Dr Boyi Li
Lecturer in Management
+44 (0) 1392 723484
Streatham Court, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4PU, UK
Boyi Li is a Lecturer in Management at the University of Exeter Business School. He joined the Business School in September 2014. He holds a PhD from LSE (Department of Management), a bachelor degree from Renmin University of China, and two master degrees (MSc, MSc Research) in information systems and organisational studies from LSE. His doctoral thesis studies the formation of entrepreneurial networks in Chinese rural and suburban regions that are enabled by Internet platforms. His research aims to understand how the locally-embedded entrepreneurs manage to entangle web-business-platforms with local social structures, and thereby gain competitiveness through digital networks.
This research has important implications for the policy-thinking (re-thinking) of regional innovation systems in Internet era. Methodologically trained as an economic sociologist, Boyi is particularly interested on the meanings and structure of social relations, and the socio-technical mechanisms that facilitate innovation in entrepreneurial communities. Before joining the University of Exeter, Boyi held teaching positions at both the LSE and UCL, teaching several management-related courses ranging from information systems, innovation management to global business management. He is also a frequent research paper reviewer for several top-tier academic journals and conferences in the field of information systems.
- MSc Research
Boyi is broadly interested in digital innovations in the context of developing countries (ICT4D). What characterises all his research projects is the use of social theories, in particular the theories of political economy, to study how the practices of innovation and development can be explained by the contextual institutional structures and local knowledge. His recent interest focuses on the concept of “digital materiality”, and interpretive schemes of actors (context) in using large sets of computational data for strategic/entrepreneurial purposes. “Digital materiality” refers to the object of computable digits (data or data flows) and the technological architectures that both “produce” and “package” it to facilitate organisational routines. He is interested in understanding how new forms of “organizing” become possible with digital materials (metadata, metrics, APIs, service modular etc), and the relationship between digital materiality and social context.
Current research projects
- Rural entrepreneurship in China and the roles of Alibaba’s e-commerce platform — how to theorise Platform-Society Synergy?
- Digital Economy as emerging paradigms of Industrial Policy (How China Supports Its Digital Economy?)
- Platform leadership in innovation ecosystems: the formation of norms, rules, and cultural institutions via software functionality (using WeChat and Taobao.com as case studies)
- TechCities in London/China (Xi’An) – how the existing social capital of digital ecosystems (relational capital, reputation capital, skill set etc.) can be translated into advantages of geographical innovation clusters? (innovation cluster 2.0?)
- Data-driven business models in developing countries (especially for development purposes such as poverty reduction and health purposes)
Publications by category
Publications by year
Awards and Honours
- LSE PhD Research Scholarship (2008 — 2013)
- Great Britain — China Educational Trust, Chinese PhD Award
Conferences and invited presentations
- 18th January 2011, two-hours lecture on Grassroots Innovation and Chinese Rural Entrepreneurship, as part of the “ICT and Development Crash Course” by The Student Initiative, University College London.
- 19th April, 2012, twenty-minutes presentation on Social Embeddedness of Industrial Networks in the Internet Age, SSIT- Open Research Forum, London School of Economics
- 21st January, 2014, two-hours lecture on “Regional Clustering Through Internet Networks - A Perspective of Hybrid Sociality”, IS554 Information Systems PhD Seminar Series and Workshops, London School of Economics
- Member of the International Federation of Information Processing, 9.4 ICTs in Developing Countries
- Member of the Association of Information Systems
- Information Systems Journal
- Journal of Association of Information Systems
- International Conference of Information Systems
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