People and Research People

People Details



Associate Professor

10-234, Lau Ming Wai Academic Building, City University of Hong Kong
+852 34429911
+852 34420346
Public CV

Research Areas

Interorganizational relationship governance (e.g., franchising)
GIS-informed location choices and their impacts on firms’ financial performance and survival
Conflict management


PhD - Marketing
MPhil - Marketing
BSc - Economics



Xu Vivian Zheng is an Associate Professor in Department of Marketing, College Business of City University of Hong Kong. Dr. Zheng's primary research interest lies in understanding how firms may employ various relationship governance mechanisms (e.g., contracts, socialization) to govern interorganizational (e.g., franchise) relationships properly, so as to reduce conflicts and to enhance cooperation. In addition, her research studies how GIS-informed location choices impact firms’ financial performance and survival. Vivian has published in leading marketing and business journals such as Journal of Marketing, Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Operations Management, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, and Journal of Retailing, etc. Her industry focus is business format franchising.

Dr. Zheng teaches Global Marketing and Principles of Marketing across undergraduate, taught master, and MBA programs. She has received Student Learning and Development Excellence Award. She received her Ph.D. in Marketing from University of Wisconsin-Madison before joining the Marketing Department at CityU.

Research Grants

PI: "When Mutli-Unit Franchising Backfires: The Contingent Effects of Subgroup Configurations", General Research Grant - Research Grants Council, Hong Kong, Amount: 240,993 (2022-2023), Zheng, Xu (Vivian), Li, Ji Jenny

PI: "Beyong Locations: The Contingent Effects of Governance Mechanisms in Clustering of Franchised Outlets", General Research Grant - Research Grant Council, Hong Kong, Amount: 486,176 (2021-2023), Zheng, Xu (Vivian) and Yajing Fan

PI: "When It Is Good to Be Vague: The Strategic Use of Contract Ambiguity in Franchise Relationship Management", Strategic Research Grant - City University of Hong Kong, Amount: 100,000 (2018-2020), Zheng, Xu (Vivian)

PI: "Unnatural Relationship Dissolution in Franchising: A Dual-Agency Perspective", General Research Grant - Research Grants Council, Hong Kong, Amount: HKD 501,250 (2015-2017), Xu Zheng, Jeff Jianfeng Wang, Marko Grunhagen

PI: "Marketing Assets, Marketing Actions, and Firms' Response Strategies to Exogenous Shocks", Early Career Scheme - Research Grants Council, Amount: HKD321,696 (2013-2015), Zheng, Xu

Administrative Assignments

9/2021 - NowSales and Marketing Consulting UnitAssociate Director
8/2020 - NowBBA Global BusinessProgram Leader


Journal Publications and Reviews

Wang, Jeff Jianfeng; Grünhagen, Marko; Ji, Li Jenny; Zheng, Xu Vivian / Conflict Aftermath: Dispute Resolution and Financial Performance in Franchising. December 2020; In: Journal of Retailing. Vol. 96, No. 4, pp. 548-562

Feng, Chao; Zheng, Xu; Zhuang, Guijun; Li, Ruqi / Revisiting exercise of power strategies from the perspective of information processing. November 2020; In: Industrial Marketing Management. Vol. 91, pp. 41-54

Zheng, Xu Vivian; Ji, Li Jenny ; Su, Chenting / Mitigating the Negative Effects of Regional Clustering in Franchising: The Roles of Governance Mechanisms. September 2020; In: Journal of Retailing. Vol. 96, No. 3, pp. 434-444

Zheng, Xu Vivian; Griffith, David A.; Ge, Ling; Benoliel, Uri / Effects of Contract Ambiguity in Interorganizational Governance. July 2020; In: Journal of Marketing. Vol. 84, No. 4, pp. 147-167

Zheng, Xu (Vivian); Li, Xiaoling; Ren, Xingyao; Yang, Zhilin / Enhancing compliance among channel members by modeling reward events: matching motivation and ability with model selection. March 2020; In: Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Vol. 48, No. 2, pp. 331-349

Shen, Lu; Su, Chenting; Zheng, Xu (Vivian); Zhuang, Guijun / Between contracts and trust: Disentangling the safeguarding and coordinating effects over the relationship life cycle. January 2020; In: Industrial Marketing Management. Vol. 84, pp. 183-193

Zhang, Chun; Zheng, Xu(Vivian); Li, Juan Julie / Is collaboration a better way to develop trust after opportunism? Distinguishing firm and boundary spanner opportunism. October 2019; In: Industrial Marketing Management. Vol. 82, pp. 38-51

Shen, Lu; Su, Chenting; Zheng, Xu; Zhuang, Guijun / Contract design capability as a trust enabler in the pre-formation phase of interfirm relationships. February 2019; In: Journal of Business Research. Vol. 95, pp. 103-115

Benoliel, Uri; Zheng, Xu(Vivian) / ARE DISCLOSURES READABLE?: AN EMPIRICAL TEST. 2018; In: Alabama Law Review. Vol. 70, No. 1, pp. 237-257

Li, Miao; Zheng, Xu; Zhuang, Guijun / Information technology-enabled interactions, mutual monitoring, and supplier-buyer cooperation: A network perspective. September 2017; In: Journal of Business Research. Vol. 78, pp. 268-276

Grünhagen, Marko; Zheng, Xu (Vivian); Wang, Jeff Jianfeng / When the Music Stops Playing: Post-litigation Relationship Dissolution in Franchising. June 2017; In: Journal of Retailing. Vol. 93, No. 2, pp. 138-153

Shou, Zhigang; Zheng, Xu (Vivian); Zhu, Wenting / Contract ineffectiveness in emerging markets: An institutional theory perspective. September 2016; In: Journal of Operations Management. Vol. 46, pp. 38-54

Li, Xiaoling; Ren, Xingyao; ZHENG, Xu / Management of competition among sellers and its performance implications for business-to-business electronic platforms: Dynamic analysis by VAR model. 2015; In: Nankai Business Review International. Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 199 - 222

ANTIA, Kersi D.; ZHENG, Xu(VIVIAN); FRAZIER, Gary L. / Conflict Management and Outcomes in Franchise Relationships: The Role of Regulation. October 2013; In: Journal of Marketing Research. Vol. 50, No. 5, pp. 577-589

Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works

Feng, Chao; Fan, Yajing; Zheng, Xu; Chen, Hui / The Fit Between Social Media Use and Functions of Contracts: A Contingent Perspective. August 2020; Academy of Management Proceedings. Vol. 2020

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