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Dr Honglei Li

Senior Lecturer

Department: Computer and Information Sciences

My career life is a journey of pursuing courage, creation and perseverance.

Honglei -Li

My career life is a journey of pursuing courage, creation and perseverance.

I did my first degree in computational mathematics, during which I was highly drawn to computers and algorithm. I often wondered whether we could build human features into the cold codes while writing computational algorithms. Fortunately, I got the opportunity to do my Master’s degree in information systems in 1997 when the Internet started to be popular. I was drawn to Management Information Systems (MIS) because it’s creative, innovative, multidisciplinary and full of challenges. My thirst and curiosity in MIS lead me to a PhD scholarship funded by Hong Kong Government in MIS at the School of Business Administration at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

My PhD training opened me a variety of opportunities to reflect on the question I had pondered before when I was writing algorithms, i.e. whether human features could be built into computer systems. After training in research methodologies from management, marketing, operation research, psychology and social science, I decided to do a dissertation on virtual community participation from the interpersonal relationship perspective. My dissertation writing process taught me so much about human nature, research methodology and, most important, the human features in computers. I published several papers on virtual communities from my dissertation and am still working on interpersonal relationship theories in virtual communities.

During my first job as a Lecturer in Information Systems in the School of Business at Swansea University, I was drawn to business process management while doing virtual community research and teaching undergraduates MIS and systems analysis and design. I found that information systems improve our lives through business process changes. This interest leads me to my second research area -- business process management. Through an Erasmus scheme I have been trained at SAP in 2010 in business process management and moved to Northumbria University in 2011 because I wanted to teach MIS courses using a more practical method through the SAP university alliance programme. I became a certified SAP ERP business associate consultant in 2014.

With my ingrained passion in the field, I eventually sensed that the field is evolving with the technology development. I am recently shifting toward several emerging research fields under the umbrella of smart cities including smart city strategy, Internet of Things (IoT), online shopping experience optimization through data mining, smart city trace data analysis. Many of these emerging research areas are still under development and I welcome any interested party to discuss and collaborate on these research topics.

NRL Link

Google Scholar

0191 243 7830


  • BSc (Nanjing University)
  • MPhil. (Nanjing University)
  • PhD (CUHK)
  • 2014 SAP Certified ERP Terp 10 Business Associate Consultant
  • 2005 CTM (Competent Toastmaster) of Toastmaster International Club 
  • 2000 Certified Software Engineer, Ministry of Information Industry, People's Republic of China

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My research interests broadly fall into three topics –smart cities, virtual communities and business process management. In smart cities, I am working on smart city strategies, Internet of Things and business process changes, online shopping experience optimization through data mining, smart city trace data analysis.

In virtual communities I am especially interested in participation, online interaction, virtual worlds and online collaboration systems. My recent research in this area has expanded to include social computing and social media.

In business process management I am fascinated by how business processes could be organized so that human work and life can be improved. This has been reflected in research areas including enterprise systems, business process change and organizational performance.  I am currently working on social media, business process change, and organizational performance and supervising a PhD student whose topic is social media strategy. I am open to collaborate on projects in these areas. 

My teaching interests are highly related with my research interests. I have been teaching MIS, systems analysis and design, social computing for business. I am currently teaching enterprise systems, research methodology, and strategy and information systems.

Information for prospective research students

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil/PhD or MSc/MA by research exist in all the areas of interest identified above.

Information for prospective research students

Opportunities to carry out postgraduate research towards an MPhil/PhD or MSc/MA by research exist in all the areas of interest identified above.

Further information may be obtained from The Graduate School.

Sponsors and Collaborators

I have been working with a broad range of leading scholars in information systems, human computer interactions, management, and computer sciences. For my virtual community research, I closely collaborate with my PhD supervisor Professor Vincent Lai from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Professor Kun-Chang Lee from Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea. For my business process and social media research, I work with Dr. Bonnie Cheuk from Citi Bank and Professor David Wainwright in my school. I am also collaborating with Dr. Eric W. K. See-To from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Professor Robert Xin Luo on social media and social media marketing from Robert O. Anderson School of Management at The University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.  

Current/Recent Projects

  1. Northumbria University Funded Studentship project, Mining Knowledge through Smart City Trace Data for Improved Customer Services, (2017) 3 years for £60000. (Principle Investigator)
  2. The e-social science evolution and development from the UK perspective. China Academy of Social Science. (2015) £10,000. (Principle Investigator)
  3. User Experience and Internet of Things: Wearable Technology Exploration. (2015) Northumbria University Research Capital Fund.  £6000. (Principle Investigator)
  4. Innovation Voucher funded by Innovate UK. (2015) Development of Intelligent Grouping and Neighborhood Information Integration System with Big Data Approach for a Property Letting Portal. £6631 (Principle Investigator)
  5. HEIF Academic Networking Fund. (2014) Northumbria University. £961. (Principle Investigator)
  6. Northumbria University Funded Studentship project, Optimization of Personalized Shopping Experiences by Knowledge Discovery in Online Shopping Virtual Communities, (2014) 3 years for £54, 000 (Principle Investigator)
  7. SPICE Grant of from Northumbria University (2011), £500 (Principle Investigator)
  8. Erasmus Staff Mobility Fund (2010), £1, 500.

Key Publications

Aham-Anyanwu N. and Honglei Li. (2017) E-state: Realistic or Utopian?, International Journal of Public Administration in the Digital Age, 4, 2, 56-76.

H. Li & V. S. Lai. (2016) Understanding The Role of Social Situations On Continuance Participation Intention in Online Communities: An Empirical Perspective, Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, 17, 358-380.

Li, S. Tryfonas, T. Li, H. (2016) Internet of Things: A Security Point of View, Internet Research, 26, 2, 337-359.

Honglei Li, Cemal Tevrizci, Nnanyelugo Aham-Anyanwu, and Robert Xin Luo. (2015). The Interplay between Value and Service Quality Experience: E-Loyalty Development Process through the EtailQ Scale and Value Perception, Electronic Commerce Research, 15, 4, 585-615.

Li, H. and Kun-Chang, Lee. (2013) Interpersonal Relationship Framework of Virtual Community Participation Psychology: from Covert to Overt Process, Journal of Social Science Computer Review, 31, 6, 703-724.

Lee, K. C. Lee, N. & Li, H. (2009) MACOM: A particle swarm optimization-driven cognitive map approach to analyzing information systems project risk. Journal of American Society for Information Science & Technology, 60, 6, 1208-1221.


Li, Honglei (2012) Virtual Community Participation and Motivation: Cross-Disciplinary Theories. IGI Global, Hershey, PA. ISBN 9781466603127

Further Information

My Google Scholar page can be viewed here

To view my Northumbria Research Link page click here

Professional Activity

I have been serving as the reviewer for many information system journals including MIS Quarterly, Information & Management, Journal of Information Technology, European Journal of Information Systems, Decision Support Systems, Electronic Commerce Research, International Journal of Electronic Commerce Research, Information Technology & People and Journal of Business and Information Systems Engineering.

I have also been the track chair and mini-track chair for several important IS conferences:

  1. Programme Board Member of HCI in Business 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
  2. Track Chair for HCI 2015
  3. Session Chair for UKAIS2014
  4. Mini-Track Chair of Participation and Behaviours in Virtual Communities and Virtual Worlds for AMCIS 2013
  5. Mini-Track Chair of User Experience of Enterprise Systems for AMCIS 2013
  6. Track Chair of IS Education and Learning for 17th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS) 2013
  7. Track Chair of User Experience of Enterprise Systems for 6th International Conference on Software Knowledge Information Management and Applications (SKIMA) 2012
  8. Program Committee Member of Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS) 2010
  9. Mini-Track Chair of Participation and Behaviors in Virtual Worlds for AMCIS 2010, 2009

NRL Link

PGR Supervision

As Principle Supervisor

  • Nnanyelugo Aham-Anyanwu, Toward E-Participation: A Public Engagement Framework from the Information Need Perspective. Completed in January 2017.
  • Zequn Li, Optimization of Online Shopping Experience through Knowledge Discovery in Virtual Communities, Started in November 2014.


As Second/Third Supervisor

  • Nontasak Janchum, Price Risk Management Strategies in a Natural Rubber Industry: A case study of Rubber Business Intermediaries in Thailand. Completed in August 2016.
  • Sangrawee Witoonpan, Developing a conceptual model of intermodal freight transport choice: a case study of Thai rubber exporters. Completed in August 2016.


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