Professor Allan Williams

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Research Interests

Allan's central research interests are the relationships between economic development and mobility, innovation and risk. He is particularly interested in the relationship between tourism and migration, retirement migration, return migration, tourism innovation, the role of risk in mobility, and productivity. He has undertaken research in a number of European countries, but especially in Central Eastern Europe, Southern Europe and the UK, as well as in New Zealand.

Current research projects

  • HORIZON 2020 (2015-18). This major EU project studies the role of international mobility in the transition from youth to adulthood, using a mixture of quantitative qualitative and experimental research methods. Partner countries in the 2.5 million euro project include Germany, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Spain, Sweden, and Slovakia.
  • EU MARIE CURIE FELLOWSHIP (2013-15) for Dr Zhelyu Vladimirov to work with Professor Williams on a study of SME competitiveness, using a mixture of secondary and survey data, in the UK and Bulgaria.
  • EU MARIE CURIE FELLOWSHIP (2014-16) for Dr Teemu Makkonen to collaborate with Professor Williams in a study of cross border innovation systems.
  • ESRC (2013-2015). International migration, flexible working and productivity in hotels. He is the principal investigator for this major ESRC funded project, working with colleagues Andrew Lockwood, Peter Jones, Sangwon Park and Natina Yaduma, and collaborating with data systems company Eproductive. The project uses its unique access to individual scale data, on a daily basis over 7 years, to analyse the relationships between flexible working and the employment of international migrants, and how this influences productivity. They are using time series data to analyse changes over the 2008+ crisis, utilising both physical and financial data on inputs and outputs.
  • EU MARIE CURIE FELLOWSHIP (2016-2018) for Dr Isabel Rodriguez to work with Professor Williams on the study of the innovation journey of tourism entrepreneurs with policy implications and based on evidences on the UK and Spain.

Completed research projects

  • LEVERHULME FELLOWSHIP (2011-2013). Migration, tourism and risk. With his collaborator, Professor Balaz, Institute of Forecasting, Bratislava, he is undertaking a project that aims to identify the influence of risk and uncertainty on tourism and on migration, and the inter-relationship between these.
  • EU Culture Programme (2009), PLACE. This 7 country study investigated the interface between research on urban mass tourism and architecture and planning studies.
  • FP7 SECOA (2009-13). This major 6 million euro project involves partners from 5 EU and 3 non EU countries. It aims to study the impacts of human mobility and urbanization on natural environmental systems. Allan co-ordinates the UK team, involving both Surrey and two research institutes at London Metropolitan University. There are two UK case studies: Thames Gateway and Portsmouth.
  • ESRC (2007-10). Internationalisation and innovation in the service sector: the role of international migration in the UK hotel (London) sector. Joint co-ordinator with Professor Gareth Shaw, University of Exeter. The project has three main strands: identifying key innovations in recent decades, analysing the influence of different forms of ownership on innovation, and exploring the role of international migrants as sources of knowledge transfer and innovation.
  • British Academy Readership (2004-6). Two year programme of largely theoretical research on 'International migration, learning and knowledge'.
  • ESRC (2003-4). Returned skilled labour migration from the UK to Central Europe, focussing on the acquisition of skills and competences, and their commodification, in both the UK and after return migration. With Vladimir Balaz.
  • British Academy (2004). The economic relationships of the Vietnamese diaspora in Europe, and their role in petty trading in Central Europe. With Vladimir Balaz.
  • EPSRC/ESRC AIM (2006-8). Intra-firm and inter-firm knowledge transfers and productivity in the retailing sector. A collaborative project in conjunction with Irena Grugulis (Bradford), Jeremy Clegg (Leeds) and Loles Anon (Aston) which was part of the EPSRC/ESRC AIM 'Closing the Gap' programme.
  • EPSRC/ESRC AIM (2006-7). The unintended and indirect effects of regulation on UK productivity. Collaborative project with Joseph Antony (Leeds), Gerben Bakker (LSE), Kim Tan (Nottingham), and Kathryn Walsh (Loughborough). Particular focus on the impact of air travel de-regulation on local and regional economies.
  • Leverhulme Trust (2000-2). The role of new forms of international mobility in the economic development of border regions in Central Europe. With Valdimir Balaz.
  • ESRC (1997-8). The role of tourism in the transition in Central and Eastern Europe. With Vladimir Balaz.
  • ESRC (1997-8). International retirement migration from the UK to Southern Europe. In collaboration with Russell King (Sussex) and Tony Warnes (Sheffield) (ESRC 1995-7)

Research Collaborations

Prof. Vladimir Balaz (Institute of Forecasting, Bratislava, Slovakia): on knowledge transfer, risk, migration and tourism in central Europe.

Dr Natasha Chaban and Prof. Martin Holland (National Centre for Research on Europe, University of Canterbury, NZ) on migration and return migration to New Zealand.

Prof. Michael Hall (Faculty of Commerce, University of Canterbury, NZ): on tourism and mobility, and tourism and innovation.

Prof Michelle Lowe (Business School University of Southampton, UK) on innovation and boutique hotels.

Prof Armando Montanari and Dr Barbara Staniscia (La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy) on cultural tourism, and human mobility and environmental change in coastal regions.

Prof. Gareth Shaw (University of Exeter, UK) on tourism an innovation.

Dr Adi Weidenfeld and Prof Peter Bjork (Hanken Business School, Finland) on cross-border innovation in the service sector.


  • Tourism and Innovation
  • Supervision of Masters' dissertations


  • Academician of the Academy of Social Science
  • Fellow of the International Academy for the Study of Tourism
  • Member of the Tourism Research Centre
  • Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society with the IBG
  • Associate Editor for Europe, Tourism Geographies
  • Auxiliary Professor, University of Canterbury, NZ
  • Innovation Fellow, Advanced Institute of Management (ESRC/EPSRC)

Contact Me

Phone: 01483 68 6308

Find me on campus
Room: 45 AP 02

My office hours

Tuesday 3-4

Wednesday 1-3

You may prefer to book an appointment within these time slots. Otherwise, just call in.


Journal articles

  • Williams AM, Makkonen T. (2016) 'Border region studies: The structure of an ‘offbeat’ field of regional studies'. Taylor & Francis Regional Studies, Regional Science, 3 (1), pp. 355-367.
  • Park S, Yaduma N, Lockwood AJ, Williams AM. (2016) 'Demand fluctuations, labour flexibility and productivity'. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD ANNALS OF TOURISM RESEARCH, 59, pp. 93-112.
  • Yaduma N, Williams A, Lockwood A, Park S. (2015) 'Performance, labour flexibility and migrant workers in hotels: An establishment and departmental level analysis'. ELSEVIER SCI LTD INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT, 50, pp. 94-104.
  • Williams AM, Baláž V. (2015) 'Tourism Risk and Uncertainty: Theoretical Reflections'. Journal of Travel Research, 54 (3), pp. 271-287.
  • Janta H, Cohen SA, Williams AM. (2015) 'Rethinking visiting friends and relatives mobilities'. Population, Space and Place, 21 (7), pp. 585-598.


    The increasing number of people leading more mobile lives, with spatially dispersed families, raises questions over how they maintain their family life and friendships, and how this is shaped and shapes different forms of migration, and different patterns of Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR). This paper develops an explanatory framework for conceptualizing and analyzing VFR mobilities, seeking to draw together threads from migration, mobilities and tourism studies. In unpacking the notion of VFR, this paper understands VFR mobilities as being constituted of diverse practices, and discusses five of the most important of these: social relationships, the provision of care, affirmations of identities and roots, maintenance of territorial rights, and leisure tourism. While these five types of practices are considered sequentially in this paper, they are in practice often blurred and overlapping. The interweaving of these practices changes over time, as does the meaning and content of individual practices, reflecting changes in the duration of migration, life cycle stage, individual goals and values, and the broader sets of relationships with and social obligations to different kin and friends.

  • Rodriguez I, Williams AM, Hall CM. (2014) 'Tourism innovation policy: Implementation and outcomes'. PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD ANNALS OF TOURISM RESEARCH, 49, pp. 76-93.
  • Baláž V, Williams AM, Fifeková E. (2014) 'Migration decision making as complex choice: Eliciting decision weights under conditions of imperfect and complex information through experimental methods'. Population, Space and Place,
    [ Status: Accepted ]


    Migration decisions are complex, involving both economic and non-economic considerations, and are often made in conditions that depart significantly from the idealised information assumptions of many models. This paper uses a three-stage experimental research design to analyse migrant decision making in the face of complexity and varying information conditions (complete, imperfect, and overloading). It pays particular attention to differences based on previous migration experiences. It focuses on four main issues: (a) the balance between monetary and non-monetary factors; (b) the computation, via a range of methods, of relative decision weights attached to different factors; (c) the impact of country image in relation to information; and (d) the role of preferences in dealing with missing information. The research examines the decision weights for eight attributes of potential destination countries for a sample of 157 young, educated individuals in Slovakia. The relative advantages and challenges of utilising experimental methods in migration research are illustrated. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  • Palovic, Z , Kam, S , Janta, H , Cohen SA, Williams, A . (2014) 'Surrey Think Tank – Reconceptualising Visiting Friends & Relatives (VFR) Travel'. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 2 (14), pp. 266-268.


    This paper summarizes the major outcomes of the Surrey Tourism Research Center’s “Reconceptualising Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR Travel)” think tank held on July 13th 2013, at the University of Surrey in Guildford, U.K. This conference communication will briefly highlight the context, approach and main discussion themes of the event. In addition, it will summarize the implications and key outcomes, leading to the identification of further research topics.

  • Williams AM. (2013) 'Mobilities and sustainable tourism: Path-creating or path-dependent relationships?'. Taylor and Francis Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 21 (4), pp. 511-531.


    This paper advances understanding of tourism mobility trajectories and outcomes by discussing if the trajectory of tourism mobility is path-dependent or path-creating and, therefore, whether tourism is locked into existing sub-optimal pathways, or is there scope for creating significantly more sustainable future pathways. Tourism mobilities are understood in the context of overall shifts in corporeal mobilities, especially the impact of migration on networks and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) tourism. Four main tourism mobilities drivers are considered-technology, markets, cultures of mobility and state intervention-but their impact on mobilities is contested. The concepts of enfolded and substitutable mobilities, and of scapes and flows, are explained and used as intermediary concepts for engaging with the key relationships influencing tourism mobilities. Path dependency is shown to be backed by existing technologies, cultures and markets, together with deeply embedded scapes and substantial investments in existing infrastructure. Trends towards path creation are shown to depend on technological breakthroughs, including virtual tourism, alternative lifestyles bringing cultural change, market conditions brought about by possible sustained high oil prices, and state intervention leading to behavioural change. The concept of "path-dependent path-creation" is discussed along with the powerful influence of uncertainties and unknown future tipping-points. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

  • Weidenfeld A, Williams AM, Butler RW. (2013) 'Spatial Competition and Agglomeration in the Visitor Attraction Sector'. Taylor & Francis Service Industries Journal,


    This paper provides a theoretical and empirical contribution to understanding spatial competition by examining visitor attractions in two contrasting clusters of lower and higher levels of agglomeration of businesses in Cornwall, the UK. The study found that competition is mainly for customers and labour and is related differently to the levels of agglomeration, spatial proximity and thematic product similarity between visitor attractions at the local compared to the regional scale. Location can be used differently for employing ‘weak’ and ‘strong’ competitive strategies. The study contributes to the knowledge on the spatiality of competition and the locational strategies of service businesses.

  • Williams AM, Baláž V. (2013) 'Tourism, risk tolerance and competences: Travel organization and tourism hazards'. Tourism Management, 35, pp. 209-221.
  • Williams AM, Baláž V. (2013) 'Mobility, risk tolerance and competence to manage risks'. Journal of Risk Research,


    Migration is a risky behaviour because of the uncertainty about future wages, living conditions, changing relationships with family and friends and cultural adjustment. While there has been some research on risk and uncertainty in migration, this has mostly been approached as a form of 'rational' decision-making: such approaches explain why some groups of individuals are more likely than others to migrate, but are limited in explaining individual variations in behaviour within these groups. Individual migrants vs. non-migrants are self-selected in terms of tolerance of risk and uncertainty but, with very few exceptions, there has been no research on migration within the framework of risk tolerance/aversion and competence to manage risk. Moreover, existing research is based on, and constrained by the limitations of, incumbent data-sets. Drawing on a specially commissioned large-scale survey of the UK population, this paper uses principal component analysis and logistic regression to analyse the extent to which risk and risk-related measures can be used to predict four different types of mobility profiles. There are significant associations between these individual mobility characteristics and general risk/uncertainty tolerance, and competence-based tolerance. These are strongest in terms of the two most polarised mobility types: the least mobile, the Stayers, and the most mobile, the Roamers. Recognising that previous migration is exogenous, a further analysis of migration intentions, with previous migration included as an independent variable, finds the propensity for future migration is, in fact, negatively associated with previous migration, probably due to the importance of 'pure risk' as opposed to acquired competence via migration experience, and to life cycle considerations. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

  • Williams AM. (2013) 'Mobilities and sustainable tourism: path-creating or path-dependent relationships?'. Journal of Sustainable Tourism,


    This paper advances understanding of tourism mobility trajectories and outcomes by discussing if the trajectory of tourism mobility is path-dependent or path-creating and, therefore, whether tourism is locked into existing sub-optimal pathways, or is there scope for creating significantly more sustainable future pathways. Tourism mobilities are understood in the context of overall shifts in corporeal mobilities, especially the impact of migration on networks and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) tourism. Four main tourism mobilities drivers are considered - technology, markets, cultures of mobility and state intervention - but their impact on mobilities is contested. The concepts of enfolded and substitutable mobilities, and of scapes and flows, are explained and used as intermediary concepts for engaging with the key relationships influencing tourism mobilities. Path dependency is shown to be backed by existing technologies, cultures and markets, together with deeply embedded scapes and substantial investments in existing infrastructure. Trends towards path creation are shown to depend on technological breakthroughs, including virtual tourism, alternative lifestyles bringing cultural change, market conditions brought about by possible sustained high oil prices, and state intervention leading to behavioural change. The concept of "path-dependent path-creation" is discussed along with the powerful influence of uncertainties and unknown future tipping-points. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

  • Lowe M, Williams AM, Shaw G, Cudworth K. (2012) 'Self-organising innovation networks, mobile knowledge carriers and diasporas: Insights from a pioneering boutique hotel chain'. Oxford University Press Journal of Economic Geography, 12 (5), pp. 1113-1138.


    This paper provides insights from the UK’s pioneering boutique hotel chain, Hotel du Vin (HduV) to explore the dynamics of self-forming innovation networks within the service sector. In particular, it focuses on HduV’s diaspora of spin-off and follow-on enterprises, examining the nature of innovation and creativity, and the significant role of human mobility in knowledge transfer and in the dynamic reconfiguration of such networks. Through the use of participative’ research methods and ‘close dialogue’, it provides a contribution to understanding processes of innovation in an under-researched industry—utilizing the concept of ‘diasporas’ to encapsulate the temporality and spatiality of those processes. In particular, it explores the various re-uses and re-combinations of the organizational processes and value propositions that defined the innovatory nature of the original chain, showing how those re-combinations were critical to the entrepreneurial nature of the diasporic network which developed around HduV.

  • Williams AM, Foord J, Mooney J. (2012) 'Human mobility in functional urban Human mobility in functional urban regions: understanding the diversity of mobilities'. Taylor & Francis International Review of Sociology, 22 (2), pp. 191-209.
  • Paraskevopoulou A, Markova E, Williams AM, Shaw G. (2012) 'Migration and Innovation at the Bottom End: Understanding the Role of Migrant Managers in Small Hotels in the Global City'. Taylor & Francis Mobilities, 7 (3), pp. 389-414.
  • Williams AM, Baláž V. (2012) 'Migration, Risk, and Uncertainty: Theoretical Perspectives'. Population, Space and Place, 18 (2), pp. 167-180.
  • Baláž V, Williams AM. (2011) 'Diffusion and competition of voice communication technologies in the Czech and Slovak Republics, 1948-2009'. Elsevier Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 79 (2), pp. 393-404.


    The paper applies concepts of population dynamics to the evolution of communication technologies. The dynamics of voice communication technologies in the Czech and Slovak Republics in 1948-2009 are examined via the Lotka-Volterra equations. Fixed lines and mobile phones are considered predatory technologies hunting for their ‘prey’ – voice service subscribers. Each technology squeezes out carrying capacity from its competitor. Mobile phones, however, exert a far greater impact on numbers of fixed telephone lines than vice versa. The conclusions consider some limitations of population dynamics approaches in economic modelling and discuss the different growth strategies associated with particular types of technologies.

  • Chaban N, Williams A, Holland M, Boyce V, Warner F. (2011) 'Crossing cultures: Analysing the experiences of NZ returnees from the EU (UK vs. non-UK)'. Elsevier International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 35 (6), pp. 776-790.
  • Williams AM, Chaban N, Holland M. (2011) 'The circular international migration of New Zealanders: Enfolded mobilities and relational places'. Taylor & Francis Mobilities, 6 (1), pp. 125-147.


    Migrants’ social relations are reconfigured in relation to how the localised and distanciated are recombined in context of how individuals are embedded in the enfolded mobilities of increasingly mobile social networks. The paper is organized around three main propositions. First, that social relations are structured across three main and intersecting domains – family, workplace and community. Second, that social relations and networks are shaped by, and shape, the relational nature of places. Third, that the relational nature of places, and the reconfiguration of localised and distanciated relationships should be analysed across the entire migration cycle. These ideas are explored through a study of the Big OE from New Zealand to the UK, based on in‐depth interviews with returned migrants.

  • Balaz V, Williams AM. (2011) 'Risk attitudes and migration experience'. Taylor & Francis Journal of Risk Research, 14 (5), pp. 583-596.


    Although risk and uncertainty are intrinsic to human migration, there is surprisingly little explicit research on the willingness to take risks in this context. This paper analyses whether migrants are more or less likely than non‐migrants to be risk tolerant, and whether these differences are gendered. Attitudes are explored in terms of responses under conditions of both risk and uncertainty, and self‐assessment of capabilities is also taken into account. The research is based on a sample of students who provide a relatively homogeneous group in socio‐economic terms, and relatively large numbers of individuals with experiences of temporary migration. Their attitudes to risk were assessed under experimental conditions, which measured their willingness to take risks on hypothetical gambles under different conditions. While there are some differences between males and females, and between migrants and non‐migrants, the outstanding finding is the far greater risk tolerance of female migrants as opposed to female non‐migrants, especially when compared to males.

  • Shaw G, Bailey A, Williams A. (2011) 'Aspects of service-dominant logic and its implications for tourism management: Examples from the hotel industry'. Elsevier Tourism Management, 32 (2), pp. 207-214.


    This paper introduces the concept of service-dominant logic as a research paradigm in marketing management. It does so in the context of tourism management‟s need to engage with wider debates within the mainstream management literature. Moreover it demonstrates the importance of service-dominant logic in uncovering the role played by co-production and co-creation in the tourism industry. These ideas are developed in detail through a case study of the UK hotel industry that draws on new empirical research undertaken by the authors.

  • Weidenfeld A, Butler R, Williams AM. (2011) 'The role of clustering, cooperation and complementarities in the visitor attraction sector'. Taylor & Francis Current Issues in Tourism, 14 (7), pp. 595-629.


    Cooperation and complementarity are important but understudied components of tourism clusters, in general, and of the tourist attraction sector, in particular. This paper addresses product similarities, in general, and thematic similarity, in particular, in the context of spatial proximity and clustering among tourist attractions. These relationships are examined by exploring cooperation between tourist attractions in two tourism clusters in Cornwall, UK. Interviews with attraction managers and other key informants, and case studies, reveal that tourist attractions have established cooperative–complementary relationships of production based on external economies at both the local and the regional scales. Differences between the two clusters in terms of interviewees' perceptions of the relationships between factors indicate the importance of understanding the specific features of individual clusters.

  • Williams AM, Shaw G. (2011) 'Internationalization and innovation in tourism'. Elsevier Annals of Tourism Research, 38 (1), pp. 27-51.


    Internationalization and innovation are significant themes in tourism research whose inter-relationship has been largely neglected. Starting from the international economics literature, which focuses largely on the multinational enterprise, and on knowledge issues, the relationship can be conceptualised in three ways: internationalization is a form of innovation, successful internationalization requires innovation, and internationalization requires firms to have superior knowledge. Turning from this generic literature to the specificities of tourism, two aspects of the simultaneity of production and consumption critically shape internationalization: the requirement for co-presence, and consumer mobility. However, a firm-focussed approach fails to address the changing international environment of the enterprise, especially the increasing importance of global connectivity in relation to entrepreneurs, labour and tourists.

  • Weidenfeld A, Williams AM, Butler RW. (2010) 'Knowledge transfer and innovation among attractions'. Elsevier Annals of Tourism Research, 37 (3), pp. 604-626.


    Studies of knowledge transfer and the diffusion of innovations in tourism have largely ignored the attraction sector. This study examines the level and form of knowledge transfer amongst attractions in Cornwall (UK), paying particular attention to the significance of spatial clustering and product similarity. It is based on in-depth interviews with tourist attraction managers and key informants in two contrasting spatial clusters. The findings demonstrate that spatial proximity, product similarity and market similarity have positive impacts on knowledge transfers and innovation spillovers, at both the local and the regional scales. They also show that the influences of product similarity and spatial proximity are closely related, but that the first of these is generally more influential at both the local and particularly, the regional scale. The paper also identifies some of the sources, mechanisms, channels and outcomes of knowledge transfer.

  • Weidenfeld A, Butler RW, Williams AM. (2010) 'Clustering and compatibility between tourism attractions'. International Journal of Tourism Research, 12 (1), pp. 1-16.
  • Williams AM. (2010) 'Mass tourism, culture and the historic city: theoretical perspectives'. Revista del Scienze del Turismo, 1 (2), pp. 9-29.
  • Higón DA, Bozkurt Ö, Clegg J, Grugulis I, Salis S, Vasilakos N, Williams AM. (2010) 'The Determinants of Retail Productivity: A Critical Review of the Evidence'. Blackwell International Journal of Management Reviews, 12 (2), pp. 201-217.


    This paper discusses the literature on the established determinants of productivity in the retail sector. It also draws attention to some neglected strands of research which provide useful insights into strategies that could allow productivity enhancements in this area of the economy. To date, very few attempts have been made to integrate different specialisms in order to explain what drives productivity in retail. Here this paper rectifies this omission by putting together studies from economics, geography, knowledge management and employment studies. It is the authors’ view that quantitative studies of retail productivity should focus on total factor productivity in retailing as the result of competition/composition effects, planning regulations, information and communications technology, the multinational operation element and workforce skills. Further, the fact that retail firms possess advantages that are transferable between locations suggests that investment in strategies enhancing the transfer of explicit and tacit knowledge between and within businesses are crucial to achieve productivity gains.

  • Salis S, Williams AM. (2010) 'Knowledge sharing through face-to-face communication and labour productivity: Evidence from British workplaces'. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 48 (2), pp. 436-459.
  • Williams AM. (2009) 'International migration, uneven regional development and polarization'. Sage European Urban and Regional Studies, 16 (3), pp. 309-322.


    This article explores four aspects of the underdeveloped conceptualization of the role of international migration in uneven regional development and polarization in cities. First, it emphasizes the way in which human mobility transfers not only human capital but also knowledge and material capital, and that these are interrelated. Second, it considers how changes in the nature of mobility have implications for uneven regional development. Third, it develops the concept of enfolded mobilities, as a way of understanding how individual migrations are directly enfolded with those of other individuals, either through associated or contingent movements, or through consequential migration at later stages in the life course. Finally, it discusses how governance impinges on and mediates the key relationships between mobility and uneven regional development.

  • Williams AM, Shaw G. (2009) 'Future play: tourism, recreation and land use'. Elsevier Land Use Policy, 26 (SUPPL. 1), pp. S326-S335.
  • Shaw G, Williams A. (2009) 'Knowledge transfer and management in tourism organisations: An emerging research agenda'. Elsevier Tourism Management, 30 (3), pp. 325-335.


    This paper reviews current research on knowledge management and knowledge transfer in the context of innovations. Specific attention is focussed on the integration of management perspectives into tourism research. The paper explores some of the key mechanisms and conduits of knowledge transfer within tourism. In doing so it explores such concepts as interlocking directorships, communities of practice, learning regions and labour mobility. There is also an emerging research agenda on knowledge management within tourism but progress is variable with most research being within the hotel sector, where a range of recent studies have examined aspects of knowledge transfer. The paper also draws attention to the need to give closer attention to the nature of innovations within tourism and to consider these in a knowledge management framework.

  • Williams AM, Baláž V. (2009) 'Low-Cost carriers, economies of flows and regional externalities'. Taylor and Francis Regional Studies, 43 (5), pp. 677-691.


    Low-cost carriers, economies of flows and regional externalities, Regional Studies. The emergence of low-cost carriers, following air travel re-regulation in Europe, has major implications for individual firms and regional economies. Understanding regions as ‘economies of flows’, the paper explores, largely conceptually, how uneven, fluctuating, and fragmentary changes in air travel and connectivity, resulting from the activities of low-cost carriers, have had substantial impacts on flows of labour migrants, knowledge, business connectivity/investment, and mobile markets, especially tourism. The resulting modifications to institutions and regional externalities contribute to net changes in the transaction costs of individual firms, regional competitiveness, and the unfolding and increasingly interconnected map of uneven regional development in Europe.

  • Hall CM, Williams AM, Lew AA. (2008) 'Tourism: Conceptualizations, Institutions, and Issues'. , pp. 1-22.
  • Williams AM, Hall CM, Lew AA. (2008) 'Contemporary Themes and Challenges in Tourism Research'. , pp. 609-618.
  • Williams AM. (2008) 'Toward a Political Economy of Tourism'. , pp. 61-73.
  • Williams AM, Balaz V. (2008) 'International mobility, learning and knowledge transfer: a case study of Slovak doctors'. Elsevier Social Science and Medicine, 67 (11), pp. 1924-1933.


    International mobility provides opportunities for learning and knowledge transfer by health care workers, with significant potential benefits for countries of destination and, in the case of returned migration, countries of origin. This is examined using a typology that recognizes four types of tacit knowledge: embrained, embodied, embedded, and encultured. There are, however, constraints to learning and knowledge transfer in the form of professional and social recognition as well as language barriers and power relationships. These theoretical ideas are explored through a case study of internationally mobile Slovak doctors after their return to Slovakia. Individual learning and knowledge sharing with colleagues, both abroad and after return, are analysed through in-depth interviews.

  • Balaz V, Williams AM. (2007) 'Path-dependency and path-creation perspectives on migration trajectories: The economic experiences of Vietnamese migrants in Slovakia'. Wiley-Blackwell International Migration, 45 (2), pp. 37-67.


    There has been only limited research on the Vietnamese diaspora, and that has mostly focussed on western market economies. This paper explores the distinctive migration from Vietnam to the eastern block countries that was dictated by Cold War geopolitics. It examines how the intersection of migration policies and politicoeconomic conditions, before and after the end of state socialism in 1989, produced two distinctive migration phases. Faced with economic constraints, and mediated by their relationships with the Slovak population, most Vietnamese who stayed in, or migrated to, Slovakia after 1989 survived economically by finding a niche in market trading. This paper adopts a path-creating path-dependent perspective to examine these migration trajectories through an analysis based on in-depth interviews with Vietnamese migrants.

  • Williams AM. (2007) 'Listen to me, learn with me: International migration and knowledge transfer'. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 45 (2), pp. 361-382.
  • Williams AM. (2006) 'International labour migration and tacit knowledge transactions: A multi-level perspective'. Blackwell Global Networks, 7 (1), pp. 29-50.


    There has been limited research on the role of international migration in the transfer of tacit knowledge, as opposed to skills and capital. In part, this results from lack of engagement between research on migration and that on knowledge and learning, even in debates concerning the relative importance of distanciated versus localised knowledge transfers. However, positioning international migration in relation to the literature on knowledge management opens up new perspectives on its role in the overall transfer of knowledge in the economy. Starting from the premise that all tacit knowledge transactions are socially situated, this paper sets out a multi-level approach to understanding the role of migrants in knowledge exchanges. The national, the urban and the firm constitute key levels in this analysis, although these are understood as inter-folded rather than as discrete sites of analysis.

  • Williams AM. (2006) 'Lost in translation? International migration, learning and knowledge'. Sage Progress in Human Geography, 30 (5), pp. 588-607.


    There are changing but increasingly important ways in which international migration contributes to knowledge creation and transfer. The paper focuses on four main issues. First, the different ways in which knowledge is conceptualized, and the significance of corporeal mobility in effecting knowledge creation and transfer in relation to each of these types. Second, the significance of international migration in knowledge creation and transfer, and how this is mediated by whether migration is constituted within bounded (by company structures) or boundaryless careers, and as free agent labour migration. Third, the situating of migrants within firms, and the particular obstacles to their engagement in co-learning and knowledge translation: especially positionality, intercultural communication and social identities. Fourth, a focus on the importance of place, which is explored through theories of learning regions and creativity, and notions of the transferability of social learning across different public and private spheres. The need to view migrant learning and knowledge creation/transfer as widely dispersed, rather than as elite practices in privileged regions, is a recurrent theme.

  • Warnes A, Williams AM. (2006) 'Older migrants in Europe: an innovative focus for migration studies'. Taylor and Francis Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 32 (8), pp. 1257-1281.


    This article introduces the eight papers in this collection, all of which arose from the deliberations and research projects of the members of a European Science Foundation Scientific Network. The thematic focus is the intersection of migration and personal ageing. The article has three aims and themes, the first being to provide a summary account of the diversity of older migrants in contemporary Europe. A key distinction is between older people who migrate, and former labour migrants and those who accompanied them who have `aged in place'. Both groups have attracted innovative research since the early 1990s. Other `aged migrant trajectories', such as those of return labour migrants and those who move internationally in late-life to live near or with close relatives for support and care, have received much less attention, a lacuna that some of the papers in this issue begin to correct. The second aim is to synthesise the principal personal, societal and welfare implications of the growing number of `older migrants' across Europe, emphasising that there are both similarities and surprising differences amongst diverse groups of migrants. Finally, the individual papers will be introduced; in so doing, the design and methodological challenges of research on the variant groups will be drawn out. Raising understanding of the motivations of migration in old age, and even more of the inter-related consequences of migration and ageing, requires longitudinal, biographical or lifecourse perspectives. While such a research agenda is both stimulating and theoretically and empirically fruitful, it also implies profound practical research challenges.

  • Williams AM, Balaz V. (2005) 'Winning Then Losing the Battle with Globalization: Vietnamese Petty Traders in Slovakia'. John Wiley and Sons International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 29 (3), pp. 533-549.
  • Balaz V, Williams AM. (2005) 'International Tourism as Bricolage: An Analysis of Central Europe on the Brink of European Union Membership'. John Wiley and Sons International Journal of Tourism Research, 7 (2), pp. 79-93.
  • Williams AM, Balaz V. (2005) 'What Human Capital, Which Migrants? Returned Skilled Migration to Slovakia from the UK'. John Wiley and Sons International Migration Review, 39 (2), pp. 439-468.
  • Hudson R, Williams AM. (2004) 'European Voices: Towards the Internationalisation of Academic Discourse'. Sage Publications European Urban and Regional Studies, 11 (4), pp. 355-356.
  • Williams AM, Balaz V, Wallace C. (2004) 'International Labour Mobility and Uneven Regional Development in Europe: Human Capital, Knowledge and Entrepreneurship'. Sage Publications European Urban and Regional Studies, 11 (1), pp. 27-46.
  • Sadler D, Williams AM, Hudson R. (2004) '10 Years of European Urban and Regional Studies'. Sage Publications European Urban and Regional Studies, 11 (1), pp. 5-7.
  • Balaz V, Williams AM, Kollar D. (2004) 'Temporary Versus Permanent Youth Brain Drain: Economic Implications'. John Wiley and Sons International Migration, 42 (4), pp. 3-34.
  • Williams AM, Balaz V. (2004) 'From Private to Public Sphere, the commodification of the Au Pair Experience? Returned Migrants from Slovakia to the UK'. Pion Environment and Planning A, 36 (10), pp. 1813-1833.
  • Baláž V, Williams AM. (2004) ''Been there, done that': International student migration and human capital transfers from the UK to Slovakia'. Population, Space and Place, 10 (3), pp. 217-237.


    International student migration remains an under-researched field in migration studies, and this is especially true of return migration. This paper analyses students from Slovakia who have studied in the UK, both on degree courses and language/vocational courses, and have subsequently returned to their country of origin. It analyses their motivations, their acquisition of human capital in the UK, and the extent to which they have been able to realise individual welfare gains after returning to Slovakia. Their evaluations of their experiences are highly positive, with substantial numbers also reporting improvements in their jobs and incomes, even following relatively short stays abroad. The study emphasises the importance of the specific competences acquired by the students, rather than broad skill categories, or qualifications. It highlights the value attached to language competence, in particular, but also to learning, attitudinal and interpersonal competences, as well as networking. The paper concludes that there is a need to pay more attention to individual social biographies when understanding the relationship between migration and learning. At the same time, it also stresses structural parameters to individual agency, including the specific economic conditions in a transition economy, and the market value of competence in English as a world language. © 2004 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.

  • Williams AM, Lazaridis G. (2002) 'European Migration: Flows, Structures and Regulation'. John Wiley and Sons International Journal of Population Geography, 8 (2), pp. 83-87.
  • Lazaridis G, Williams AM. (2002) 'Editorial introduction: European migration: Flows, structures and regulation'. International Journal of Population Geography, 8 (2), pp. 83-87.
  • Williams AM, Balaz V. (2002) 'The Czech and Slovak Republics: Conceptual Issues in the Economic Analysis of Tourism in Transition'. Elsevier Science Tourism Management, 23 (1), pp. 37-45.
  • Williams AM, Balaz V. (2002) 'International Petty Trading: Changing Practices in Trans-Carpathian Ukraine'. John Wiley and Sons International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 26 (2), pp. 323-344.
  • Williams AM, Balaz V. (2002) 'Trans-border Population Mobility at a European Crossroads: Slovakia in the Shadow of EU Accession'. Taylor and Francis Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 28 (4), pp. 647-664.
  • Williams AM, Balaz V. (2002) 'La Movilidad Internacional en Europa Central: Turistas, Comerciantes y Migrantes'. Cnrs Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationales, 18 (1), pp. 37-66.
  • Williams AM, Balaz V, Kollar D. (2001) 'Coming and Going in Slovakia: Labour Migration in the Central European 'Buffer Zone''. Pion Environment and Planning A, 33, pp. 1101-1123.
  • Williams AM, Balaz V. (2001) 'Patterns of Internal Migration, Regional Polarisation and Market Reforms in Central Europe'. Ekonomický časopis, 49 (4), pp. 663-700.
  • Williams AM, Balaz V, Bodnarova B. (2001) 'Border Regions and Trans-border Mobility: Slovakia in Economic Transition'. Taylor and Francis Regional Studies, 35 (9), pp. 831-846.
  • Baláž V, Williams AM. (2001) 'Patterns of internal migration, regional polarisation and market reforms in Central Europe'. Ekonomicky casopis, 49 (4), pp. 663-700.
  • Williams AM, Baláž V, Kollár D. (2001) 'Coming and going in Slovakia: International labour mobility in the Central European 'buffer zone''. Environment and Planning A, 33 (6), pp. 1101-1123.
  • Williams AM, Balaz V. (2001) 'From Collective Provision t Commodification of Tourism?'. Elsevier Science Annals of Tourism Research, 28 (1), pp. 27-49.
  • Agarwall S, Ball R, Shaw G, Williams AM. (2000) 'The Geography of Tourism Production: Uneven Development and Neglect'. Taylor and Francis Tourism Geographies, 2 (3), pp. 241-263.
  • Warnes A, King R, Williams AM, Patterson G. (2000) 'The Well-being of British Expatriates Resident in Southern Europe'. Cambridge University Press Ageing and Society, 19 (6), pp. 717-740.
  • Williams AM, Hall M. (2000) 'Tourism and Migration: New Relationships Between Production and Consumption'. Taylor and Francis Tourism Geographies, 2 (1), pp. 5-27.
  • Williams AM, Balaz V. (2000) 'Privatisation and the Development of Tourism in the Czech Republic and Slovakia; Property Rights, Firm Performance and Recombinant Property'. Pion Environment and Planning A, 32, pp. 715-734.
  • Williams AM, Shaw G. (2000) 'Guest Editorial: Tourism Geography in a Changing World'. Taylor and Francis Tourism Geographies, 2 (3), pp. 239-240.
  • Williams AM, King R, Warnes A, Patterson G. (2000) 'Tourism and International Retirement Migration: New Forms of an Old Relationship in Southern Europe'. Taylor and Francis Tourism Geographies, 2 (1), pp. 28-49.
  • Williams AM, Balaz V. (1999) 'Privatisation in Central Europe: Different Methods, Legacies and Implications'. Environment and Planning: Government and Policy, 17 (6), pp. 731-752.
  • Williams AM, Montanari A. (1999) 'Limits to Self-Regulation'. Taylor & Francis Tourism Geographies, 1, pp. 26-40.
  • Williams AM, Patterson G. (1998) ''An empire lost but a province gained': a cohort analysis of British international retirement in the Algarve'. International Journal of Population Geography, 4 (2), pp. 135-155.


    The growth of international retirement in the Algarve has coincided with a number of changes in the international framework for population mobility as well as in the nature of the Algarve as a destination area. Tourism development, which is intimately linked to subsequent retirement migration, is particularly important in this. This paper considers the nature of the link between cycles of migration and of development in recipient areas, in the context of the remarkable and relatively late development of the Algarve as an area of tourism and retirement. The principal data sources for this study are 219 questionnaires completed by retired British nationals living in the Algarve, and a number of key informants. Cohort analysis of the questionnaires (in terms of arrival dates) provides the basis for an examination of changes over time in the socio-demographic profiles of the migrants, their motivations, their residential patterns and their integration. The results serve to underline the importance of an evolutionary perspective, and the need to disaggregate data on the international retirement populations living in the Algarve and other southern European countries.

  • King R, Warnes A, Williams AM. (1998) 'International Retirement Migration in Europe'. Wiley-Blackwell International Journal of Population Geography, 4, pp. 91-111.
  • Williams AM, Balaz V, Zujac S. (1998) 'The Eu and Central Europe: the Reinternationalisation of Economic Relationships'. Wiley-Blackwell Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 89 (2), pp. 131-149.
  • Williams AM, King R, Warnes A. (1997) 'A Place in the Sun: International Retirement Migration from the UK to Southern Europe'. Sage European Urban and Regional Studies, 4 (2), pp. 115-134.


    International retirement migration (IRM) is a significant feature of the changing map of Europe. It has important implications in terms of the redistribution of both health care and social costs, and incomes and wealth. This article considers four aspects of IRM. The first considers the limited literature on this under-researched topic and identifies the distinctiveness of both its international and European features. The second reviews the existing statistical data for north-south IRM in Europe, particularly from the UK to Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain; it establishes both the scale and the geography of these migrations. In the third section we investigate some of the major influences on both the volume and the spatial pattern of IRM. Finally, in the fourth section, a brief review is presented of the economic, social and cultural implications of IRM for both the emigrants and their host communities.

  • Thornton P, Williams AM, Shaw G. (1997) 'Revisiting Time Space Diaries: An Exploratory Case Study of Tourist Behaviour in Cornwall, England'. Environment and Planning A, 29, pp. 1847-1867.
  • Thornton P, Shaw G, Williams AM. (1997) 'Tourist Group Decision Making and Behaviour: the Influence of Children'. Elsevier Tourism Management, 18 (5), pp. 287-297.
  • Greenwood J, Williams AM, Shaw G. (1990) 'Policy implementation and tourism in the UK. Implications from recent tourism research in Cornwall'. Tourism Management, 11 (1), pp. 53-62.
  • Williams AM, Shaw G, Greenwood J. (1989) 'From tourist to tourism entrepreneur, from consumption to production: evidence from Cornwall, England'. Environment & Planning A, 21 (12), pp. 1639-1653.

Conference papers

  • Salis S, Williams AM. (2008) 'Knowledge sharing through face-to-face communication and labour productivity: Evidence from British workplaces'. Proceedings of the European Conference on Knowledge Management, ECKM, The 9th European Conference on Knowledge Management, pp. 753-762.


  • Williams AM, Baláž V. (2008) International migration and knowledge. London : Routledge
  • Hall CM, Williams AM. (2008) Tourism and innovation. Routledge

Book chapters

  • Williams AM. (2012) 'Tourism, migration and human capital: knowledge and skills at the intersection of flows'. in Gartner WC, Hsu C (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Tourism Research Routledge , pp. 251-264.


    This paper starts from two propositions relating to tourism-migration relationships, and knowledge transfer. First, there has been considerable interest in recent years in ideas relating to ‘tourist-migrant’ workers, that is, in the complex inter-relationships between economic and cultural/tourism motivations, particularly amongst young people. However, this represents only one of the many economic relationships between tourism and migration, two phenomena that often have been studied in isolation (Williams and Hall, 2002). There is a need for a better understanding of how these are entwined in an economy of flows (Hudson 2004), shaping economic outcomes in the tourism sector. Secondly, there has also been a neglect of the role of labour mobility in knowledge transfer, innovation, and competitiveness – and this is particularly notable in an industry such as tourism, where demand and, in part, production, are essentially based on mobility. International tourists seek out experiences and services beyond their usual countries of residence, and the resulting demand for knowledge in the labour force that provides these creates a potentially significant role of migrant workers. This paper brings these themes together, in order to explore the role of migration in the creation and transfer of knowledge and skills in tourism.

  • Williams AM, Baláž V. (2010) 'The EU: Between the global and the national, and between neo-liberalism and interventionism'. in Butler R, Suntikul W (eds.) Tourism and Political Change Goodfellow Pub Ltd , pp. 33-44.
  • Shaw G, Williams AM. (2010) 'Tourism SMEs: Changing research agendas and missed opportunities'. in Pearce D, Butler R (eds.) Tourism Research: a 20-20 Vision Oxford : Goodfellow Pub Ltd , pp. 80-93.
  • Williams AM. (2010) 'An accidental career in tourism: people, places and unexpected turning points'. in Smith SLJ (ed.) The Discovery of Tourism Emerald Group Publishing , pp. 93-106.
  • Williams AM. (2009) 'Employability and International Migration: Theoretical Perspectives'. in McKay S (ed.) Refugees, recent migrants and employment. Challenging Barriers and Exploring Pathways New York : Routledge Taylor & Francis , pp. 23-34.


    This collection examines the problems faced by refugees and recent migrants in accessing employment as well as the policy frameworks that address the labour ...

  • Williams AM. (2008) 'International retirement migration, a northern European perspective'. in Balkir C (ed.) Economic and Social Effects of International Retirement Migration: The Case of Antalya , pp. 66-92.


  • Williams AM. (2007) Rural Tourism and Innovation. in (ed.) Rural Innovation Article number Exploration 01 , pp. 31-42.

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