Yulin FANG
Prof. Yulin FANG
Innovation and Information Management
Director, Institute of Digital Economy and Innovation

3917 1025

KK 1315

Academic & Professional Qualification
  • PhD (Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario)
  • MPhil (University of Bergen)
  • BSc (Fudan University)

Yulin Fang is a Professor of Innovation and Information Management and Director of the Institute of Digital Economy and Innovation (IDEI) at HKU Business School. Before joining HKU, he was the Acting Head of the Department of Information Systems and Residence Master of Sir Gordon and Lady Ivy Wu Hall at City University of Hong Kong.  His research interests include digital innovation, digital entrepreneurship, digital transformation, platform ecosystems, and e-commerce/social media.

Yulin has published over 70 research articles in renowned information systems and management journals, including MIS Quarterly (MISQ), Information Systems Research (ISR), Journal of Management Information Systems (JMIS), Journal of the Association for Information Systems (JAIS), Strategic Management Journal (SMJ), Journal of Management Studies (JMS), Organizational Research Methods (ORM), Journal of Operations Management (JOM), Production and Operations Management (POM), and Journal of Organizational Behavior (JOB) among others. His articles have been cited over 10000 times (Google citation) with an H-index of 44.

He has served as a Senior Editor of Information Systems Research, Information Systems Journal, Journal of Information Technology. He is the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Information Technology & People. He was an Associate Editor for MIS Quarterly and Information Systems Research in 2012-2016, and was awarded the Associate Editor of the Year (2015) for his editorial services to Information Systems Research. He has also regularly served as a track co-chair for International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS) and Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS) since 2013. He was a faculty advisor at ICIS Junior Faculty Consortium in 2020, at ICIS Mid-Career Faculty Consortium in 2018, and PACIS Junior Faculty Consortium in 2023.

Yulin has taught extensively at Undergraduate, MBA, EMBA and DBA levels. He has supervised many cross-cultural student consultant teams to deliver management/information systems/data analytics consulting projects to fast-growing firms in emerging, Internet-empowered industries.

Yulin practiced as a management consultant with Accenture and Arthur Anderson before pursuing a PhD. He was specialized in (e-)business strategy, marketing strategy and IT strategic planning. He also provided independent consultancy services on knowledge/Innovation management for Canadian Government and Alcatel Global.

As a professional case writer, Yulin has developed many business cases on digitally-savvy corporations operating in Asia, such as Huazhu, Volkswagen, Cathay Pacific, Ctrip, Uber, Alcatel China, Google China, Tencent, HK Stock Exchange, and HK Airport. His cases “Keda’s SAP Implementation” and “Google in China (B)” were best sellers at Ivey Business School Publishing and European Case Clearing House, respectively. Over 60,000 copies of his cases have been distributed worldwide.

  • Digital Technology and Transformation
  • Knowledge Management & Innovation
  • Business Research Methods
  • Introduction to MIS
Research Interest
  • Digital innovation
  • Digital transformation
  • Platform ecosystems
  • E-commerce
  • Social media
Selected Publications
  • Zhang, XJ, Fang, Y., Zhou, JM., Lim, KH, (2024) “Collaboration Technology Use and Team Creativity in IT Project Teams: A Creative Synthesis Perspective”, MISQ Quarterly, forthcoming.
  • Zeng, J., Fang, Y., Li, H., Wang., Y and Lim, KH., (2024) “The Impact of Platform-Based Functions on E-marketplace Sellers’ Performances – A Configurational Perspective”, Information Systems Research, forthcoming.
  • Zhou, J., Xu, T., Chiao, Y., and Fang, Y. (2023) “Interorganizational Systems and Supply Chain Agility in Uncertain Environments: The Mediation Role of Supply Chain Collaboration”, Information Systems Research, 35(1), pp. 184-202.
  • Zou, M., Sun, H., and Fang, Y. (2023) “Satisfaction to Stay, Regret to Switch: Understanding Post-Adoption Regret in Choosing Competing Technologies When Herding”, Information Systems Research, forthcoming.
  • Wang, N., Yang, Y., Fang, Y., Li, H., & Lu, A. (2023) “Growing user base in the early stage of sharing economy platforms: An integration of competitive repertoire and institutional legitimacy theories”, Production and Operations Management, 32(11), pp. 3484-3503.
  • He, W., Hsieh, JJ., Schroeder, A., and Fang, Y., (2022) “Attaining Individual Creativity and Performance in Multi-Disciplinary and Geographically-Distributed IT Project Teams: The Role of Transactive Memory Systems”, MIS Quarterly, 46(2), pp. 1035-1072.
  • Hsu, C., Lee, J., Fang, Y., Straub, DW., Su, N., and Ryu, H., (2022) “The Role of Vendor Legitimacy in IT Outsourcing Performance: Theory and Evidence”, Information Systems Research, 33(1), pp. 337-361.
  • Zhou, J., Fang, Y., and Grover, V., (2022) “Managing Collective Enterprise Information Systems Compliance: A Social and Performance Management Context Perspective”, MIS Quarterly, 46(1), pp. 71-100.
  • Li, H., Fang, Y., Lim, KH., and Wang, Y., (2019) “Platform-Based Function Repertoire, Reputation, and Sales Performance of E-Marketplace Sellers”, MIS Quarterly, 43(1), pp. 207-236.
  • Fang, Y., Lim, KH., Qian, Y., and Feng, B., (2018) “System Dynamics Modeling for Information Systems Research: Theory of Development and Practical Applications”, MIS Quarterly, 42(4), pp. 1303-1329.
  • Guo, S., Guo, X., Fang, Y., and Vogel, D., (2017) “How Doctors Gain Social and Economic Returns in Online Health-Care Communities: A Professional Capital Perspective”, Journal of Management Information Systems, 34(2), pp. 487-519.
  • Dong, MC., Fang, Y., and Straub, DW., (2017) “The Impact of Institutional Distance on the Joint Performance of Collaborating Firms: The Role of Adaptive Interorganizational Systems”, Information Systems Research, 28(2), pp. 309-331.
  • Dong, MC., Ju, M., and Fang, Y., (2016) “Role Hazard between Supply Chain Partners in an Institutionally Fragmented Market”, Journal of Operations Management, 46(1), pp. 5-18.
  • Sun, H., Fang, Y., and Zou, M., (2016) “Choosing a Fit Technology: Understanding Mindfulness in Technology Adoption and Continuance”, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 17(6), pp. 377-412.
  • Wang, X., Fang, Y., Qureshi, I., and Onne, J., (2015) “Understanding Employee Innovative Behavior: Integrating the Social Network and Leader–Member Exchange Perspectives”, Journal of Organizational Behavior, 36(3), pp. 403-420.
  • Fang, Y., Qureshi, I., Sun, H., McCole, P., Ramsey, E., and Lim, KH., (2014) “Trust, Satisfaction, and Online Repurchase Intention: The Moderating Role of Perceived Effectiveness of E-Commerce Institutional Mechanisms”, MIS Quarterly, 38(2), pp. 407-427.
  • Zhou, Z., Fang, Y., Vogel, DR., Jin, X., and Zhang, X., (2012) “Attracted to or Locked in? Predicting Continuance Intention in Social Virtual World Services”, Journal of Management Information Systems, 29(1), pp. 273-306.
  • Sun, Y., Fang, Y., Lim, KH., and Straub, D., (2012) “User Satisfaction with Information Technology Services: A Social Capital Perspective”, Information Systems Research, 23(4), pp. 1195-1211.
  • Qureshi, I., and Fang, Y., (2011) “Socialization in Open Source Software Projects: A Growth Mixture Modeling Approach”, Organizational Research Methods, 14(1), pp. 208-238.
  • Colazo, JA., and Fang, Y., (2010) “Following the Sun: Temporal Dispersion and Performance in Open Source Software Project Teams”, Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 11(11), 4.
  • Fang, Y., Jiang, GF., Makino, S., and Beamish, PW., (2010) “Multinational Firm Knowledge, Use of Expatriates, and Foreign Subsidiary Performance”, Journal of Management Studies, 47(1), pp. 27-54.
  • Fang, Y., and Neufeld, D., (2009) “Understanding Sustained Participation in Open Source Software Projects”, Journal of Management Information Systems, 25(4), pp. 9-50.  Year 2009 Senior Scholars Best IS Publication Award
  • Fang, Y., Wade, M., Delios, A., and Beamish, PW., (2007) “International Diversification, Subsidiary Performance, and the Mobility of Knowledge Resources”, Strategic Management Journal, 28(10), pp. 1053-1064.
Service to the University/ Community
  • Co-Editor in Chief, Information Technology & People (2018-present)
  • Senior Editor, Journal of the Association for Information Systems (2023-present)
  • Senior Editor, Journal of Information Technology (2021-present)
  • Senior Editor, Information Systems Research (2017-2023)
  • Senior Editor, Information Systems Journal (2012-2022)
  • Associate Editor, Information & Management (2017-2024)
  • Associate Editor, MIS Quarterly (2012-2016)
  • Associate Editor, Information Systems Research (2012-2016)
Recent Publications
Interorganizational Systems and Supply Chain Agility in Uncertain Environments: The Mediation Role of Supply Chain Collaboration

Supply chain agility has been recognized as a key capability for firms working to achieve superior performance in uncertain business environments. Supply chain agility is challenging to achieve, however, because it requires the firm and its supply chain partners to collaborate closely yet flexibly across organizational boundaries. Extending the boundary object literature to the supply chain context, this study unveils the mechanism through which interorganizational systems (IOS), widely deployed to span organizational boundaries through interfirm digital connections, promote supply chain agility in uncertain environments. The concept of supply chain collaboration is introduced as the mediating mechanism between two key IOS characteristics (i.e., standardization and adaptability) and supply chain agility. Environmental uncertainty is incorporated as the contextual condition through contextualized theorization of IOS as boundary objects. The resulting hypotheses are tested via a two-wave, match-paired survey study on business and information technology executives in 156 manufacturing firms. Empirical findings provide general support to most hypotheses, and implications for theory development and professional practice are discussed.

Satisfaction to Stay, Regret to Switch: Understanding Post-adoption Regret in Choosing Competing Technologies When Herding

Faced with uncertainty when choosing among a wide range of similar competing technologies, users often take a herding in technology adoption (HTA) strategy to make heuristic adoption decisions. The HTA strategy brings users cost and time savings and casts doubt on user staying power. The extant adoption research has long focused on user satisfaction with the performance of the chosen technology (also known as the expectation-disconfirmation theory perspective) but does not sufficiently account for the consideration of the decision process across competing alternatives. To fill this void, this research uses a holistic post-adoptive evaluation by introducing a regret perspective in relation to competing technologies. Specifically, we theorize and operationalize a new multidimensional construct of post-adoption regret and construct a research model to examine how HTA leads to post-adoption regret and how such regret influences user staying power. The results suggest that post-adoption regret is formed primarily through two routes, outcome and process, and it is found to be more related to user switching, whereas satisfaction is related to user retention. The research model is supported by two longitudinal field studies of users in Asia and Europe who chose between competing technologies in both forms of free software and paid hardware. Findings from this research have significant implications for information systems research and industry practice.

Growing user base in the early stage of sharing economy platforms: An integration of competitive repertoire and institutional legitimacy theories

Sharing economy platforms are pressed to rapidly grow user bases at the early stage by aggressively targeting potential users through competitive actions. Due to the volatile nature of the sharing economy and its disruption to industry norms, these platforms encounter legitimacy challenges that impede user base growth. This paper integrates competitive repertoire and institutional legitimacy theories to develop a research model that explains early-stage user base development in the sharing economy. We posit that the early-stage user base is associated with structural characteristics of the competitive repertoire, whose effects are moderated by a platform's socio-political legitimation efforts that address stakeholders’ regulatory and normative concerns. Using a comprehensive sample of 4644 monthly observations of 129 sharing economy platforms in China, we find that the volume of two context-specific competitive actions, offering economic incentives and staging high-visibility events, along with competitive repertoire complexity, are positively related to the platform's early-stage user base. We also identify a significant negative relationship between repertoire differentiation and user base. Direct relationships are moderated by socio-political legitimation, however, such that legitimation weakens the positive impact of context-specific action volume but enhances those of repertoire complexity and differentiation. Managerial and practical implications are discussed in light of the findings.

Attaining Individual Creativity and Performance in Multi-Disciplinary and Geographically-Distributed IT Project Teams: The Role of Transactive Memory Systems

Contemporary IT project teams demand that individual members generate and implement novel ideas in response to the dynamic changes in IT and business requirements. Firms rely on multidisciplinary, geographically distributed IT project teams to gather the necessary talent, regardless of their locations, for developing novel IT artifacts. In this team context, individuals are expected to leverage dissimilar others’ expertise for creating ideas during idea generation (IG) and then implement their ideas during idea implementation (II), known as the IGII process. Although much has been done to explain individual creativity, the extant literature offers little theoretical understanding on how to address the double-edged effects of dispersions in both functional expertise (ExpDisp) and geographical locations (GeoDiss)—the two defining characteristics of multi-disciplinary, cross-locational IT project teams—on individual creativity and subsequent performance. Drawing on the IGII framework, we propose transactive memory systems (TMSs) as a plausible team-level solution to tackle the challenge. With a multi-wave multi-level dataset from 141 members and their supervisors from 35 IT project teams, we found that team-level TMS and GeoDiss interactively moderate individual-level IGII processes in multi-disciplinary geographically -distributed IT project teams during both II and IG, but in qualitatively different ways.

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Digital Innovation & Transformation – Professor Yulin FANG

Professor Yulin Fang is a seasoned scholar, professional case writer, veteran IT consultant, and editor for several internationally renowned journals. Seeing HKU Business School as a supernova in the academic landscape, Professor Fang is keen to contribute his intellectual might on digital innovation and transformation to our School’s journey of excellence.  Joining us in September 2021, Professor Fang will be leading our School’s newly formed research centre, the Institute of Digital Economy and Innovation (IDEI).  

The Role of Vendor Legitimacy in IT Outsourcing Performance: Theory and Evidence

Information technology (IT) outsourcing relationships today are facing increasingly turbulent environments. With rapid changes in technological, commercial, societal, and regulatory landscapes, client firms have to closely and continually assess the desirability and appropriateness, or legitimacy, of their vendors in such dynamic settings. In this research, the focus is on client firms’ perceived legitimacy of vendors, termed “vendor legitimacy.” Specifically, building on institutional theory, vendor legitimacy is conceptualized as consisting of three dimensions—pragmatic, moral, and cognitive—and is examined through their respective impacts on IT outsourcing performance. The role of key governance strategies for managing vendor legitimacy, namely, contractual governance and relational governance, are likewise explored. Results from a multiple-sourced, matched-pair, cross-industry sample of executives and managers of 185 client firms reveal that these various governance strategies exert differential impacts on the aforementioned dimensions of vendor legitimacy, which, in turn, drive performance.

Managing Collective Enterprise Information Systems Compliance: A Social and Performance Management Context Perspective

In today’s environment characterized by business dynamism and information technology (IT) advances, firms must frequently update their enterprise information systems (EIS) and their use policies to support changing business operations. In this context, users are challenged to maintain EIS compliance behavior by continuously learning new ways of using EIS. Furthermore, it is imperative to businesses that employees of a functional unit maintain EIS compliance behavior collectively, due to the interdependent nature of tasks that the unit needs to accomplish through EIS. However, it is particularly challenging to achieve such a collective level of EIS compliance, due to the difficulty that these employees may encounter in quickly learning updated EIS. It is, therefore, vital for firms to establish effective managerial principles to ensure collective EIS compliance of a functional unit in a dynamic environment. To address this challenge, this study develops a research model to explain collective EIS compliance by integrating theoretical lens on social context and performance management context with social capital theory. It proposes that social context, an organizational environment characterized by trust and support, positively affects collective EIS compliance by developing business–IT social capital that enhances mutual learning between business and IT personnel. Furthermore, the performance management context, an organizational environment characterized by discipline and “stretch,” is seen to have a direct and beneficial effect on collective EIS compliance as well as an indirect, moderating effect on the causal chain among social contexts, business–IT social capital, and collective EIS compliance. General empirical support for this research model is provided via a multiple-sourced survey of managers and employees of 159 functional units of 53 firms that use EIS, as well as their corresponding IT unit managers. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.