Professor Zhang Zhang, Yingying, Graduation School of International Management, Honored as 2024 AACSB Influential Leader

Ninth annual initiative recognizes 22 impactful business school researchers

[Minami-Uonuma] (April 8, 2024)—Graduation School of International Management announces that Professor Zhang Zhang, Yingying is one of 22 business school faculty honored by AACSB International (AACSB)—the world’s largest business education alliance—as the 2024 Class of Influential Leaders. The annual initiative recognizes notable alumni and faculty from AACSB-accredited business schools whose work inspires positive change in the business world and society at large, and this year’s class features faculty leading impact through their research.

Yingying Zhang Zhang is a professor of management at the Graduate School of International Management, International University of Japan (IUJ). Through her work on dynamic international strategic human resource management and on a people-centric innovation ecosystem, Zhang Zhang has striven to find a theoretical proposal with practical implications for sustainable management in volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) contexts—particularly when these VUCA contexts are provoked by disruptive digital innovation, complex emerging markets, and uncertain crises. Zhang Zhang’s most recent project involves longitudinal action research on social enterprises in the African countries of Niger, Eswatini, and Togo. She hopes to achieve social impact through researching management in emerging markets.

Zhang Zhang’s work has always sought to connect research with society, pairing provocative thinking with a grounding in real-world business. In addition to being widely referenced by business practitioners and general society, Zhang Zhang’s research outcomes have also been published in respected Social Sciences Citation Index journals, such as the Journal of Business Research, International Business Review, Human Resource Management Review, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Management Decision, European Business Review, Sustainability, and International Marketing Review.

Zhang Zhang has written for the official journal of the Spanish Ministry of Industry and Tourism, as well as the business column for Chinese newspapers and other practitioners’ journals. She also writes teaching cases that serve for management training; these have been published by major case publishers, including Ivey Publishing and the Case Center (formerly the Case Clearing House) and distributed by Harvard Business Publishing.

The impact of Zhang Zhang’s work has been threefold. The first area of impact is in the academic community, where she has taken on a leadership role. Her writing was recognized as outstanding by Emerald in 2017, and in 2022, as the deputy secretary-general of the International Federation of Scholarly Associations of Management (IFSAM), she edited the Memory Booklet of 1992 IFSAM Tokyo Congress. This booklet commemorates the 30th anniversary of early East-West connections made among management scholars at the first IFSAM conference, which took place in Tokyo in 1992. Zhang Zhang has also assumed a long-term leadership role as an executive board member of Women in the Academy of International Business (WAIB), which supports women scholars’ career development.

The second area where Zhang Zhang’s efforts have had an impact is in business, as is shown by her dedication to the business community and her ability to apply research to business practices. Not only did her early studies on Spain-China relations receive recognition when she was named one of 200 Future Shapers in 2014, but her continuing research also earned her invitations by the Japan International Cooperation Center in 2019 and the International Academy of Strategic Management in 2023 to present seminal talks.

The third impact area of Zhang Zhang’s research relates to education. Her work on emerging markets aligns with IUJ’s mission to train socially responsible leaders, and it has also been converted into teaching cases for IUJ courses, including Competing in Emerging Markets. In recognition of her dedication, Zhang Zhang received the Best Instructor Award from the X-Culture Organization in 2022.

“Professor Zhang Zhang, Yingying’s work demonstrates the potential of business school research to address some of today’s most critical challenges,” said Lily Bi, AACSB president and CEO. “The knowledge Professor Zhang Zhang, Yingying is producing will help inform and create real change in the world.”

Now in its ninth year, AACSB’s Influential Leaders member spotlight program highlights the value that business schools bring to business and society—whether through the alumni who have used their business education to improve the industries and communities they serve, or the faculty leading positive impact through their research. All faculty from this year’s class are from one of AACSB’s more than 1,000 accredited business schools worldwide.


The 2024 honorees are advancing research in the areas of AI, healthcare, sustainability, finance, entrepreneurship, and more. The selected leaders exemplify the important role of business school faculty in developing new knowledge that provides timely and relevant solutions for business and societal challenges.

These faculty changemakers are using their expertise to encourage environmental responsibility, improve healthcare outcomes, enable digital innovation, empower marginalized populations, and transform investment practices.

Support for the 2024 Influential Leaders initiative is provided by Academic Partnerships.

The unique stories of each honoree are available at


Established in 1916, AACSB International (AACSB) is the world’s largest business education association, connecting business schools, business, and lifelong learners to create the next generation of great leaders. With members in over 100 countries and territories, AACSB elevates the quality and impact of business schools globally. Learn how AACSB and business schools from around the world are leading boldly in business education at
Leah (Harms) McBride
Public Relations Manager
AACSB International


About International University of Japan and the business school
As Japan’s first English only graduate school, founded in 1982, IUJ has been leading the way toward internationalization. With the extensive support of Japan’s industrial, educational and local communities, IUJ trains professionals who can actively make contributions to the international society with a high level of interdisciplinary and specialized knowledge.

The Graduate School of International Management (GSIM) at IUJ is dedicated to developing “wise” (i.e., socially responsible) individuals for global business and social leadership, with an emphasis on serving the emerging countries. The two key components of GSIM mission are nurturing Social Responsibility (SR) and Global Business (GB), which the school aims to achieve and operationalize through its innovative policies, recruitment strategies, placement efforts, teaching, research, and service strategies.

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