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BAM Conference 2010

14-16 September 2010 The University of Sheffield, Sheffield

Management Research in a Changing Climate

In recent years significant challenges have been presented to traditional notions of management and business. The financial crisis precipitated a deep and prolonged recession. As researchers in management and business we are unused to thinking about long-lasting economic downturns or how best to adapt to these conditions and help guide policymakers and business leaders to confront these economic circumstances.

These challenges are likely to continue beyond the current economic downturn. The publication of the Stern Review and the IPCC 4th Assessment in 2007 provoked debate about the potential size of the economic contraction that might result by having to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050. Even a cut of 40% by 2020, as recommended by UN scientists, means that a real change in thinking in the coming decade is called for. Whatever the outcome of the Copenhagen Summit in December 2009, limits to growth are a likely consequence.

Therefore, whatever your field, from strategy to HR, Operations to OB, your research is vital in helping to advance thinking to meet these challenges, and no matter what economic and environmental challenges are presented by these scenarios, there are real opportunities for your research to inform the transition process to a sustainable world.

It is incumbent on the academic community in management and business to show leadership in our research agendas; to change, to grow, and to evolve - to be difference makers; and to feed this through to our students, at all levels, to prepare them adequately for the challenge of finding responsible pathways to solving these problems. Current global initiatives call for new approaches in research and teaching and many schools are embracing the UN Principles of Responsible Management Education to give impetus to this process. Will such initiatives provide graduates with the ability to enter relevant sustainability discourse as a step towards solving some of today’s major problems? And, how can our research inform responsible management education?

It is appropriate that the city of Sheffield should be the forum for such debate. From ‘steel city’ to ‘green city’, Sheffield knows a great deal about economies in transition, and what is needed to move away from traditional industries as global economic conditions change.
Regeneration and transformation are at the forefront of Sheffield’s approach and we hope you will find both the city and the University a fitting forum in which to debate these issues.

 

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