In a context characterised by unceasing trends of globalisation, acceleration of technological change, struggling financial markets, social transformations and increasing prominence of knowledge and innovation, firms are compelled to achieve and sustain very high levels of competitiveness.

However, the recent financial crisis and scandals have put into question the sustainability of economic systems and business models. The increasing attention of society and institutions both to business and professional ethics and to the sustainability of the economic system constitutes an important reason for the consideration of limits to the radical search for competitiveness and profits in the short and medium term.


This paradox entails important challenges to scholars, practitioners, politicians and regulators. Facing effectively such an intricate context calls for strategic leaders capable of balancing the answer to competitive and market pressures with a global and long term perspective that goes beyond the survival and profits for their own organisations. As scholars we cannot ignore our key role for the identification of the required competencies for future strategic leaders and the development of the appropriate attitudes and abilities among our students. Our research must focus on questions with real implications in the life and wealth of our societies. In the same line, through rigorous and impactful research, we must stimulate practitioners adopting a sustainable perspective of competitiveness.


New winds talk of strategic leadership, of managers, businessmen, investors, directors, consultants, union members and entrepreneurs who assume their responsibilities in creating and maintaining a sustainable and competitive socio-economic system. The recent history is full of examples of good and bad practices of strategic leadership. The challenge is now to multiply the best practices through social and institutional recognition while lessening the bad ones. Politicians, regulators or other gove

rnmental actors are called to warrant the existence of the appropriate conditions for such strategic leadership to emerge and to provide the proper recognition to it.

The pleasant waves and winds of the Mediterranean Sea brought to Valencia a wide range of cultures and influences, which shaped this city into an open minded place and a fascinating location to live and visit. We will be honoured to welcome you in this excellent setting for a lively and fruitful discussion. EURAM 2014 is aimed to be a forum for dialogue about how management research and education, by itself and in combination with other disciplines, can contribute to the enhancement of new waves and winds of strategic leadership that will stimulate a balanced and sustainable view of competitiveness in our societies.

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