Keith Keyan Lai Headshot

Lecturer in International Human Resource Management

+44 (0)131 651 1057


I am a Lecturer in International Human Resource Management at the University of Edinburgh Business School. Prior to joining Edinburgh in 2019, I worked at the University of St Andrews as an Associate Lecturer in Management. I obtained my PhD from Cardiff Business School.

My research explores how organisations respond to crises, with the objective of better understanding whether and how such crises may act as catalysts for the development of new policies, practices, identities, and entrepreneurial ecosystems. My empirical research encompasses a range of settings, including multinational corporations, startups, and public sector administration.

Recently, my focus has been on the market and non-market strategies that global technology firms employ to navigate geopolitical tensions and regulatory challenges, especially when they are accused of posing national security threats by their host countries. My work also involves exploring the range of strategies that government agencies and private sector actors are adopting to enhance the UK’s domestic electric vehicle (EV) battery production—a task that is critical for tackling the climate crisis but has become particularly challenging in the wake of Britishvolt's collapse and due to the complex geopolitical intricacies associated with EV battery technology and the critical minerals required.

A key theme of my research delves into the important role of emotions within the institutional process. I am interested in exploring how crises ignite various emotional responses and how these emotions, in turn, influence stakeholders’ perceptions, behaviours, and decision-making processes, ultimately contributing to the possible formation of new institutions. 

Research Interests

  • Crisis management
  • Institutional change
  • Entrepreneurship

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Research Area