Dr Tom Williams

Business and Finance & Executive MBA Director
Tom Williams 2016

Dr Tom Williams has 10 years experience in working in research consultancy from both client and agency-side, across a number of sectors and roles. He specialises in qualitative research methods and analysis, utilising innovative projective techniques, safari-focus groups and paired depth interviews to combine with quantitative methodologies and analytics.


  • BA (Hons) Business Studies Sandwich, Sheffield Hallam University
  • MA Management, Chester University
  • PhD from Lancaster University
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • Certified member of Market Research Society


I have taught at levels 4, 6 and MSc, each level offers different challenges and rewards; but essentially, I enjoy seeing students develop through the stages of their academic journey.  I feel very strongly in equipping students with the right academic and professional competencies to give them the edge in a highly competitive professional world.

Prior to joining the University, I have experienced a number of diverse sectors and industries, most notably, financial services, marketing and tourism, and inward investment.  All of these experiences have at some level been underpinned by professional and commercial research. This keen interest in research has allowed me to be exposed to a number of high profile strategic projects, and internal operational projects – all of which allows me to translate strategy into action.

On a personal level, I enjoy going to the gym and have a season ticket for Everton.



  • Marketing Across Boundaries
  • Research Methods and Dissertation
  • Management Research in Action
  • Preparing for Research Consultancy
  • Dissertations supervisions


I am research active in the areas of:

  •    The relationship between theory and practice
  •    Marketing and religion 
  •    All aspects of branding especially the notion of cult branding
  •    Heritage tourism / tourism and economic development
  •    Sociology of marketing, sociology of religion 
  •    Organisational culture and management change
  •    Innovative research techniques: accelerated learning and NLP, other projective techniques

Research into impact:    

  • Tom's PhD, from Lancaster University, focuses on protecting English Cathedrals by ensuring they engage with new audiences driving various interventions. Forming the foundations for the international Kansas project.
  • Chester Cathedral’s At Height tour, data used to have a successful capital investment of £1.4m in funding
  • Manchester Cathedral Visitor Strategy and Development Plan – key outputs increased footfall by 38% and revenue increased (donation rate) by 32%; as well as 1FTE (1 x full time job created) (2011 – ongoing)
  • ERDF – Northern Powerhouse Tourism Project, £6m; project managed research monitoring and developed evaluation framework for Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction strand (2009-2012).
  • Rural Development Programme (RDPE) Cheshire’s business improvement for rural tourism businesses – (£1.1m): project managed and developed evaluation framework for Tourism Connect and Vitality (2010-2012) 

 Current Research Awards

  • Santander International Research Excellence Award (2016) - international collaboration with Kansas State University, developing and lobbying Kansas State policy towards tourism and economic development. An exploratory branding study: 'Protecting Kansas' legacy of significance' for tourism.

Published work

  • Terry Smith & Tom Williams, (2015), Context into text into context: marketing practice into theory; marketing theory into practice, Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 33 Iss 7 pp. 1027 - 1046