Dr Charles Thornton

Dr Charles Thornton

Lecturer in Service Operations Management and Business Strategy (Education)

Plymouth Business School (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)




BA Durham University -1984
MBA Kingston University - 1997 
PhD Lougborough - 2013. 
Thesis Title "An Examination of the Impact of Resources and the External Environment Amongst Providers of U.K Banking Services". 
SFHEA - 2017
Banking Diploma - 1988
After a career in banking I started lecturing at City of London Polytechnic which became London Guildhall University and following a merger London Metropolitan University.
I joined the University of Plymouth in June 2007

Professional membership

Member of the British Academy of Management
British Academy of Management Treasurer 2023 - 
Strategy SIG Committee Member 2013-22, Treasurer, Strategy Track Co Chair 2020-22 and Panel Member for Agile Responses to Crisis: The role of Performance Management and Strategic Practices” BAM Conference Joint track event September 2020. 

Roles on external bodies

Plymouth Social Enterprise Network Board Member 2020-Governor Ivybridge Community College 2013-22
Member of Audit and Risk Committee, Westcountry Schools Trust 2013-22



Teaching interests

Sevice Operations Management
Operations Management


Research interests

The resource based view of the firm applied to product diversification
The role of operations and service management in RBV
Busines process re-engineering

Research degrees awarded to supervised students

The Holistic Exploration of the Multifaceted Relationship Between Healthcare Professionals’ Job Satisfaction and Quality of Care - Moya Lerigo-Sampson 2019
Application of Business Process Management for Corporate Sustainability - Felicitas Johanna Breitenbach 2020
PhD Internal Examiner 
Financial Literacy and Stock Market Participation in Sweden -1 Dmitri Katkov 2021


Key publications

Conference Papers
Thornton.CD (2018), "Threshold Concepts – TheirIdentification and Use in Operations", Logistics Research Network,University of Plymouth 5th-7th September 2018.

Thornton, CD and McMahon, P, (2017). “Threshold Concepts - Their Identification and Use In Interdisciplinary Practice", VC’s Teaching and Learning Conference, Plymouth University, June 30th 2017.

Thornton, C D and Lim, W M, (2014), "Understanding Resources in the Service Industry Using Service Quality Models", British Academy of Management Conference, Belfast

Thornton, C D; and Howcroft, JB (2014) "The Use of Cognitive Maps to Identify Resources Bundles in Product Diversification", British Academy of Management Conference, Belfast

Thornton, CD, Hudson Smith, M and Howcroft, JB (2012), "An Operations Management Framework for Resource Identification", British Academy of Management Conference, Cardiff.

Decker, SA and Thornton, CD (2002), "Diversification and Core Competencies in Financial Services: A Case Study of UK Commercial and Investment Banking’", British Academy of Management Conference, London.

Thornton, CD (1997) “Business Process Re-engineering in UK Retail Banking: Research Proposals”, Paper presented at the Financial Services Marketing Forum Conference, Edinburgh.

Thornton CD, Hudson Smith M & Howcroft JB (2012) 'An Operations Management Framework for Resource Identification' BAM Cardiff 9-/-0/20129-/-0/2012
Other Publications
Plymouth University Service and Enterprise Research Centre Working Paper

Thornton, CD (2014), The Impact Of External Factors on Industry Structure With Particular Reference to Product Diversification - A Case Study of UK Banking, Volume 1, No 1.



Other academic activities

Programme Lead BA (Hons) International Management, BA (Hons) International Business Management, BA (Hons), Business Top-up and BA (Hons) International Trade and Operations Management

Additional information

PhD Internal Examiner
Dmitrij Katkov Financial Literacy and Stock Market Participation 

DBA Internal Examiner 
Nawal Wafa Tarazi What Factors Influence Individuals’ Level of Engagement in a Banking Relationship in Jordan?