Dr Mengyi Xu

Dr Mengyi Xu

Department of Management
Assistant Professor in Human Resource Management

Contact details

Birmingham Business School
University House
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Mengyi Xu is an Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management in the Organisation, Work and Employment group, Department of Management. Her current research focuses on work-life balance (WLB) and inclusion, boundary management, the future of work (e.g. flexible working) and sustainable career. She is particularly interested in understanding work-life inclusion and its interplay with sustainable career for diverse social groups. This includes solo-living individuals, gig workers, digital nomads, and those in emerging economies where WLB policies and cultures are still evolving. Her research aims to catalyse the evolution of HRM practices and policies, fostering employee wellbeing and creating inclusive workplaces. 

Mengyi is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and possesses a broad portfolio of teaching and supervision expertise in HRM, Employment Relations, and Organisational Behaviour at different levels of higher education (Undergraduate, Master, MBA, and Executive Education), while she previously worked at Cranfield and Anglia Ruskin University.

She is a council member of the British Academy of Management, academic member of Charted Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD), and early career Fellow of Work-Family Researcher Network.


  • PhD in Human Resource Management & Industrial Relations
  • MA in Human Resource Management
  • PGcert in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
  • BSc in Public Administration 


Dr Mengyi Xu joined Birmingham Business School as Assistant Professor in Human Resource Management in January 2024. Before joining Birmingham, Mengyi held positions as a Lecturer in HRM & Employment Relations and Programme Director of MSc Management & HRM at Cranfield University and Lecturer in HRM & Organisational Behaviour at Anglia Ruskin University. Prior to Academia, she has professional experiences as HR, bilingual teacher, events presenter. 

Mengyi's research focus on work-life balance (WLB) and inclusion, the future of work (e.g. flexible working) and sustainable career. Her research and consultancy projects are funded by the British Academy of Management, Forces in Mind Trust and the Brazil’s Civil Service. She was recently awarded Early Career Fellowship from Work Family Research Network, and Research Accelerator Fellowship from Cranfield University. 

Mengyi possesses a broad portfolio of teaching and supervision expertise in HRM, Employment Relations, and Organisational Behaviour at different levels of higher education (Undergraduate, Master, MBA, and Executive Education). Her teaching is informed by her research, and consultancy as well as her international experience in the West and East. She is passionate about helping students see the real-world implications of classroom theories and achieve their professional goals. She was previously nominated/awarded the "Teaching Excellence Award" and "Outstanding Personal Tutorship".


Mengyi teaches a range of HRM modules such as International HRM at Birmingham.

Postgraduate supervision

Mengyi has supervised doctoral projects on 'HR Practices in start-ups', 'the impact of Intelligent Agents on effective Algorithmic Management', 'Work-life Balance in the UK Higher Education'. 

Mengyi is accepting PhD students interested in her research expertise below, using quantitative, qualitative or mixed methods. Students are also welcome to propose their own topics. Please send an email with your CV and research proposal for further discussion.

  • Work-life interface, boundary management  
  • Flexible working, hybrid working, remote working, four-day work week
  • Sustainable career
  • Contemporary issues in the future of work in China


Mengyi's research interests centre around Work-Life inclusion and the Future of Work.
For the former, she looks at the under-researched social groups, such as single/solo living employees, immigrant employees, and gig workers, as well as the understudied national contexts, such as the emerging economies of China and Brazil. For the latter, she dives deep into the societal, technological, and psychological factors to understand the new ways of working better, especially hybrid and four-day work week, and their implications for employees, organisations, and society.

She uses mixed methods, qualitative (e.g. interview, qualitative diary study, autoethnography) and quantitative research (e.g. survey and web scrapping) designs in her projects.

Her recent projects include:

  • The Four-Day Work Week: Perceptions, Experiences, and Work Outcomes
  • Work-life inclusions for gig workers, solo-living employees
  • Work-life boundary management in the context of hybrid working
  • Work-life balance in emerging economies such as China and Brazil
  • Improving life skills in the UK Armed Forces

Other activities

Mengyi holds the following roles:

  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • Early Career Fellow of Work-Family Researcher Network
  • Academic Member of Charted Institute of Personnel Development
  • External Examiner on MSc HRM course at Surrey University, on BSc HRM course at De Montfort University
  • Council Member of the British Academy of Management, Events Officer & Committee Member in HRM SIG
  • Working Member at the Association of British Chinese Professors
  • Member of the Academy of Management
  • Member of UK Research & Innovation ECR
  • Member of Aurora Female Leadership Network
  • Reviewer for ESRC New Investigator Grant, HRM Journal, Journal of Business Ethics, International Journal of HRM Employee Relations, Asia Pacific of Business, HRM textbooks for SAGE Publication and Kogan Page Publishing


Recent publications


Xu, M, Cao, X & Lu, H 2023, 'Leave or not to leave? The impact of managerial work-life support and work engagement on the outcomes of work-to-life conflict for China’s new generation employees', Asia Pacific Business Review. https://doi.org/10.1080/13602381.2023.2264221

Hong, Y, Xu, M & Furnell, S 2023, 'Situational support and information security behavioural intention: a comparative study using conservation of resources theory', Behaviour and Information Technology. https://doi.org/10.1080/0144929x.2023.2177825

Cai, Y, Rowley, C & Xu, M 2023, 'Workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond: insights from strategic human resource management in Mainland China', Asia Pacific Business Review, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 1170-1191. https://doi.org/10.1080/13602381.2022.2127971

Qian, B, Huang, M, Xu, M & Hong, Y 2022, 'Internet Use and Quality of Life: The Multiple Mediating Effects of Risk Perception and Internet Addiction', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 19, no. 3, 1795. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19031795

Hong, Y & Xu, M 2021, 'Autonomous Motivation and Information Security Policy Compliance: Role of Job Satisfaction, Responsibility, and Deterrence', Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, vol. 33, no. 6, pp. 1-17. https://doi.org/10.4018/JOEUC.20211101.oa9

Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Gao, G, Sai, L & Xu, M 2024, Questing the work-life challenges faced by solo-living women academics: can there be a “life” for us? in K Wilkinson & H Woolnough (eds), Work-life Inclusion: Broadening Perspectives Across the Life Course. 1 edn, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 53-66. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-80382-219-820241005

Xu, M & Kelliher, C 2024, Work-Life Balance. in B McDonough & J Parry (eds), Sociology, Work and Organisations: A Global Context. 1st edn, Routledge.

Commissioned report

Fisher, N, Robinson, D, Parry, E & Xu, M 2023, Life skills in the Armed Forces: Supporting the Military Community. Forces in Mind Trust. <https://s31949.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/Life-Skills-in-the-Armed-Forces.pdf>

Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary

Xu, M 2023, Hybrid working. in S Johnstone, JK Rodriguez & A Wilkinson (eds), Encyclopedia of Human Resource Management, Second edition. 2 edn, Elgar Encyclopedias in Business and Management, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., pp. 186-187. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781800378841.H.23

Xu, M 2023, Part-time working. in Encyclopedia of Human Resource Management, Second edition. 2 edn, Elgar Encyclopedias in Business and Management, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., pp. 296-297. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781800378841.P.2


Xu, M & Wang, W 2023, 'How does work-life balance take shape in less regulated economies? A signaling theory perspective', Paper presented at The 10th Bienniel IACMR Conference, Hong Kong, 14/06/23 - 18/06/23.

Xu, M & Wang, L 2023, 'Navigating the blurred work-life boundary under the hybrid working context: how the appraisal of emotions prompts boundary management tactics', Paper presented at British Academy of Management Conference 2023, Falmer, Brighton, United Kingdom, 4/09/23 - 6/09/23.

Xu, M 2021, 'Context matters: decipher the work-life balance in China', Paper presented at British Academy of Management annual conference 2021, 31/08/21 - 3/09/21.

Xu, M 2021, 'Perceived balance and experienced imbalance: the superficial and unsustainable work-life balance of Chinese employees', Paper presented at The 39th International Labour Process Conference 2021, London, United Kingdom, 12/04/21 - 14/04/21.


Xu, M 2022, 'Double-edged informality in the work-life balance management: evidence from Chinese State-owned Enterprise employees', Work-family Researcher Network conference 2022, New York City, United States, 20/06/22 - 24/06/22. <https://wfrn.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/2022-Conference-Book-of-Abstracts-FINAL-6-20-22.pdf>

View all publications in research portal