Yan Shen

 Yan Shen
Associate Professor


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

Office: BEC 444


  • 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 honored with three 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 on the School of Management of Donghua University in Shanghai, China.

Journal Publications

Kim, H., Tasker, S., & Shen, Y. (2020) How to persevere in a ballet performance career: Exploring personal wisdom of retired professional ballet dancers. Research in Dance Education, 1-26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14647893.2020.1837765

Mao, J. & Shen, Y. (2020) Identity as career capital: Enhancing employability in the creative industries and beyond. Career Development International, 25(2), 186-203. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-01-2019-0025

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. https://doi.org/10.1111/1748-8583.12218

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. https://doi.org/10.1111/1748-8583.12247

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. https://doi.org/10.1177/0018726714561699

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. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2014.962562

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/CDI-09-2012-0093

Shen, Y., & Kram, K. (2011). Expatriates’ developmental networks: Network diversity, base, and support functions. Career Development International, 16(6), 528–552. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13620431111178317

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. https://doi.org/10.5465/amj.2011.59215081

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. https://doi.org/10.1348/096317909X474786

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. https://doi.org/10.1002/hrm.20314

Recognition & Awards

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


  • 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

Courses Taught

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