation and repatriation for both employers and assignees: A developmental relationship perspective. In R. Ghosh & H. M. Hutchins (Eds) HRD perspectives on developmental relationships: Connecting and relating at work: 335-365. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Parry, E., Dickmann, M., Unite, J., Shen, Y., & Briscoe, J. 2015. Careers in emerging markets. In F. Horwitz & P. Budhwar (Eds) Handbook of human resource management in emerging markets: 244-270. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Unite, J., Shen, Y., Parry, E., & Demel, B. 2014. Generational differences in the factors influencing career success across countries. In E. Parry (Ed) Generational diversity at work: New research perspectives. New York: Routledge.
Cotton, R. D., Shen, Y., & Livne-Tarandach, R.  2013.  On becoming extraordinary: The content and structure of the developmental networks of Major League Baseball hall of famers. Reprint in G. Cunningham (Ed.), Sport Management.  Cheltenham, England: Edward Elgar Publishing, Ltd.
Parry, E., Unite, J., Chudzikowski, K., Briscoe, J., & Shen, Y. Career success in the younger generation. In E. S. Ng, S. T. Lyons, & L. Schweitzer (Eds) Managing the new workforce: International perspectives on the millennial generation. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Demel, B., Shen, Y., Hall, D.T., & Las Heras, M. 2012. Career success and influencing factors in career success. In J. Briscoe, D. T. Hall, & W. Mayrhofer (Eds) Careers around the world: Individual and contextual perspectives. New York: Routledge.
Shen, Y. Careers in China. In J. Briscoe, D. T. Hall, & W. Mayrhofer (Eds) Careers around the world: Individual and contextual perspectives. New York: Routledge.

Awards & grants

Recognition & awards

  • 2022 - Finalist for Best Published Paper Award (Careers Division), Academy of Management Annual Conference

  • 2019 - Best International Symposium, Academy of Management (Emerald Publishing Limited)

  • 2016 - Leader of Excellence in Research Award, Gustavson School of Business

  • 2016 - Finalist for the 2016 International Human Resource Management Scholarly Research Award, AOM HR Division

  • 2014 - Best Applied Paper Award (Careers Division), Academy of Management Annual Conference

  • 2010 - Best International Paper Award (Careers Division), Academy of Management Annual Conference

  • 2010 - Finalist for Carolyn Dexter Award , AOM

  • 2009 - Best International Paper Award (Careers Division), Academy of Management Annual Conference

  • 2009 - Finalist for the Carolyn Dexter Award, AOM


  • Career Paths of Low Skilled Newcomers in Canada: A Praxis Perspective, Funded by UVic Gustavson Executive Program (March 23, 2018 - March 31, 2024), awarded March 23, 2023 ($2,500.00), Ongoing, PI Yan Shen, Sudhir Nair, Sara R. S. T. A. Elias, Liana Victorino, & Ignace Ng

  • Careers in China: Contemporary Careers across Cultures, Funded by UVic Gustavson Executive Program (April 8, 2018 - March 31, 2019), awarded April 8, 2018 ($2,500.00), Completed, Spring 2019, PI Yan Shen

  • Careers in China and other countries, Funded by Gustavson School of Business (April 25, 2017 - March 31, 2018), awarded April 25, 2017 ($2,500.00), Completed, Spring 2018, PI Yan Shen
  • Asian Expats in the US, Funded by UVic Gustavson Executive Programs Grant (April 1, 2014 - April 1, 2015), awarded April 1, 2014 ($2,500.00), Completed, Spring 2015, PI Yan Shen
  • Managing Career Transitions and Development: A Comparison of Millennials in China and Canada, Funded by UVic Gustavson Executive Programs Grant (June 1, 2013 - May 31, 2014), awarded June 1, 2013 ($2,500.00), Completed, Summer 2014, PI Yan Shen with Co-Investigator A Elangovan