Jessica An, PhD


    Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    I welcome any research projects within my field of expertise:
    Guanxi, social networking, social capital, ethnic minority entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship contextualisation, strategic management

    Willing to speak to media


    Research activity per year

    Personal profile


    Jessica works as Assistant Professor in Strategy in School of Strategy and Leadership (SSL), Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) at Coventry University. She holds a PhD degree from Coventry University in Guanxi (Social Networking) and Entrepreneurship, and is a Senior Fellow of Advanced Higher Education (SFHEA). Her research interests focus on Chinese guanxi, social capital, ethnic minority entrepreneurs, social embeddedness and entrepreneurship contextualisation. Current leadership duties include Course Director for BA International Business Top Up, SSL Alumni Lead, Module Leader, Dissertation Supervisor and Mentor. She had been previously appointed as Academic Conduct Officers in the School that investigated academic misconduct cases and assisted staff training on identifying and preventing plagiarism. She has been working as an active researcher and journal reviewer to further extend her research profile. Prior to Jessica’s academic career, she worked as an Internet Marketing Project Manager in a couple of British SMEs to help local UK companies establish presence in China via the internet and vice versa, through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC). She has closely worked with China-Britain Business Council (CBBC) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) where a funding application was succeeded to support internationalisation of UK SMEs. Her expertise in international advertising and marketing communications has provided her the opportunity to work for some of the most prestigious industry leaders in the world, including Saatchi & Saatchi, Young & Rubicam, and The English Premier League. Jessica has a great passion in supporting and guiding international students to succeed in their personal career pursuit around the world.

    Research Interests

    Chinese guanxi

    Social networking/Social capital

    Entrepreneurship contextualisation

    Minority Entrepreneur

    Strategic management


    Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

    In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

    • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
    • SDG 4 - Quality Education
    • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
    • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
    • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

    Education/Academic qualification

    International Studies and Social Sciences, Doctorate, The relationship between the characteristics of Chinese entrepreneurs and guanxi networking in the UK, Coventry University

    23 Jan 20121 Aug 2017

    Award Date: 22 Nov 2017

    International Management, MSc, Loughborough University

    1 Oct 20081 Sept 2009

    Award Date: 1 Oct 2009

    Advertising and Marketing Communications, Degree, University of Bedfordshire

    24 Sept 20071 Jul 2008

    Award Date: 1 Jul 2008

    Advertising and Marketing Communications, Degree, China Agricultural University

    1 Sept 20051 Jul 2007

    Award Date: 1 Jul 2007

    External positions

    Organisational Member, Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship

    Oct 2022 → …

    Lead External Examiner for Leadership and Human Resource Management, Northumbria University

    1 Aug 202231 Dec 2026

    Member, British Academy of Management

    Feb 2022 → …

    Member, Certified Management and Business Educator (CMBE)

    Feb 2022Feb 2023

    Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy (HEA)

    Feb 2022 → …

    Chartered Member, Chartered Management Institute

    Nov 2021 → …


    • H Social Sciences (General)
    • guanxi
    • Social networking
    • Entrepreneurship
    • business strategy
    • entrepreneurial contextualisation
    • SMEs
    • Ethnic minority entrepreneurs
    • LB2300 Higher Education
    • entrepreneurial education
    • Pedagogy
    • Higher education curriculum
    • course design


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