Economies, cities and organizations rise and fall. The successful enjoy processes of renewal and renaissance. The EURAM 2009 annual conference, with its focus on how such processes occur, will take place in Liverpool, a city enjoying its own renewal and renaissance. Renaissance has a double meaning for this great world city. The renewal of vast areas of waterfront is helping to create a vibrant and impressive city once again. The merchants who created the original waterfront in the nineteenth century saw themselves as Renaissance merchant princes, following in the traditions of Florence and Athens. Their legacy can be seen in the magnificence of the city's architecture, from some of the finest neo-classical buildings in Europe to the world renowned 'Three Graces' on the waterfront. They also left behind a claim to distinctiveness and world status which still shapes Liverpool's diversity, energy and excitement. From celebrating Liverpool's 800th birthday in 2007 to being the European Capital of Culture in 2008 the City is a fascinating scene formaritime,music, football, night-life and cuisine.
By inviting you to join us in Liverpool for EURAM 2009 we want to debate how ideas about renewal and renaissance are grounded in local contexts; how they stimulate and are stimulated by management; and how we learn to translate them to new environments. Above all, the Renaissance was characterized by a desire to elevate the presence and potential of human beings. In management research too, there is an emerging concern with the recovery of people and people-focused procedures in organizations. The firm is defined and valued more by its intellectual and human capital than its material assets. Markets in goods and services are increasingly customeroriented and experientially sensitive. Innovation and ambition associated with the experience of entrepreneurship is being encouraged. Administrators and policy makers are increasingly versed in a language of user judgement and choice.
Yet with this 'humanistic' renewal comes critique. Are firms exploiting human potential in the service of one set of commercial needs? Is freedom of choice empty if there is little on offer to choose from? The human body, virtual reality and even the future have become the scene of trading and hence managed activity. Are there limits to such a pervasive spread of managers and the managed, and should there be? Liverpool is located right in the centre of the commercial and cultural hub that is England's North West, getting to Liverpool is simple and quick, especially since it is so well served by air, rail, coach, sea and road. The Conference venue is easily accessible and all accommodation will be in the immediate vicinity. EURAM looks forward to welcoming you to Liverpool in 2009.