Research & Publications

Professor Lawton’s expertise is situated at the intersection of strategy, innovation, and internationalization. He researches three main areas: business model innovation, where he has worked for more than a decade on both growth and turnaround strategies, new organizational forms and processes for engaging political and social actors and arenas, and how firms manage and mitigate political risk when entering and embedding in foreign markets. He teaches a course in International Strategy at Tuck. He has published more than 45 journal papers and book chapters, including articles in refereed journals such as Academy of Management Perspectives, Business and Politics, International Business Review, Long Range Planning, Management International Review, and Strategic Organization. He is the author or editor of eight books, including European Industrial Policy and Competitiveness (1999), Cleared for Takeoff (2002) and Strategic Management in Aviation (2008). His coauthored book, Breakout Strategy: meeting the challenge of double-digit growth, published by McGraw-Hill, New York in 2007, was translated into Japanese by Nikkei Publishing and widely commended for its global focus and relevance to practicing managers and aspiring leaders. His latest edited volume, The Routledge Companion to Non-Market Strategy, was published in 2015.

Academic Publications

  • With C. Mbalyohere, R. Boojihawon, and H. Viney, "Corporate Political Activity and Location-Based Advantage: MNE Responses to Institutional Realities in Uganda’s Electricity Industry," Forthcoming: Journal of World Business, 2017
  • With T. Rajwani and A. Minto, "Why Trade Associations Matter: Exploring Function, Meaning, and Influence," Journal of Management Inquiry, 10.1177/1056492616688853, 2017
  • 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, 13(3), 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, 15(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, 22(1), February, 2013
  • With J. Doh and T. Rajwani, "Advancing Nonmarket Strategy Research: Institutional Perspectives in a Multipolar World," The Academy of Management Perspectives, 26(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, 55(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, 4(2), 2011
  • With T. Rajwani, "Designing Lobbying Capabilities: Managerial Choices in Unpredictable Environments," European Business Review, 23(2), 2011
  • With A. Gogbashian. "Keeping the Legacy Carrier Competitive: How Can Mature Airlines Stay Ahead in the Low Fare Airline Era?" in J.F. O’Connell and G. Williams (eds.) Air Transport in the 21st Century: Key Strategic Developments, Ashgate, 2011
  • With J. Story, "The Global Dynamics of Business-State Relations," in D. Coen, W. Grant and G. Wilson (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Business and Government, 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, 11(2), 2009
  • With S. Finkelstein and C. Harvey, "Vision by Design: a Reflexive Approach to Enterprise Regeneration," Journal of Business Strategy, 29(2), 2008

Working Papers

  • With D. Angwin, J. Arrègle, P. Barbieri, and B.Dattée, "Strategic Turnaround Through Distributed Resource Orchestration: A study of Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A."
  • With R. García-García, L. Fernandez-Mendez, A. John, and E. García-Canal, "Strategic Groups and New Organizational Forms: A Real Options Approach to Understanding International Airline Constellations"
  • With J. Puck and A. John, "Connecting Corporate Political Activity and Firm Performance: A Meta-Analytical Review"
  • With A. John, "Looking Back to Move Ahead: Historical Perspectives on International Political Risk Management"
  • With G. Carli and M. Tagliaventi, "Explore, Exploit, or Both? Unravelling the Influence of Management Consultants on Ambidexterity"
  • With M. Meadows, A. John, and G. Carli, "Can Strategic Management Skills Be Learned Online?’"
  • With M. Meadows, A. John, "Explicating Temporal Capabilities in M&A: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach to Historically Embedded Context"

Other Publications

  • Breakout Strategy: meeting the challenge of double-digit growth, is published by McGraw-Hill Professional, New York and has been widely commended for its international focus and relevance to practicing managers and aspiring leaders. Breakout Strategy (PDF)For further details or to purchase a copy, please go to the websites of Amazon or McGraw-Hill Professional.
  • The breakout concept in explained in an interview with Alistair Craven in Emerald Management First. Emerald Management First Interview (PDF)If you prefer to read the interview in Spanish, a version was published by the leading Latin American business magazine, GestionGestion Magazine Interview (PDF).
  • A taster of the breakout strategy approach can be found in Taking by Storm, published in the Journal of Business StrategyTaking By Storm (PDF).
  • One of the tools that Thomas and his co-authors developed in their Breakout Strategy work is for designing a strategic vision that is compelling to all key stakeholders. This technique is detailed in Vision by Design, published in the Journal of Business StrategyVision by Design (PDF).
  • Thomas is also a well known author in the field of airline management. His latest contribution is a definitive collection of essays on strategic management for aviation, published globally by Ashgate Publishing. Aviation Management (PDF)For further details or to purchase a copy, please go to the websites of Amazon or Ashgate.
  • Here is a sample chapter that he co-wrote and originally published in the European Management JournalEuropean Management Journal (PDF).
  • Four main strategic responses to the recent global recession were obvious across the world of business. Which response did your company adopt? Don't turn a crisis into a panic (PDF).
  • In recent research, Thomas Lawton identified six steps to successful airline turnaround strategy. These are discussed in this article, published in Management Focus, the in-house publication of Cranfield University School of Management. Flying through the storm (PDF).