Jessica is a seasoned human resource development professional with more than 25 years of working experience in both business corporations and academic institutions. She is fluent in English and Chinese and capable of working effectively in multicultural and diverse environments. Her professional skills include creating coaching and mentoring programs, overseeing talent management and retention strategies, establishing corporate universities, and developing leaders. She is an accomplished practitioner and researcher with strong people and leadership skills.
Jessica is currently an associate professor of Human Resource Development and dean’s fellow for faculty development and diversity initiatives. She is also the associate editor of the Journal of Human Resource Development International, regional editor for the Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management, and a member of the board of directors at the Academy of Human Resource Development. Jessica also worked as a senior research fellow of The Conference Board and is affiliated with the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies. Before joining the faculty at Illinois she taught at the University of North Texas, Texas A&M University, and North China University of Technology. Prior to becoming a professor, Jessica worked as a business executive for Motorola, Raytheon, and Nokia. Her Ph.D. is from Pennsylvania State University.

Key Professional Appointments

Board of Director Academy of Human Resource Development, 2014 - present

Associate Professor EPOL, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 2013 - present

Regional Editor Journal of Chinese Human Resource Development, 2013 - present

Associate Editor International Human Resource Development, 2012 - present

Chair Cutting Edge Research Award Committee, AHRD, 2012 - 2014

Assistant Professor EPOL, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 2011 - 2013

Assistant Professor Learning Technologies, University of North Texas, 2006 - 2011

Clinical Assistant Professor Education Administration and Human Resource Develo, Texas A&M University, 2003 - 2006

Manager Raytheon Company, 2002 - 2003

Senior Manager The Antioch Company, 2001 - 2002

Group Manager Nokia, 1999 - 2001

Manager Motorola, 1994 - 1999


B.S., Mechanical Engineering, North China University of Technology

M.S., Manufacturing Engineering Technology, East Tennessee State University

Ph.D., Human Resource Development, The Pennsylvania State University

Awards, Honors, Associations

Cutting Edge Research Award Academy of Human Resource Development, 2016 - 2016

Dean's Fellow EPOL, University of Illinois, 2014 - present

Highly Commended Paper of 2013 Emerald Literati Network, 2013 Award for Excellence, 2014 - 2014

Research Excellence Award International Federation of Training and Development Organization, 2014 - 2014

Outstanding Paper Award 2012 Emerald Literati Network, 2012 - 2012

Cutting Edge Research Award Academy of Human Resource Development, 2011 - 2011

Learning Technology Innovation of the Year Dallas County Community College District, 2009 - 2009

Cutting Edge Research Award Academy of Human Resource Development, 2007 - 2007

Chair of SIG on China HRD Academy of Human Resource Development, 2009 - present

Research & Service

As a scholar in the field of human resource development, my primary interest is to unleash human potentials within their work, community, and societal context. Individuals and organizations are experiencing changes brought by globalization, technology advancement, economic development, and shift in workforce demographics. Both individuals and organizations should understand the impact of these changes and develop strategies to cope and move forward.
From the perspective of the individual learners, I am interested in investigating how the Internet and mobile technology can potentially change or have changed people’s learning and communication behaviors in teams, virtual teams, community of practices, and virtual community of practices to develop strategies to influence and enhance learning outcomes and promote performance improvement.
From the perspective of the organizations, I am interested in examining corporate learning practices, such as the use of corporate university or talent development and management as an overarching strategy to develop systematic processes that include mentoring and coaching, career development, learning and development, and work redesign to enhance employee development, retain talent, and improve organization performance.
As a scholar with extensive international experience, I also conduct research in China and other countries for comparative studies to promote cross-culture understanding. I am very interested in the impact Chinese economic development has on employees’ work-related values and attitudes and generational differences. I also belong to a team of international scholars that study and compare human resource development issues among BRIC countries.


Cho, Y., McLean, G., Amornpipat, I., Chang, W., & Li, J. (2015) Asian Women in Top Management: Eight Country Cases Human Resource development International 18 (2), 407-428

Korte, R., & Li, J. (2015) Exploring the organization socialization of Engineers in Taiwan Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management 6 (1), 33-51

Li, J. (2015) Connecting the dots: Understanding culture differences is the key in customizing HRD research and practice around the world Human Resource development International 18 (2), 113-115

Alsufyev, A., Tsybova, V., Zavyalova, E., Ardichvili, A., & Li, J. (2015) HRD practices and Innovative performance in BRIC countries: Comparative analysis...

Sun, J., & Li, J. (2015) From indigenous phenomenon to indigenous theory development: HRD research and practice in the Greater China region Academy of Human Resource Development

Alsuf'ev, A., Zavyalova, E., Ardichvili, A., & Li, J. (2015) Approaches to training and development of personnel in innovation-active companies of BRIC countries Management Series 3, 47-83

Han, S., Geo, G., Li, J., & Yoon, S. (2015) The mediating effect of organization commitment and employee empowerment: How transformational leadership impacts employee knowledge sharing intention. Human Resource Development International  link >

Hu, E., Li, Y., Li, J., & Huang, D. (2015) Open Educational Resources (OER)’s usage and barriers: A study from Zhejiang University, China Educational Technology Research and Development 63 (3), 9570974

Li, J., Wang, C., & Wu, F. (2015) Designing the online learning self-efficacy scale for adult learners and its measurement. Journal of Distance Education 231 (6), 47-53

Wu, F., & Li, J. (2015) The age of the Internet and the revolution of Chinese adult learning. Open Education Research 21 (5), 112-120

Wu, F., Wang, C., & Li, J. (2015) An assessment scale to measure adult learners motivation in online learning environment with non-constraint Modern Distance Education Research 4, 60-65

Wu, F., Xia, J., Li, J., & , . (2015) The international perspective of research of training transfer – individual characteristics, organizational environment and system design Modern Educational Technology 25 (8), 12-18

Li, J., & Zahran, M. (2014) Influences of emotional intelligence on transformational leadership and leader-member exchange in Kuwait. International Journal of Human Resource Development and Management 14 (1/2/3), 74-96

Huang, J., Ouyang, Z., & Li, J. (2014) HRD and its Development in China. The Routledge Companion to HRD Routledge: London, UK

Li, J., & Dong, X. (2013) Increasing the influence of corporate University Corporate University

Li, J. (2013) Web-based technology and the changing landscape of HRD Human Resource Development International. 16 (3)

Ardichvili, A., Jondle, D., Wiley, J., Cornacchione, E., & Li , J. (2013) Building ethical business cultures: BRIC by BRIC The European Business Review (March - April), 22-25

Huang, W., Li, J., & Lin, M. (2013) Game-based virtual-world environments to better engage lifelong learners for open courseware and open learning. Handbook of Research on Technologies for Improving the 21st Century Workforce: Tool for Lifelong Learning IGI Global: Hershey, PA

Yeo, R., & Li, J. (2013) In pursuit of learning: sensemaking the quality of work life European Journal of Training and Development 37 (2), 136-160  link >

Liu, A., & Li, J. (2012) Exploring the corporate university phenomenon: The development and implementation of a comprehensive survey Human Resource Development Quarterly 23 (1), 103-126

Li, J., & Madsen, J. (2011) Business ethics and workplace guanxi in Chinese SOEs: A qualitative study. Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management 2 (2)

Li, J., D’Souza, D., & Du, Y. (2011) Exploring the contribution of virtual worlds to organizational learning Human Resource Development Review 10 (3), 264-285  link >

Li, J., & Madsen, J. (2010) Examining Chinese managers’ work related values and attitudes Chinese Management Studies 4 (1), 57-76

Li, J., Brake, G., Champion, A., Fuller, T., Gabel, S., & Hatcher-Busch, L. (2009) Knowledge accessibility and workplace learning. Journal of Workplace Learning 21 (4), 347-364

Li, J., & Nimon, K. (2008) The Importance of recognizing generational differences in HRD policy and practices: A study of workers in Qinhuangdao, China Human Resource Development International 11 (2), 167-182

Alagaraja, M., & Li, J.. Utilizing institutional perspectives to investigate the emergence, rise and (relative) decline of corporate universities Human Resource Development International. 18 (1), 4-23  link >

Chung, C., Angnakoon, P., & Li , J.. Virtual HRD and national culture: An information processing perspective European Journal of Training and Development 40 (1), 21-35  link >

Li, J.. Business Ethics in China. Ethical Business Cultures in Emerging Markets: Organizational Challenges for Businesses Operating in the Global Economy Cambridge University Press

Li, J.. Open Educational Resources (OER)’s usage and barriers: A study from Zhejiang University, China..

Bell, A., Pokimica , J., Yang, X., Lee, S., & Li, J. (2016) Promoting meaningful participation in online learning communities: Using learner analytics to create effective feedback loops...

Hedayati, A., & Li, J. (2016) What is talent development? An integrative review of literature...

Li, J. (2016) Understanding business ethics in China and implications for HRD...

Li, J., Han, S., & Fu, S. (2015) Learning style preference impacts learning outcomes: How people learn differently and why teaching and learning styles compatibility matters.. Academy of Human Resource Development

Oh, G., & Li, J. (2015) The responsibility of HRD? A look at workplace cyber incivility.. Academy of Human Resource Development


Principal Investigator Optimizing Student Learning Outcomes: A Comparative Study of Onsite, Virtual and Remote Laboratories in Electrical Engineering, National Science Foundation (University of North Texas), 2011 - 2014

Principal Investigator A Cross Generational Comparative Study: A Changing Work Ethic in China?, Campus Research Board, 2012 - 2013


Memeber of Board of Directors Academy of Human Resource Development, 2014 - present

Chair, Cutting Edge Research Committee Academy of Human Resource Development, 2012 - 2014

Associate Editor Human Resource Development International, 2012 - present


Teaching for me is an honor and a privilege. It is a humbling experience when I stand in front of students who place their trust in me for guidance and dissemination of knowledge. It gives me a great sense of responsibility and humility. I have entered this profession with a diverse background, teaching in China and in the U.S. I have collaborated with people worldwide and have worked for U.S., European, and Chinese corporations. Through these experiences I have developed an appreciation for the differences in regional perspectives; for the issues that confront us as a global community; and for the profound challenges that our students face daily.

I have also developed an appreciation for the importance of experiential and active learning. It is important to bring my own experiences of success and failure into the classroom, but it is even more important to encourage students to bring their accounts of success and failure into the classroom to construct and make sense of their own learning. I strive to be an effective instructor, mentor, and adviser to my students and was pleased to be included in the list of “Teachers Ranked as Excellent by their Students” upon my arrival at Illinois.


Principles of HRE Study of the basic concepts and practices of education for and about work: its philosophical foundations and historical development, mission and goals, structure and function, curricular areas of emphasis, learner audiences served and settings in which programs are conducted, and issues and trends affecting program change. Course Information: 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

Organization Development Addresses the history, concepts, theories, and techniques of Organization Development as applied in Human Resource Education; emphasis on creating, managing, and sustaining system-wide change in public and private organizations; organized around diagnosis, implementation, and evaluation of individual, team, and organization-wide interventions.

International HRD Course is designed to provide insights into international HRD at macro and micro levels. Course will cover: cross-cultural issues in international HRD; design and delivery of international HRD programs; HRD practices and programs in different regions of the world; national HRD programs; expatriate training and training in multinational corporations.

Technology in HRD Introduction to significant problems, points of view, and trends in the field; explores significant research relating to organization, content, and techniques. Topics vary; consult Class Schedule for specific section offerings. Course Information: May be repeated with approval.

Jessica Li

Associate Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership



354 Education Building
1310 S. Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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