skip to navigation skip to content
 

Peter Williamson

Peter Williamson

Honorary Professor of International Management
Fellow Commoner and Director of Studies in Management at Jesus College

BA (Macquarie University), PhD (Harvard University)

Research interests

Globalisation and its implications for corporate strategy; strategies for success in China and the internationalisation of Chinese companies and their global impact, merger and acquisition strategy and post-merger integration; business ecosystems and the management of networks of strategic alliances; strategies for a carbon-constrained world.

Subject group: Strategy & International Business

Professional experience

Professor Williamson has wide experience in research, consulting and executive education as well as serving as a non-executive director and chairman of both publically listed companies and new ventures in industries as diverse as whisky, textiles, hedge fund management and Chinese software. He has lived and worked in Australia, France, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States, before returning to Britain to join Cambridge Judge Business School where he is Academic Director of the Advanced Leadership Programme and Jesus College, where he is Director of Studies in Management. He currently serves as a non-executive director of the global renewal energy firm Green Gas International B.V. and non-executive chairman of the technology-enabled training company Imparta Ltd.

Professor Williamson was formerly with the Boston Consulting Group in London, and Merrill Lynch. He serves on the editorial boards of European Management Journal, Business Strategy Review, and Academy of Management Learning and Education. Peter has acted as consultant on business strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and international expansion to numerous companies, governments and international organisations throughout the Asia-Pacific region as well as in Europe and North America. He has experience in China since 1983, assisting numerous multinationals and joint ventures, and more recently, Chinese companies venturing abroad.

Previous appointments

Prior to joining Cambridge Judge Business School, Professor Williamson was ten years with the Asian Business and International Management faculty at INSEAD (1997-2007). Between 2003 and 2007 he was also Visiting Professor in Strategy at the Cheung Kong Business School in Beijing. He was Visiting Professor of Global Strategy at Harvard Business School (1993-1996) and Dean of MBA Programmes and Professor of Strategic and International Management at London Business School (1987-1992).

Awards & honours

  • Sloan-Pricewaterhouse Coopers Award honouring those articles that have contributed to the enhancement of management practice, 2005
  • Lloyds Tercentenary Fellow, 2001
  • Fulbright Scholar, 1980-1984
  • Frank R. Knox Memorial Fellow, 1980-1984

Selected publications

Here are a selection of Peter Williamson's publications. Please see the "Selected publications" tab above for a more comprehensive list.

Williamson, P.J. and De Meyer, A. (2012) "Ecosystem advantage: how to successfully harness the power of partners." California Management Review, 55(1): 24-46

Williamson, P.J. and Raman, A.P. (2011) "How China reset its global acquisition agenda." Harvard Business Review, 89(4): 109-114

Zeng, M. and Williamson P.J. (2007) Dragons at your door: how Chinese cost innovation is disrupting the rules of global competition. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. (Also translated into Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian and Russian)

Santos, J., Doz, Y. and Williamson, P. (2004) "Is your innovation process global?" MIT Sloan Management Review, 45(4): 31-37

Doz, Y., Santos, J. and Williamson, P. (2001) From global to metanational: how companies win in the knowledge economy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. (Also translated into Korean, Italian, and Portuguese)

Markides, C.C. and Williamson, P.J. (1994) "Related diversification, core competences and corporate performance." Strategic Management Journal, 15(Special Issue, Summer): 149-165

Journal articles

Markides, C.C. and Williamson, P.J. (1994) "Related diversification, core competences and corporate performance." Strategic Management Journal, 15(Special Issue, Summer): 149-165

Williamson, P.J. and Zeng, M. (2004) "Strategies for competing in a changed China." MIT Sloan Management Review, 45(4): 85-91

Santos, J., Doz, Y. and Williamson, P. (2004) "Is your innovation process global?" MIT Sloan Management Review, 45(4): 31-37

Williamson, P. and Zeng, M. (2008) "How to meet China's cost innovation challenge." Ivey Business Journal (Online Edition), 72(3): article 761

Williamson, P. and Zeng, M. (2009) "Value-for-money strategies for recessionary times." Harvard Business Review, 87(3): 66-74

Williamson, P.J. (2010) "Cost innovation: preparing for a 'value-for-money' revolution." Long Range Planning, 43(2-3): 343-353

Williamson, P.J. and Raman, A.P. (2011) "How China reset its global acquisition agenda." Harvard Business Review, 89(4): 109-114

Yin, E. and Williamson, P.J. (2011) "Rethinking innovation for a recovery." Ivey Business Journal (Online Edition), May/Jun

Williamson, P.J. and De Meyer, A. (2012) "Ecosystem advantage: how to successfully harness the power of partners." California Management Review, 55(1): 24-46

Williamson, P.J. and Yin, E. (2014) "Accelerated innovation: the new challenge from China." MIT Sloan Management Review, 55(4): 1-8

Wan, F., Williamson, P.J. and Yin, E. (2015) "Antecedents and implications of disruptive innovation: evidence from China." Technovation, 39-40: 94-104 (DOI: 10.1016/j.technovation.2014.05.012)

Books, monographs, reports & case studies

Doz, Y., Santos, J. and Williamson, P. (2001) From global to metanational: how companies win in the knowledge economy. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. (Also translated into Korean, Italian, and Portuguese)

Williamson, P.J. (2004) Winning in Asia: strategies for the new millennium. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press. (Also translated into Korean and Italian)

Zeng, M. and Williamson P.J. (2007) Dragons at your door: how Chinese cost innovation is disrupting the rules of global competition. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Williamson, P. and De Meyer, A. (2010) "ARM Holdings Plc: ecosystem advantage." European Case Clearing House (ECCH).

Book chapters

Williamson, P.J. and Yin, E. (2009) "Racing with the Chinese dragons." In Alon, I. et al. (eds.): China rules: globalization and political transformation. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.69-100

Williamson, P.J. and Yin, E.Y. (2013) "The new wave of disruptive innovation from China: why and how global incumbents need to respond." In: Ling, P.P. (ed.) Disruptive innovation in Chinese and Indian businesses: the strategic implication for local entrepreneurs and global incumbents. Abingdon, UK and New York, NY: Routledge, pp.179-198.

Williamson, P.J. and Yin, E.Y. (2013) "Innovation by Chinese EMNEs." In: Williamson, P, Ramamurti, R, Fleury, A. and Fleury, M. T. L. (eds.): The competitive advantage of emerging market multinationals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp.64-94

Working papers

Trevor, J. and Williamson, P. (2014) "A blueprint for the next generation organisation: reconciling agility, efficiency and purpose." Cambridge Judge Business School Working Papers, No.01/2014. Cambridge: University of Cambridge.

Local customs

Multinationals need to adapt their strategy to compete with local companies, says MIT Sloan Management Review article co-authored by Peter Williamson of …

Read more

Do you have a plan? The five technology threats senior leaders ignore at their peril

Throughout history, companies have been left ruined by the wayside when caught unprepared by changes in technology that destroyed their business models. …

Read more

Conflicting motives, strategies and outcomes in merger and acquisition activity

By Peter Williamson, Honorary Professor of International Management at Cambridge Judge Business School Creating oligopolies? Reducing in healthy competition? Up go the …

Read more

Upping our game in UK-China business

by Professor Peter Williamson, Honorary Professor of International Management, Cambridge Judge Business School It’s encouraging to see that the UK Government is finally …

Read more

Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education improves gender diversity

Four in ten delegates on the Cambridge Advanced Leadership Programme are women Among FTSE 100 companies, female representation at board level stands …

Read more

Changes ahead for China

Professor Peter Williamson predicts some of the challenges facing China’s new leadership Increased public participation and a new leadership prepared to listen …

Read more

Changes ahead for China

Professor Peter Williamson predicts some of the challenges facing China’s new leadership Increased public participation and a new leadership prepared to listen …

Read more

Out with the old – in with the new: China faces economic and judicial change

As the new leadership of China takes shape and moves into place, an acknowledged authority on the country predicts a shift in …

Read more

Out with the old – in with the new: China faces economic and judicial change

As the new leadership of China takes shape and moves into place, an acknowledged authority on the country predicts a shift in …

Read more

An institutional context

Professor Peter Williamson addresses the gap between the need to adapt strategies and the practical difficulties of doing so in emerging markets …

Read more

An institutional context

Professor Peter Williamson addresses the gap between the need to adapt strategies and the practical difficulties of doing so in emerging markets. …

Read more

Business leaders go back to the classroom to strengthen Sino-European co-operation

In November 2012, a unique collaboration between Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business and Cambridge Judge Business School will bring together 75 …

Read more

The rise of Chinese offshore M&A

Professor Peter Williamson talks about the new approach Chinese companies are taking in their acquisitions of foreign companies. Instead of buying larger …

Read more

Chinese puzzle falls into place

Previous abject failure in the global merger and acquisitions market has prompted China to bounce back with a revised strategy China’s revised …

Read more

China and the rise of the BRICS (CIBAM/WPP Distinguished Lecture & Panel)

Cambridge Judge Business School’s Centre for International Business & Management (CIBAM) and WPP held a Distinguished Lecture and Panel on ‘China and …

Read more

Professor Peter Williamson, Cambridge Judge Business School: Advantage China

Professor Peter Williamson, Honorary Professor of International Management at Cambridge Judge Business School, says those ‘dragons’ at our door, will reshape global competitions …

Read more

Back to the good old days

Loosely coupled networks, like those used in medieval Britain and 14th century Tuscany, are increasingly being adopted by leading modern companies Modern, …

Read more

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!

Should British companies be thinking of ‘scaling up’ and working in partnership with Chinese companies? Peter Williamson, Honorary Professor of International Management at …

Read more

Western economies: a museum of the 21st Century?

In a remarkable exchange, Cambridge Judge Business School’s Professor Peter Williamson in Bejing and Professor Jaideep Prabhu in Bangalore explore the Chinese and …

Read more

Made in China

The debate over whether China’s double digit growth rate can be sustained has taken a new twist, with Professor Peter Williamson, Honorary Professor …

Read more

Express Tribune: Nuclear plant delay may shift UK energy policy

Peter Williamson, Honorary Professor of International Management at Cambridge Judge Business School, comments on the UK government’s decision to delay the Hinkley …

Read more

NDTV: Nuclear plant delay may shift UK energy policy

Peter Williamson, Honorary Professor of International Management at Cambridge Judge Business School, comments on the UK government’s decision to delay the Hinkley …

Read more

The Conversation: What lessons UK tech firms can learn from ARM deal

Peter Williamson, Professor of International Business at Cambridge Judge Business School, writes about the recent ARM Holdings sale and what lessons could …

Read more

China Daily US: 10 reasons to be optimistic

Peter Williamson, Honorary Professor of International Management at Cambridge Judge Business School, comments on the rapid innovation created by China’s huge number …

Read more

The Conversation: G20 finance chiefs meet as China seeks to make a show of its presidency

China is rebalancing towards consumption spending and away from growth in infrastructure spending and heavy industry that will provide little comfort to …

Read more

China Daily (Europe): Innovation picks up speed in China

Peter Williamson, Honorary Professor of International Management at Cambridge Judge Business School, discusses how innovation will support China’s economic growth in 2016. …

Read more

Financial Times: India has made noodles out of Narendra Modi’s message

John Gapper looks at the Nestle’s Maggi noodles scandal in India and highlights the risks foreign companies face in some emerging markets. …

Read more

The Economist: A harder road ahead

Life is getting tougher for foreign firms in China, and a recent study by José Santos of INSEAD and Peter Williamson of …

Read more

China Daily (USA): Hi-tech zones up the game

High-tech parks play an important role in China’s economy. Andrew Moody looks at the northwestern Chinese city of Xi’an. The home for …

Read more

Marketing Week: Why brands are abandoning mass-produced products

As China’s factory output slows, new manufacturing technology such as 3D printing means brands are increasingly looking to create more customised products …

Read more

The Economist: Fast and furious

In a Special Report about Business in China, Peter Williamson, Honorary Professor of International Management at Cambridge Judge Business School, argues that …

Read more

The Economist: How red is your capitalism?

In a special report on China, The Economist looks at the differences between state-controlled and private companies. Peter Williamson, Honorary Professor of …

Read more

The Economist: A torch-bearer for Chinese capitalism

The conglomerate built by Liu Chuanzhi, the chairman of Legend Holdings is closer to its American and European counterparts than to Asian …

Read more

China Daily (Europe): Smaller, smarter buys yield big results

Chinese companies are gaining a new level of global competitive strength by combining domestic product and market scale with niche technology acquired …

Read more

Global Banking and Finance Review: Conflicting motives, strategies and outcomes in merger and acquisition activity

Professor Peter Williamson, Academic Programme Director of the Advanced Leadership Programme at Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education, takes a closer look …

Read more

China Daily: Cutting edge innovation to come from China

In this China Daily interview Peter Williamson, Honorary Professor of International Management at Cambridge Judge Business School, argues that “the Chinese are …

Read more

China Central TV: Global value chain network to be discussed at APEC

Ahead of the next APEC Meeting, CCTV interviews Professor Peter Williamson, Honorary Professor of International Management at Cambridge Judge Business School, who …

Read more

The Economist: The China wave

Whereas a Western software firm typically releases an early “beta” version of a product only to a select group of guinea-pigs, Chinese …

Read more

City AM: As Alibaba unveils its IPO plans, can China leapfrog the West in the innovation economy?

Peter Williamson, Honorary Professor of International Management at Cambridge Judge Business School, discusses Alibaba’s case and whether China can leapfrog the West …

Read more

MIT Sloan Management Review: Accelerated Innovation: The new challenge from China

Peter Williamson, Honorary Professor of International Management and Eden Yin, University Senior Lecturer in Marketing, report that Chinese companies are taking the …

Read more

Contact details

Peter Williamson
Cambridge Judge Business School
University of Cambridge
Trumpington Street
Cambridge CB2 1AG
UK

Tel: +44 (0)1223 764229
Fax: +44 (0)1223 339701

p.williamson@jbs.cam.ac.uk