Accessibility statement

Professor Christopher Williams
Associate Dean External Relations and Knowledge Exchange



Christopher Williams is Professor in Strategy and International Business at the University of York in the UK. His research interests include international strategy, innovation in international firms and contexts, health R&D and organizational resilience.  Before entering academia in 2007, Dr Williams spent two decades in industry, mostly in innovative and international environments, including 10 years with IMS Health. His research appears in journals such as Research Policy, Journal of World Business, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, International Business Review, Journal of Business Research and Journal of International Management. He has also published a range of teaching cases on strategy and innovative issues in international contexts with Ivey Publishing and is author of Venturing in International Firms: Contexts and Cases in a High-Tech World (Routledge, 2018), Management Consultancy for Innovation (Routledge, 2019) and Organizing for Resilience (with J. You) (Routledge, 2021).


Subject Group

People, Operations and Marketing



Christopher Williams’ research work falls into 3 inter-related areas. Firstly, his work on subsidiary entrepreneurship and subsidiary management in multinational enterprises extends our understanding of the innovative and entrepreneurial dynamics that occur when organizations expand overseas. Secondly, his work in international strategy examines strategic decisions and outcomes in small and large firms alike as they approach and manage in international markets. Thirdly, he researches contextual and institutional determinants of innovation at a cross-national level.

He has previously supervised a number of PhD students to completion and is keen to supervise in these and related areas.


Selected publications

Peer reviewed journal articles 

Du, H., Colovic, A. and Williams, C. (2023) ‘FDI and cities: new approaches, fresh insights and new challenges for MNEs and investment policy’, Editorial for Special Issue on FDI and Cities at Competitiveness Review, 33(3): 505-511

You, J. and Williams, C. (2023) ‘Organizational resilience and inter-organizational relationships: an exploration of Chinese business-service firms’, European Management Review ( 

Williams, C. and Kumar, M. (2023) ‘Diffusing MNE subsidiary initiatives across national cultural distance: the role of organizational values sharing and knowledge sharing’, forthcoming at Management International, 26(6)

Van Triest, S. and Williams, C. (2022) ‘Following the chain of command? How managers balance benefits and risks in granting autonomy to employees’, European Management Journal.

Williams, C., Hailemariam, A.T., Allard, G. (2022) ‘Exploring entrepreneurial innovation in Ethiopia’, Research Policy, 51(10): 104599.

Williams, C. and Steriu, R. (2022) ‘MNE market entry and social investment in battle-weary countries: evidence from Heineken’, Journal of World Business, 57(4): 101342

Williams, C. (2021) ‘Global human burden and official development assistance in health R&D: the role of medical absorptive capacity’, Research Policy, 50(10): 104365.

Shi, X., Williams, C, Sutherland, D. and Rong, K. (2021) ‘Patent- and trademark-seeking outward foreign direct investment of Chinese firms: the role of business group affiliation’, Industrial and Corporate Change

Shi, X., Sutherland, D., Williams, C. and Rong, K. (2021) ‘Chinese MNE acquisition of unrelated foreign businesses: the role of diversified business group affiliation, private ownership and strategic asset seeking’, Journal of Business Research, 129: 145-156.

Williams, C. and Van Triest, S. (2021) ‘Innovativeness in the professional services industry: a practice level analysis’, European Management Review, DOI: 10.1111/emre.12450

Takeshita, S., Lee, S.H., Williams, C. and You, J. (2021) ‘Crisis, rigidity and non-liberal governance in Japan: the cases of Mitsubishi Motors and Kanebo’, Continuity & Resilience Review,

Allard, G. and Williams, C. (2020) ‘National-level innovation in Africa’, Research Policy, 49(7): 104074.

Williams, C., Du, J. and Zhang, H. (2020) ‘International orientation of Chinese internet SMEs: direct and indirect effects of foreign and indigenous social networking site use’, Journal of World Business, 55(3): 101051

Williams, C., You, J. and Joshua, K. (2020) ‘Small business resilience in a remote tourist destination: exploring close relationship capabilities on the Island of St Helena’, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 28(7): 937-955.

Colovic, A. and Williams, C. (2020) ‘Group culture, workplace diversity and organizational innovativeness: evidence from Serbia’, Journal of Business Research, 110 (2020): 282-291.

Chen, J., Williams, C. and Tran, T.S. (2019) ‘Internal Consulting Units: a flexible friend?’, Management Consulting Journal, 4: 16-18.

Williams, C. and Spielmann, N. (2019) ‘Institutional pressure and international marketing orientation in SMEs: insights from the French wine industry’, International Business Review, 28(5): 101582

Williams, C. and Durst, S. (2019) ‘Knowledge at risk during information system offshore outsourcing: exploring the transition phase’, Journal of Business Research, 103: 460-471.

Williams, C. and You, J. (2018) ‘Building resilience in client organizations: the consultant’s challenge’, Management Consulting Journal, 2: 10-12.

Williams, C. and Vrabie, A. (2018) ‘Host country R&D determinants of MNE entry strategy: a study of ownership in the automobile industry’, Research Policy, 47(2): 474-486.

Williams, C. and Allard, G. (2018) ‘University–industry collaboration in R&D: the role of labour market rigidity’, R&D Management, 48(4): 410-421.

Williams, C., Colovic, A. and Zhu, J. (2017) ‘Integration-responsiveness, local hires and subsidiary performance amid turbulence: insights from a survey of Chinese subsidiaries’, Journal of World Business, 52(6): 842-853.

Williams, C., Vashchilko, T. and Martinez, C. (2017) ‘The moderating effect of bilateral investment treaty stringency on the relationship between political instability and subsidiary ownership choice’, International Business Review, 26(1): 1-11.

Du, J. and Williams, C. (2017) ‘Innovative projects between MNE subsidiaries and local partners in China: exploring locations and inter-organizational trust’, Journal of International Management, 23(1): 16-31.

Williams, C., and van Triest, S. (2017) ‘Product launch performance in hi-tech SMEs: newness to the firm and the moderating role of management control’, International Journal of Innovation Management, 21(3).

Spielmann, N. and Williams, C. (2016) ‘It goes with the territory: communal leverage as a marketing resource among origin specific firms’, Journal of Business Research, 69(12): 5636-5643.

Williams, C. and Lee, S.H. (2016) ‘Knowledge flows in the emerging market MNC: the role of subsidiary HRM practices’, International Business Review, 25(1): 233-243.

Choi, S.B. and Williams, C. (2016) ‘Entrepreneurial orientation and performance: mediating effects of technology and marketing action across industry types’, Industry and Innovation, 23(8): 673-693.

Williams, C., Zhu, J. and Colovic, A. (2016) ‘Foreign market knowledge, country sales breadth and innovative performance of emerging economy firms’, International Journal of Innovation Management, 20(6).

Williams, C. and Du, J. (2014) ‘The impact of trust and local learning on the innovative performance of MNE subsidiaries in China’, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 31(4): 973-996.

Choi, S.B. and Williams, C. (2014) ‘The impact of innovation intensity, scope and spillovers on sales growth in Chinese firms’, Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 31(1): 25-46.

Williams, C. and Kumar, M. (2014) ‘Experiential learning and innovation in offshore outsourcing transitions’, Advances in International Management, 27: 437-465.

Williams, C. and Vossen, J. (2014) ‘How open do MNCs need to be to extract value in open innovation?’, International Journal of Innovation Management, 18(5).

Choi, S.B, Williams, C. and Ha, S.H. (2014) ‘Institutions and broadband Internet diffusion in emerging economies: lessons from Korea and China’, Innovation: Management Policy and Practice, 16(1): 2-18.

Ecker, B., van Triest, S. and Williams, C. (2013) ‘Management control and the decentralization of R&D’, Journal of Management, 39(4): 906-927.

Choi, S.B. and Williams, C. (2013) ‘Innovation and firm performance in Korea and China: a cross-context test of mainstream theories’, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, 25(4): 423-444.

Allard, G., Martinez, C. and Williams, C. (2012) ‘Political instability, pro-business market reforms and their impacts on national systems of innovation’, Research Policy, 41(3): 638-651.

Williams, C. and Martinez, C. (2012) ‘Government effectiveness, the global financial crisis, and MNE internationalization’, Journal of International Marketing, 20(3): 65-78.

Martinez, C. and Williams, C. (2012) ‘An extended view of institutional domains and implications for the multinational enterprise’, Advances in International Management, 25: 43-63.

Williams, C. and Lee, S.H. (2011) ‘Political heterarchy and dispersed entrepreneurship in the MNC’, Journal of Management Studies (Special Issue: Revitalizing Entrepreneurship), 48(6): 1243-1268.

Choi, S.B., Lee, S.H., and Williams, C. (2011) ‘Ownership and firm innovation in a transition economy: Evidence from China’, Research Policy, 40(3): 441-452.

Williams, C. and Lee, S.H. (2011) ‘Entrepreneurial contexts and knowledge coordination within the multinational corporation’, Journal of World Business 46(2): 253-264.

Williams, C. (2011) ‘Client-vendor knowledge transfer in IS offshore outsourcing: insights from a survey of Indian software engineers’, Information Systems Journal, 21(4): 335-356.

Williams, C., Martinez, C., Gastelaars, E., Galesloot, L. and van de Kerke, D. (2011) ‘Dutch MNE foreign expansion into developed and developing economies’, Management International (Special Issue: Location strategies of multinational firms: towards new practices and theories?), 16(1): 31-44.

Williams, C. and Ecker, B. (2011) ‘R&D subsidiary embedment: a resource dependence perspective’, Critical Perspectives on International Business, 7(4): 297-325.

Martinez, C. and Williams, C. (2010) ‘National institutions, entrepreneurship and global ICT adoption: a cross-country test of competing theories’, Journal of Electronic Commerce Research (Special Issue: Global E-Commerce), 11(1): 73-91.

Williams, C. and Lee, S.H. (2009) ‘Resource allocations, knowledge network characteristics and entrepreneurial orientation of multinational corporations’, Research Policy, 38(8): 1376-1387.

Williams, C. and Lee, S.H. (2009) ‘International management, political arena, and dispersed entrepreneurship in the MNC’, Journal of World Business, 44(3): 287-299.

Williams, C. and van Triest, S.P. (2009) ‘The impact of corporate and national cultures on decentralization in multinational corporations’, International Business Review, 18(2): 156-167.

Williams, C. and Lee, S.H. (2009) ‘Exploring the internal and external venturing of large R&D-intensive firms’, R&D Management, 39(3): 231-246.

Williams, C. and Nones, B. (2009) ‘R&D subsidiary isolation in knowledge-intensive industries: evidence from Austria’, R&D Management, 39(2): 111-123.

Williams, C. (2009) ‘Subsidiary-level determinants of global initiatives in multinational corporations’, Journal of International Management, 15(1): 92-104.

Lee, S.H. and Williams, C. (2007) ‘Dispersed entrepreneurship within multinational corporations: a community perspective’, Journal of World Business, 42(4): 505-519.  


Williams, C. and You, J. (2021) Organizing for Resilience, Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group).

Williams, C. (2019) Management Consultancy for Innovation, Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group).

Williams, C. (2018) Venturing in International Firms: Contexts and Cases in a High-Tech World Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group).



Christopher Williams has extensive experience teaching in the fields of strategy and international business from undergraduate level through to executives. He teaches with the case method where appropriate and has taught widely with cases in various countries. He has developed his own portfolio of case material for teaching and has designed and delivered modules for online learning as well as for face-to-face.

Chris Williams

School for Business and Society
University of York
YO10 5DD
United Kingdom

Room: CL/A/122H