Professor of Strategy and International Management, The Open University

Thomas Lawton is Professor of Strategy and International Management and Director of the Centre for International Management Practice (CIMP) at the Open University Business School. He is also Visiting Professor of Business Administration at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Professor Lawton holds degrees from University College Cork and the London School of Economics and has a doctorate in political science from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He has previously held faculty positions at Cranfield University, EMLYON Business School, Imperial College London, Trinity College Dublin, the Athens Laboratory of Business Administration, the London School of Economics and Royal Holloway University of London.

Research interests

Prof. Lawton’s research expertise focuses on strategy alignment and nonmarket capabilities, turnaround strategy, political risk management and internationalization strategy and strategy process and practice. He is also an authority on airline strategy.

He is a member of the Editorial Board of Long Range Planning and the Irish Journal of Management. He has published more than 40 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 Organizational Dynamics.

He is the author or editor of 8 books, including Strange Power (2000) and Strategic Management in Aviation (2008). His best known, 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 co-authored book, Aligning for Advantage: competitive strategies for the political and social arenas, is published by Oxford University Press in 2014.


  • –present
    Professor of Strategy and International Management, The Open University