The “western approach” to academia, arguably, is being introduced to Chinese universities. Moreover, many Chinese universities seem to have been adopting a western research-focused education system and stressing faculty research capabilities and international ranking. Foreign-educated Chinese academics appear to have been recruited by some Chinese universities to improve the quality of Chinese higher education. We argue that academics who have been educated and trained in western countries are likely to be exemplar models for their peers. This study investigates Chinese university academics' attribution style and modeling of research.