Hello! I'm Minjie

I'm a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Centre for Responsible Leadership at Imperial College Business School and a PhD Fellow at Bayes Business School (formerly Cass)'s Management Faculty. My research interests centre on exploring individual and organizational issues triggered by change and their consequence for individuals, organizing and organizations. For my PhD dissertation, I conducted a two-year ethnography at an English hospital, investigating issues triggered by digital innovation. Methodologically, as an organisational ethnographer, my research is anchored in a commitment towards phenomenon-driven qualitative analysis, based on an appreciation for classical organisation theory.

My longstanding research interests are also reflected in my teaching experiences. During my graduate training at Cass, I have coordinated course design and engaged in lecturing and tutoring activities in various courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and MBA levels. Some of these courses include Strategy, Organisational Behaviour, System Thinking, Technology and Innovation Management. I have also worked as visiting and guest lecturer, independently designed and delivered courses such as Management of Innovation Process and sessions on digital strategy and digital leadership.


Minjie Gao

Postdoctoral Researcher


Centre for Responsible Leadership

Imperial College Business School



  • LinkedIn
  • CassWeb
  • Twitter
  • GoogleScholar
Digital Innovation
Organisation Change
Qualitative Methodology
Community of Practice

My research lies at the intersection of leadership, technology innovation and organizational theory. Navigating these different fields of management studies allow me to explore individual and organizational issues triggered by change and their implications. Specifically, I am interested in understanding change and its intended and unintended consequences for individuals, organizing and organizations. As an organizational ethnographer, my research is anchored in a commitment towards phenomenon-driven qualitative analysis based on an appreciation for classical organization theory. These qualitative, ethnographic methodologies allow me to develop an in-depth understanding of the phenomena under study, keep an open mind and create real organizational impact as I learn to understand the worldviews of the people I study. Overall, my research broadly falls into the below three interrelated streams:

Organization & Leadership

The first stream of my research focuses on exploring issues and phenomena that contribute broadly to theoretical dialogues about organization and leadership. For example, my job market paper, titled ‘Power of words: how do employee narratives shape our understanding of managerial incompetence?’, focuses on the application of narrative to the study of leadership incompetence and employee engagement. In another paper, titled ‘They are one of us – change agents’ emotion management during change processes’, I look at emotional dynamics and the role of non-manager professions. Drawing on data from the same ethnography in the NHS, this study examines the mediating role of non-manager professions in the management of employees’ affective responses towards change. In addition to these two papers, I am also working on another project that sits at the intersection of ethics and leadership.

Technology and Future of Work

In a second stream, and building upon my interests in technology innovation and change, I study how emergent technologies are transforming organizations and our understanding of work. One of my papers looks at how work and organizing are changed by innovation. In this paper, I investigate the critical care bed management process post technology implementation to study the interdependency between technology affordances and micropolitical processes that shape decision making. I’m also leading a project that looks at the ways in which the use and development of artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital platforms allow new forms of collaboration and organizing to emerge. Building on existing research about nonstandard work (e.g., Ashford, George & Blatt, 2007), I am interested in how technology has mediated the boundary between standard work (e.g., full-time employment) and nonstandard work (e.g. temporary and contractual work).

Occupations and Communities of Practice

Inspired by my engagement with different professions during my Ph.D. fieldwork, I am also interested in studying occupations and work, of which, I have two current projects. In the first project, I study occupational communities, examining processes such as coordination, organizational learning and change and its implication for organizations. Specifically, based on data collected during my Ph.D., I look at how technology innovation is changing the coordination practices across different occupations in the hospital.  In my other project, I study informal forms of organization and its actors. In particular, I am intrigued by the emergence of running crews as groups of amateur hobbyists and the consequent establishment of running communities as social worlds.I have developed a research project with the aim to explore how the social worlds of running permit runners to develop and confirm new identities, values and behaviors, for example the new wave of entrepreneurs that has evolved from these communities.

2020- present

School of Business, Tecnológico de Monterry, Mexico



Leadership for Entrepreneurial Development (Undergraduate)​​

  • Coordinated course design, taught and evaluated full module. Advised students in project prototype building and mentored Entrepreneurs’ Challenge


Bayes Business School (formerly Cass), London



​Critical Thinking for Business (UG)

  • Coordinated course design, taught and evaluated full module 

  • Student evaluations: 4.4/5 (2018); 4.3/5 (2019)

Advanced Strategic Management (UG)

  • Independently designed and taught two sessions on digital strategy and digital leadership


Vives University College, Belgium


Management of Innovation Process  (Undergraduate)

  • Designed and taught full module, prepared course materials such as lectures, case studies and practice problems 

  • Developed exams and paper topics; provided feedback on students’ communication skills and graded assignments

  • Student evaluations: 4.6 (2017 Bruges); 4.5/5 (2017 Kortrijk); 4.6 (2018 Kortrijk)


Bayes Business School (formerly Cass), London



Coordinated course design and management, prepared course material, led weekly tutorials, supervised and graded assignments for different modules ranging in size from 20 – 250 students. Topics included:​

  • Organisational Behaviour (MBA)

  • Leadership (Exec MBA)

  • Business & Society (Undergraduate)

  • Strategy (Masters & MBA)

  • Strategy for Business (Undergraduate)

  • System Thinking (Undergraduate)

  • Corporate Social Responsibility (Undergraduate)

  • Technology and Innovation Management (Undergraduate)


Bayes Business School (formerly Cass)

Doctor of Philosophy in Management

Expected completion: Autumn 2021 

Awarded City University Doctoral Studentship (£85,000)


City, University of London

Postgraduate Certifacte in Academic Practice

Grade: Distinction

Awarded Fellowship of the British Academy of Higher Education


Durham University Business School

Master of Science in Management

Grade: Distinction


Beijing University of Chemical Technology

Bachelor of Art in English

GPA: 88.81/100, top 2%

Awarded National Scholarship of China


Microsoft Office - Advanced

Nvivo - Advanced

Mandarin - Native

English - Fluent

Minjie Gao

Centre for Responsible Leadership

Imperial College Business School



  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS