Professor Karel Williams

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Profile photo of: Professor Karel Williams Email: Show Email Address
Position: Professor of Accounting and Political Economy
Academic unit: People, Management and Organisations


Further details will be available shortly.

Research Interests

Karel Williams is director of the ESRC funded Centre for Research on Socio Cultural Change (CRESC) where he leads research by an MBS team into financialization and financial innovation. Their major outputs so far include a book on the narrative and performative turn in giant firm strategy and a broad ranging financialization reader. With the sociologist Mike Savage, he is working to revive elite studies initially through an edited book which will be published as a Sociological Review Monograph. He supervises PhD students in these areas of interest and currently teaches an MBA elective in Strategic Finance.

Programme involvement

Specialist fields




Publication summary




Working papers

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Showing 56 publication(s)

Authored book

  • Andrew Bowman, Ismail Erturk, Peter Folkman, Julie Froud, Colin Haslam, Sukhdev Johal, Adam Leaver, Michael Moran, Nick Tsitsianis, Karel Williams. What a waste. Manchester Capitalism. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2015. eScholarID:286669
  • Andrew Bowman, Ismail Erturk, Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, John Law, Adam Leaver, Michael Moran, Karel Williams. The End of the Experiment. Manchester Capitalism. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2014. eScholarID:255477
  • Ewald Engelen, Ismail Erturk, Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, Adam Leaver, Michael Moran, Adriana Nilsson and Karel Williams. After the Great Complacence: Financial Crisis and the Politics of Reform. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. eScholarID:147829
  • Erturk, I., Froud, J., Leaver, A., Williams, K. Financialization at Work. London: Routledge, 2008. eScholarID:4b2409
  • Froud, J., Johal, S., Leaver, A. and Williams, K. Financialization and Strategy: narrative and numbers. London: Routledge, 2006. eScholarID:4b2327

Edited book

  • Williams, K., Savage, M. Remembering Elites. Oxford: Blackwell/ Sociological Review, 2008. eScholarID:4b1298

Book contribution

  • Andrew Bowman, Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, Michael Moran, Karel Williams. "Business elites and undemocracy in Britain: a work in progress." In Elites on Trial, ed. Glenn Morgan, Paul Hirsch, Sigrid Quack, 305-336.Emerald, 2015. eScholarID:286673 | DOI:
  • Andrew Bowman, Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, Adam Leaver, Karel Williams. "Reframing industrial policy." In New Perspectives on Industrial Policy for a Modern Britain, ed. David Bailey Keith Cowling, Philip R Tomlinson, 60-78. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. eScholarID:286670
  • Froud, J., Haslam C, Johal S, Williams, K. "Shareholder Value and Financialization: Consultancy Promises, Management Moves." In Corporate Governance Volume 2 Anglo American Corporate Governance, ed. Clarke, T, -.Routledge, 2005. eScholarID:3b5170
  • Froud, J., Shaoul, J., Williams, K. "Sinking Ships? Liberal theorists on the American economy." In Models of Capitalism - Debating Strengths and Weaknesses, ed. David Coates, Edward Elgar, 2002. eScholarID:3b4421

Journal article

  • Ewald Engelen, Karel Williams. "Just the facts: on the success of Piketty's Capital." Environment and Planning A 46, no. 8(2014) : 1771-1777. eScholarID:286672 | DOI:10.1068/a474c
  • Sukhdev Johal, Michael Moran, Karel Williams. "Power, politics and the City of London after the Great Financial Crisis." Government and Opposition 49, no. 3(2014) : 400-425. eScholarID:286671 | DOI:
  • Ismail Erturk, Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, Adam Leaver and Karel Williams. "Accounting for national success and failure: Rethinking the UK case." Accounting Forum 36, no. 1(2012) . eScholarID:147839 | DOI:10.1016/j.accfor.2012.01.004
  • Dick Bryan, Randy Martin, Johnna Montgomerie and Karel Williams. "An important failure: knowledge limits and the financial crisis." Economy and Society 41, no. 3(2012) . eScholarID:147832 | DOI:10.1080/03085147.2012.661632
  • Ewald Engelen, Ismail Erturk, Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, Adam Leaver, Michael Moran and Karel Williams. "Misrule of experts? The financial crisis as elite debacle." Economy and Society(2012) . eScholarID:147830 | DOI:10.1080/03085147.2012.661634
  • Julie Froud, Michael Moran, Adriana Nilson, Karel Williams. "Stories and interests in finance: agendas of governance before and after financial crisis." Governance 25, no. 1(2012) . eScholarID:147827 | DOI:10.1111/j.1468-0491.2011.01561.x
  • Ismail Erturk, Julie Froud, Adam Leaver and Karel Williams. "Changing the metaphor: finance as circuit." Socio-Economic Review 9, no. 2(2011) . eScholarID:147836
  • Ismail Erturk, Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, Adam Leaver and Karel Williams. "Haldane’s Gambit: political arithmetic and/or a new metaphor." Journal of Cultural Economy 4, no. 4(2011) : 387-404. eScholarID:147833 | DOI:10.1080/17530350.2011.609696
  • Erturk, Ismail, Froud, Julie, Johal, Sukhdev, Leaver, Adam, Shammai, David, and Williams, Karel. "Corporate Governance and Impossibilism." Journal of Cultural Economy 1, no. 2(2008) : 109-128. eScholarID:1g267 | DOI:10.1080/17530350802243503
  • Erturk, I., Froud, J., Leaver, A., Williams, K. "Against Agency: a positional critique." Economy and Society 36, 1(2007) . eScholarID:1b10126 | DOI:10.1080/03085140601089903
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. "Private equity and the culture of value extraction." New Political economy 12(3)(2007) . eScholarID:1b10285 | DOI:10.1080/13563460701485656
  • Williams, K., Froud, J., Johal, S, Folkman, P. "Working for themselves: capital market intermediaries and present day capitalism." Business History(2007) . eScholarID:1b10135
  • Erturk, I., Froud, J., Johal S, Leaver, A., Williams, K. "Corporate Governance for Shareholder Value or Management Enrichment? (translated into French La gouvernance d'enterprise au service de la valeuractionnariale ou de l'enrichissement des dirigeants?)." A Contrario 2, 2(2005) . eScholarID:1b9143
  • Froud, J., Leaver, A., Williams, K., Johal, S. "Different Worlds of Motoring: choice, constraint and risk in household consumption." Sociological Review 53, no. 1(2005) : 96-128. eScholarID:1b9146 | DOI:10.1111/j.1467-954X.2005.00505.x
  • Froud, J., Williams, K., Erturk, I., Johal S, Leaver, A. "The Democratisation of Finance: promises, outcomes and conditions (translated into German Finanz-Demokratisierung und finanzielle Allgemeinbildung)." Kurswechsel 3(2005) . eScholarID:1b9487
  • Froud, J., Williams, K., Johal, S, Papazien, V. "The Temptation of Houston: a case study for financialisation." Critical Perspectives on Accounting 15(6-7)(2004) : 885-909. eScholarID:1b9145 | DOI:10.1016/
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. "Enron: A Case Study in Financialisation." Critical Perspectives on Accounting(2003) . eScholarID:1b8072
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. "Cars After Financialisation: a case study in financial under-performance, constraints and consequences." Competition and Change 7(1)(2002) . eScholarID:1b8048
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. "Heaven and Hell: the micro experience and macro dynamics of inequality." Journal of Industrial Relations 44, 1(2002) : 62-87. eScholarID:1b8049 | DOI:10.1111/1472-9296.00037
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. "A New Business Model? The capital market and the new economy." Economy and Society 30(4)(2001) : 467-503. eScholarID:1b8024 | DOI:10.1080/03085140120089063
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. "Accumulation Under Conditions of Inequality." Review of International Political Economy 8(1)(2001) : 66-95. eScholarID:1b7825 | DOI:10.1080/09692290010010326
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. "Finanzialisierung und ihre Folgen." Kurswechsel 2(2001) : 8-17. eScholarID:1b9771
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. "Kurswechsel."(2001) : 8-17. eScholarID:1b8046
  • Froud, J., Williams, K., Haslam C, Leaver, A., Johal S. "Not Enough Money: The resources and choices of the motoring poor." Competition and Change 6, 1(2001) : 95-111. eScholarID:1b8050 | DOI:10.1080/10245290212676
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. "Representing the Household: In and After Income Accounting." Auditing and Accountability Journal 13, 4(2000) : 535-560. eScholarID:1b7961
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. "Restructuring for Shareholder Value and its Implications for Labour." Cambridge Journal of Economics 24, 6(2000) : 771-798. eScholarID:1b7960
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. "Shareholder Value and Financialisation Consultancy Promises, Management Moves." Economy and Society 29, 1(2000) : 80-110. eScholarID:1b7957
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. "The Third Way and the Jammed Economy." Capital and Class Vol. 67(1999) : 155-166. eScholarID:1b7859
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. "Breaking the Chains? A Sector Matrix for Motoring." Competition and Change Vol 30(1998) : 293-334. eScholarID:1b7860
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. "British Pharmaceuticals: A Cautionary Tale." Economy and Society Vol. 27, No. 4(1998) : 554-584. eScholarID:1b7861
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. "Caterpillar: two stories and an argument." Accounting Organisations and Society 23, 7(1998) : 685-708. eScholarID:1b7778
  • Froud, J., Shaoul, J., Williams, K. "Persuasion Without Numbers? Public Policy: The Justification of Capital Charging in the NHS Trust Hospital." Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal 11, No 1(1998) : 99-125. eScholarID:1b7777
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. "From Social Settlement to Household Lottery." Economy and Society Vol 26, No 3(1997) : 340-372. eScholarID:1b7936
  • Williams, K. "A Fallen Idol? Japanese Management in the 90s." Asia-Pacific Business Review 2, 4(1996) : 21-43. eScholarID:1b7849
  • Froud, J., Shaoul, J., Williams, K. "Sinking Ships? Liberal Theorists on the American Economy." Asia-Pacific Business Review 3, 1(1996) : 54-72. eScholarID:1b7844
  • Froud, J., Shaoul, J., Williams, K. "Stakeholder Economy? From Utility Privatisation to New Labour." Capital and Class 60, autumn(1996) : 119-134. eScholarID:1b7843
  • Williams, K. "The Limits of Management Action." The Professional Managerial Class(1996) : 127-52. eScholarID:1b7813

Conference contribution

  • Froud, J., Haslam C, Johal S, Leaver, A., Williams, K. 2001. The Motoring Poor in London. In COCKEAS Workshop. eScholarID:2b2669
  • Leaver, A., Froud, J., Johal S, Williams, K. 2001. The Resources and the Choices of the Motoring Poor in London. In SOFI Research Institute. eScholarID:2b2667


  • Lucy Brill, Luke Cowie, Peter Folkman, Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, Adam Leaver, Michael Moran, Karel Williams. 2015. What Wales could be. Manchester: eScholarID:290647


  • Froud, J., Johal S, Leaver, A., Williams, K., Phillips, R. Stressed By Choice: A business model analysis of the BBC, (CRESC) Working Paper No.22. 2006. Open University/University of Manchester.
  • Froud, J., Williams, K., Johal S, Leaver, A. GE: the conditions of success, Centre for Research on Social-Cultural Change (CRESC) Working Paper No.5. 2005. Open University/University of Manchester.
  • Froud, J., Williams, K. A New Business Model, WZB Discussion Paper. 2001.