Global developments over the past decade have made the world of business and organisations increasingly uncertain and challenging, yet still offer opportunities for those able to innovate and tap evolving niche areas. Core contributory factors responsible for this include the last financial crisis, developments in the Arab world leading to mass migration, Brexit, and the rapidly changing policies of the USA since the election of President Trump. These are compounded by both human-created developments, such as artificial intelligence and social inequality and unrest, and nature-created disasters such as catastrophic floods, storms and forest fires. All this has not only created a major challenge to successful provision of basic amenities to a rapidly growing global population, but also for organisations and institutions to develop new skills needed to work with technological advancements. As a result, there is a pressing need to push for the sustainability agenda on all fronts, and to support entrepreneurship and growth and development of SMEs.
Such turbulent business conditions demand that organizations innovate to improve products, services and processes rather than simply pursue cost reduction. They also demand improved levels of corporate governance, employee engagement, well-being and enlightened staff management practices. Meeting such challenges effectively is all the more important in these times.
Creating and sustaining high performance is the aim of all leaders and managers who are ambitious for their organisations. However, we have seen widespread damage inflicted on economies and individual lives in both organisations and nations by unbridled ambition and poor governance in senior leaders. There is an urgent need for the recognition of leadership that supports core human values of justice, humanity, empathy and care for the environments we are privileged to inhabit. How can high performance be achieved in the context of such values being at the heart of business practice?
Aston Business School has an established track record of helping organisations, businesses, and entrepreneurs to both build and sustain high performance as shown by the contributions of its leading scholars in research centres including enterprise, servitization and retail, and via the training provided to numerous and diverse clients. The 2019 conference theme also builds upon the significant regeneration taking place in the city of Birmingham to realize its full economic potential.
BAM2019 will create a platform for researchers seeking solutions in uncertain times and will offer a rich source of knowledge and an opportunity to find alternatives to the status quo in our understanding of management, performance, organisations and the nature of the challenges we face.