People of Briercrest: Alex Cheing
Dr. Alex Cheing, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, joined the Department of Business, Leadership and Management in 2019.
Alex’s current research involves consumer behaviour. His first paper relates to rental fashion platforms among Gen Y and Z in developing countries; the second looks at purchase decision factors on hotel booking platforms among solo travellers. Alex’s past area of research explored the catalyst to achieving sustainable competitive advantage from a strategic planning perspective.
A decision to shift his career from corporate to academia brought him to Briercrest. Alex said, “Having an opportunity to serve in a Christ-centred learning environment makes it even more attractive.” He described his teaching philosophy as a “blended approach” since “business is a fragmented discipline.”
Basically, I vary my teaching by adapting the most effective delivery style. For example, I emphasize industry trends more when teaching Introduction to Marketing due to its evolving nature. Organizational Behaviour frequently deals with human character, so I use case studies.
The Value of Education that Disciples
Briercrest's mission statement is "Educating disciples who equip the church and engage the world." Here is Alex’s response when we asked what educating disciples looks like for him as a professor and what benefits of the education Briercrest offers for your specific field:
For me, educating disciples involves preparing and training my students in navigating the ups and downs of the modern business world through the Biblical paradigm. Based on my corporate experience in Asia, the UK and Canada, I predict that ESG (environmental, social and governance) is going to be more prominent in business decision-making in the future. ESG is an area which is intertwined with the Christian faith. Briercrest offers not just a business education but a value where students are exposed to different perspectives. Our graduates are equipped with core business skills, are job-ready and can fit into all types of organizations.
Educators have discipled Alex as well:
During the fieldwork stages for my doctoral dissertation, I interviewed owners and managers of small enterprises on how they keep their businesses running despite the challenging political, economic, and social environment. One of them revealed that you could inject millions in capital, plan and come out with the best business plan, but ultimately it is God who decides. Having completed a Harvard certificate program during the pandemic solidified my intention to live life with a purpose.
Alex added the following scripture references to expand on his commitment to living an obedient and purposeful life:
- “This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge, and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross.” Acts 2:23 (NIV)
- “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” Colossians 1:16
- “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” Ecclesiastes 3:1
- “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
He said, “God gave me a gift in educating disciples through business, and I found a renewed sense of meaningful gospel while teaching at Briercrest.”
When we asked Alex what makes Briercrest different from other institutions, he said, “Briercrest is not just a campus; it is an immersive community experience with opportunities for spiritual growth and lifelong connection.”
Briercrest in a Word: Engaging
And finally, the word Alex would use to describe the education Briercrest offers is engaging:
A small student-to-faculty ratio enables students to receive more individual attention. This improves the student’s learning abilities and leads to higher chances for academic success. At Briercrest, your professors know not just your name but your goals, strengths and academic challenges.
Thank you for speaking with us, Alex. It has been a pleasure hearing about your experiences at Briercrest.