Dr Jeff Yu-Jen Chen


Jeff Yu-Jen Chen
Dr Jeff Yu-Jen Chen

​The emerging of new business models coupled with the rapid evolution of cyber-physical technologies have drastically reshaped the behaviours of both consumers and employees. The future of a business environment is becoming more complex and fierce. Companies of today will be compelled to scrutinize its corporate innovation capability in order to ensure that they can thrive in the current landscape and concurrently harness a greater future competitiveness. However, initiating any successful corporate innovation movement within an organisation or launching a start-up is sometimes easier said than done.


Over the years, innovation has become a buzz word. Many managers and consultants have advocated that there is a set of organisational practices to enhance corporate innovation output; such as creating social interaction online platforms, purchasing trendy furniture, profiling a company into a 4x4 quadrant of a rigid theoretical model, account for obvious organisational practices and/or adopting approaches that lack holistic thinking. The truth is that there is NO blueprint for corporate innovation. Many organisations also confuse the notion of ideation as strategic corporate innovation. The competitiveness of an organisation does not rely on its ability to create influx of ideas.  Instead, it relies on their proclivity to combine their core-competencies smartly and translate a few ideas into exponential growth. Furthermore, the notion of corporate innovation itself is somehow slightly misleading. Considering that each division within any particular organisation is given specific mandates that typically differ from other divisions, and each division is led by managers with different leadership quality with team members of different attributes, how can there be a standard way of promoting corporate innovation? In addition, the legacy of an organisation and the unique forces affecting the dynamics of industry within which an organisation operates, also impose additional challenges.


Successful organisation must actively cultivate corporate foresights, discern the potential gratifying concepts from supposition and uphold the innovation proclivity. Leaders of these organisations may further attempt to ascertain visible value return from promoting viable self-disruption and embracing necessary radical changes by getting closer to their customers as well as their customers’ customers. Creating purposeful vertical alignment, horizontal partnership, external ventures, formal organisational practices and informal organisational dynamics are just some of the crucial elements of corporate innovation.


Key areas of my teaching, research and consulting interests are as follows:


Jeff's Model.jpg

Within the context of corporate innovation competitiveness, the key areas of my interest are:


Individual level 
Thinking methods, intuitions, design thinking, framing, biases, heuristics, improvisation, innovative behaviours, audacious identity, perception–value association, belief fragmentation, change and the likes.


Group and inter-groups
Collective intelligence, collective ideation, group dynamics, member exchange, boundary-crossing, social physics, digital enabled workforce, peer coaching conversation, group improvisation, virtual work environment and relevant topics.


Organisation and start-up
Effective leverage of leveraging cyber-physical systems, digital strategy, innovation strategy, disruptive business models, corporate foresight, corporate innovation team, mobilisation through informal organisation, disruptive events, innovation mobsters as well as organisational innovation proclivity, culture, structure and strategic orchestration.


Organisations, industries and societies
Co-opetition, socio-dynamics shifts, new business landscape, disruptions.


​Full-time faculty

Published Research

Journal articles


Armstrong, A., Van der Lingen, E., Chen, J.Y-J. & Lourens, R. (2018). Towards a new model of grit within a cognitive-affective framework of self-regulation. South African Journal of Business Management, 49(1), a13.

Naidoo, K .J., Gamieldien, M. R., Chen, J. Y-J., Widmalm, G., & Malaniak, A. (2008). Glucose orientation and dynamics in α-, β-, and γ-Cyclodextrins. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 112(47), 15151–15157.

Glass, B. D., Agatonovic-Kustrin, S., Chen, J. Y-J, & Wisch, M. H. (2007). Optimization of a stability-indicating HPLC method for the simultaneous determination of rifampicin, isoniazid, and pyrazinamide in a fixed-dose combination using artificial neural networks. Journal of chromatographic science, 45(1), 38–44.

Egan, T. J., Chen, J. Y-J., De Villiers, K. A., Mabotha, T. E., Naidoo, K. J., Ncokazi, K. K., Langford, S. J., McNaughton, D., Pandiancherri, S., & Wood, B. D. (2006). Haemozoin (β-haematin) biomineralization occurs by self-assembly near the lipid/water interface.
FEBS letters, 580(21), 5105–5110.

Naidoo, K .J., Chen, J. Y-J., Jansson, J. L. M., Widmalm, G., & Malaniak, A. (2004). Molecular properties related to the anomalous solubility of β-cyclodextrin. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 108(14), 4236–4238.

Contact Details
  • ​​MSc (Pharmaceutical analytic chemistry) (Rhodes University
  • MPhil (US)
  • PhD (UCT)
Professional Memberships



We are processing your request, please be patient.