Professor David Williamson

Emeritus Professor

Justice, Security and Sustainability

I studied geography at what was then St David’s University College, the third oldest university in England and Wales, and reputed to be the smallest in the world! After that I worked in manufacturing for 13 years, mainly as a Production Control Manager.

I also studied part time to get a certificate and Diploma in Industrial Management, and then an MSc in Management Sciences. Following this I moved to Staffordshire Polytechnic, later to become Staffordshire University, where I lectured in a number of areas. Eventually my focus turned to business strategy and then to an interest in corporate responsibility and regulation, which in turn led me create a research centre and to co-manage a research institute.

I also owned a consultancy firm with specialisms in environmental policy and small and medium enterprises. Then, after 19 years at Staffordshire University, I moved to the School of Law at the University of Manchester (reputed to be the largest in the UK!) as a Senior Research Fellow in Regulation.

I worked at Manchester for 8 years and lectured in corporate governance and corporate responsibility, and contributed to courses on environmental law. I also helped set-up and manage the Manchester Centre for Regulation and Governance (ManReg), and from 2012 was Director of Teaching and Learning.

The attraction of Staffordshire University then reasserted itself, and in September 2014 I moved back as Professor of Regulation and Governance, and as Associate Dean for Scholarship, Enterprise and Research.

I have retained my research links with Manchester as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Law. Also, my research continues to evolve: from an interest in how small and medium firms respond to environmental issues and regulation, to matters around regulation and governance more generally.

Academic qualifications

BA (Hons) Geography, St David’s University College, 1977

MSc (Management Sciences), UMIST, 1989


  • Governance of responsible corporate behaviour
  • Regulatory theory
  • Business strategy

From an interest in strategic management and research methods I have developed expertise in regulation, small and medium enterprises, and corporate governance. As part of this progression I have become more knowledgeable of different theoretical contexts (e.g. regulation and governance theory, institutional theory, social theory) and their application to explore issues around corporate responsibility. I also have expertise in securing and managing national and European research projects, and in managing academic teams.

Research interests

Current interests include the regulation of reputations, the regulation of food waste, institutional investors in corporate governance, the regulation of bitcoins, and the regulation of third party agents. I am also working on a monograph on regulation and governance.

Enterprise and commercial interests

I have experience in knowledge transfer, policy evaluation, and consultancy for government type agencies. In the area of knowledge transfer I have been involved in EU funded projects to develop environmental support packages for small and medium enterprises, and in industry funded projects to provide online environmental law support. Policy evaluation has included compliance work for the Scottish and Northern Ireland Environment Agencies, and work on administrative burdens for the EU. Consultancy for government type agencies has included a project for the Engineering Employers Federation to evaluate the impact of waste legislation, and the Royal Institute for Chartered Surveyors to assess waste practices on industrial estates.


David Williamson and Gary Lynch-Wood (due 2015). Reshaping the Environmental Governance Debate: Rule Following and Environmental Performance. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

David Williamson and Wyn Jenkins (due 2015). Strategic Management and Business Analysis, Second Edition. Routledge.

Gary Lynch-Wood and David Williamson (2014). Understanding SME Responses to Environmental Regulation, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 57 (8), 1220-1239.

Gary Lynch-Wood and David Williamson (2013). Civil Regulation, the Environment and the Compliance Orientations of SMEs, Journal of Business Ethics, DOI: 10.1007/s10551-013-1925-6.

David Williamson and Gary Lynch-Wood (2012). Ecological Modernisation and the Regulation of Firms, Environmental Politics, 21(6), 1-19.

Gary Lynch-Wood and David Williamson (2011). The Receptive Capacity of Firms – Why Differences Matter, Journal of Environmental Law, 23(3), 383-413.

David Williamson and Gary Lynch-Wood (2010). Organisational Capabilities and Regulatory Strategies for Environmental Improvement, in Regulation and Criminal Justice: Developing a New Framework for Research and Policy Development (Eds. G. Smith, H. Quirk and T. Seddon), Cambridge University Press

David Williamson, Gary Lynch-Wood and Rilka Dragneva-Lewers (2010). Exploring the Regulatory Preconditions for Business Advantage in CSR, in Innovative CSR (Eds. C. Louche, S.O. Idowu and W. Leal Filho), Greenleaf Publishing

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021