Faculty Directory

Thomas C. Lawton

Visiting Professor of Business Administration





Personal Website



PhD, European University Institute, 1995; MSc, London School of Economics and Political Science, 1991; BA, University College Cork, 1990

Areas of Expertise

Business policy and strategy, international business


Thomas Lawton teaches a course in International Strategy.

Current Research Topics

  • Strategic management and international business
  • Strategy alignment and the antecedents of political and social capabilities
  • Trade association configuration and influence
  • Managing political risk in international market entry
  • Competitive renewal through innovation ecosystems

Professional Activities

Thomas C. Lawton has worked with blue chip corporations, entrepreneurial enterprises and emerging economy companies. Professor Lawton's insights help to forge stronger strategic management systems, enabling companies to reach new heights in innovation and internationalization. His expertise in building leadership capabilities and redefining visions and values enables clients to achieve market breakout and business growth. Deploying 20 years of global experience and an array of research-based tools and techniques, he enables existing and aspiring leaders to develop and deliver high performance strategy. An inspirational speaker, he is also available to deliver keynote talks or to run corporate seminars, workshops and away days. These may focus on fundamental themes such as business growth and customer-centric strategy, internationalization and the global economy, managing political and social stakeholders, and becoming a strategic leader.

Thomas Lawton serves as a non-executive director at Ward Biotech, an emerging global leader in oral health solutions for companion animals. He also runs his own company, Kilcolman Associates, advising on executive development and international business growth. Past and present clients include Air India, Bombardier Transportation, Carrier, Industrial Bank of China, IBM, Mapfre, S7 Airlines and UnionPay. He has been Academic Director of the global Executive MBA in International Financial Services Management for JP Morgan Asset Management. Prof. Lawton has facilitated senior management and board level workshops and run executive programs on corporate strategy, leadership and international business dynamics at universities, corporations and government agencies in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America.

Working Papers

  • With A. John, R. García-García and T. Rajwani, "Making sense of reputational risk in nonmarket strategy: A dual processing theory approach"
  • With C. Mbalyohere, R. Boojihawon and H. Viney, "Divergent responses to institutional voids: EMNE and AMNE strategies in Uganda’s electricity industry"
  • With C. Mbalyohere and H. Viney, "Corporate political activity in sub-Saharan Africa: exploring new frontiers for the strategic management of MNEs"
  • With A. John, "Political risk management: a literature review and research agenda"


  • Elected Representative at Large, the Practice of Strategy Interest Group of the Strategic Management Society, 2009–11
  • Invited member of the Teaching Committee, Business Policy and Strategy Group, Academy of Management, 2004–06
  • Fellow, Strategic Planning Society; Fellow, Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA)

Selected Publications

  • With T. Rajwani, The Routledge Companion to Non-Market Strategy, Routledge, 2015
  • With T. Rajwani and N. Phillips, “The Voice of Industry: why management researchers should pay more attention to trade associations," Strategic Organization, Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 224-232, 2015
  • With M.A. De Villa Correa and T. Rajwani, "Market Entry Modes in a Multipolar World: untangling the moderating effect of the political environment," International Business Review, 24 (3), 2015
  • With J. Doh and T. Rajwani, Aligning for Advantage: Competitive Strategies for the Political and Social Arenas, Oxford University Press, 2014
  • With J. Doh, T. Rajwani and S. Paroutis, "Why Your Company May Need a Chief External Officer: upgrading external affairs can help align strategy and improve competitive advantage," Organisational Dynamics, 43 (3), 2014
  • With A. Pilkington, “Divided by a Common Language? Transnational insights into epistemological and methodological approaches to strategic management research in English speaking countries,” Long Range Planning, 47 (5), 2014
  • With S. McGuire and T. Rajwani, "Corporate Political Activity: a literature review and research agenda," International Journal of Management Reviews, Volume 15, Number 1, 2013
  • With T. Rajwani and J. Doh, "The Antecedents of Political Capabilities: a study of ownership, cross-border activity and organization at legacy airlines in a deregulatory context," International Business Review, Volume 22, Number 1, February, 2013
  • With J. Doh and T. Rajwani, "Advancing Nonmarket Strategy Research: institutional perspectives in a multipolar world," The Academy of Management Perspectives, August, Volume 26, Number 3, 2012
  • With T. Rajwani and P. Reinmoeller, "Do You Have A Survival Instinct? Leveraging genetic codes to achieve fit in hostile business environments," Business Horizons, Volume 55, No. 1, 2012
  • With T. Rajwani and C. O’Kane, "Strategic Reorientation and Business Turnaround: the case of global legacy airlines," Journal of Strategy and Management, Volume 4, No. 2, 2011
  • With T. Rajwani, "Designing Lobbying Capabilities: managerial choices in unpredictable environments," European Business Review, Volume 23, No. 2, 2011
  • With A. Gogbashian. "Keeping the Legacy Carrier Competitive: how can mature airlines stay ahead in the low fare airline era?" In John F. O’Connell and George Williams (eds.) Air Transport in the 21st Century: key strategic developments, Aldershot: Ashgate. 2011
  • With J. Story, "The global dynamics of business-state relations," In David Coen, Wyn Grant and Graham Wilson (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Business and Government, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010
  • With J. Lindeque and S. McGuire. "Multilateralism and the Multinational Enterprise: the WTO’s influence on strategy process," Business and Politics, Volume 11, No. 2, 2009
  • With S. Finkelstein and C. Harvey, "Vision by Design: a reflexive approach to enterprise regeneration," Journal of Business Strategy, Volume 29, No. 2, 2008