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 the Director of Human Resource Development Program. She is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal Human Resource Development International, regional editor for the Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies. Jessica was named the Chair of the Education and Workforce Development Working Group, Discovery Partners Institute, University of Illinois System in November 2018.
She was a member of the board of directors at the Academy of Human Resource Development from 2014 to 2018 and the dean’s fellow for faculty development and diversity initiatives from 8. 2014- 8. 2016. 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

Editor-in Chief Human Resource Development International, 2018 - present

Advisory Board Member The Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, 2017 - present

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

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

Member of the Board of Directors Academy of Human Resource Development, 2014 - 2018

Dean's Fellow EPOL, University of Illinois, 2014 - 2016

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

Center 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

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

Spitze/Mather Faculty Award for Excellence College of Education, 2019 - 2019

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

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.


Mehdiabadi, A., & Li, J. (2016). Understanding talent development and implications for human resource development: An integrative literature review human resource Development Review, 15 (3), 263-294.  link >

Li, J. (2016). Technology advancement and the future of HRD. human resource development international, 19 (3), 189-191.  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., Han, S., & Fu, S. Exploring the Correlation between Students' Learning Styles and Laboratory Learning Outcomes in Engineering Education. Journal of Further and Higher Education.

Li, J., & Hurt, A. (2017). Shifting practices in digital workforce learning: An integrated approach to learning, knowledge management, and knowledge sharing ( 3 ed vol. 20, pp. 185-193). Human Resource Development International.

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.  link >

Huang, W., Jacobs, R., Kuchinke, K., Li, J., & Oh, E. (2017). Human resource development at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Performance Improvement, 56 (6), 38-48.  link >

Li, J., Wang, Y., & Wu, F. (2017). Leadership Development in China. Leadership Development in Emerging Markets Palgrave MacMillan.

Chung, C., Angnakoon, P., & Li , J. (2016). Virtual HRD and national culture: An information processing perspective. European Journal of Training and Development, 40 (1), 21-35.  link >

Li, J., Wang, C., & Wu, F. (2016). Designing the online learning self-efficacy scale for adult learners and its measurement Journal of Distance Education, 231 (6), 47-53.

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.

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 London, UK: Routledge.

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 ( pp. 76 - 97). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.

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 >

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

Li, J. Women in Leadership in Contemporary China: Past, Present, and Future. Current Perspectives on Asian Women Leadership Palgrave MacMillan.

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 ( vol. 2015,). Academy of Human Resource Development.


Talent Management in Asia: Trends and Issues. In Chapman, D. D. & Desiderio, K. P. (Eds). Proceedings: AHRD 2013 International Research Conference. St. Paul, MN: Academy of Human Resource Development. (2013).

Strategizing learning for a better quality of work life: Integrating context and learning orientation. In Wang, J. & Gedro, J. (Eds.) Proceedings; AHRD 2012 International Research Conference (pp. 3089 (2012).

The Changing Nature of Employee Work Ethic: A By-Product of Current Economic Reform in China. The Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2012).: Invited Lecture.


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


Editor in Chief Human Resource Development International, 2018 - present

Memeber of Board of Directors Academy of Human Resource Development, 2014 - 2018

Associate Editor Human Resource Development International, 2012 - 2018

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


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.


Learning Technologies (CI 484) Same as HRD 472. See HRD 472.

Principles of HRE (HRD 400) 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. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

Instruct & Train System Design (HRD 411) Provides instruction and practice in the selection, organization, and preparation of content for instructional programs in business and technical settings. Provides students with a theoretical orientation to instructional design as well as the opportunity to experience the instructional design process as it applies to business and technical settings through the development of instructional materials. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours.

Advanced Theories in HRD (HRD 509) Provides a reading of advanced texts related to Human Resource Development from a variety of applied social science disciplines. Targeted towards doctoral students in the later stage of their course work who are interested in HRE theory and social science foundations.

Management of HRD (HRD 533) Study of management fundamentals related to planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling the HRD function in organizations.

International HRD (HRD 536) 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.

Adult & Professional Education (HRD 550) This course takes a broad look at the philosophy, theory, research, and practice of adult education, along with additional consider4ations for the development of professionals. The broad perspective includes the social, cultural, and political factors that affect the research, planning, development, and implementation of adult education. You may explore the major adult learning theories, the practice of adult education, and the aims and challenges of professional education that match you scholarly and practical interests.

Li, Jessica

Associate Professor, Education Policy, Organization and Leadership



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

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