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IRENE I SEE research network

Social enterprises under the microscope

Research focus on social enterprises

IRENE I SEE explores issues around social economic empowerment based on concrete examples in the areas of economics and political science, sociology, and urban studies. Within the network, the research of six doctoral students at different universities is supported and supervised.

A strong focus is given to developing entrepreneurial solutions to social problems. Learn more below about the universities and the research projects of the doctoral students.

Find out more

Since 1972, the Universidad de los Andes School of Management (UASM) has been committed to educating leaders capable of creating, analyzing, transforming, and developing private, public, and social organizations at a national and international level. With a broad portfolio of programs, UASM has positioned itself as a leading educational institution in Latin America. It has received accreditation from three of the world’s leading business school accreditation bodies: AACSB, EQUIS, and AMBA - commonly known as the “Triple Crown”.

With more than 60 full-time faculties, research and publications in the area of innovative management, and the Centre for Strategy and Competitiveness, UASM has gained an important position in the regional business community and continues to strengthen its ties with leading national and international businesses. On top of that, the school has a clear international focus, which is evident in its numerous initiatives, ranging from exchange and dual degree programs and international programs to visiting faculty and joint projects with international partners.

Research project “Management in cross-sector alliances, a learning approach: empirical evidence from a developing country”

Prof. Dr. Gutierrez & J. H. Díaz Ramírez
Prof. Dr. Gutierrez & J. H. Díaz Ramírez

Julia Helena Díaz Ramírez’ research seeks to understand the relationship between the process of building inter-sector social alliances and the development and scaling of social innovations. A variety of approaches examine the factors that support the transformative potential of social ventures. One of these approaches deals with scaling and strategies aimed at attracting complementary resources and capabilities, including the development of alliances. Another looks at the emergence of social enterprises when opportunities for creating and distributing social value are pursued and the social mission is explicit and central. 

Furthermore, the social enterprise’s environment often consists of a confluence of actors from diverse sectors. Blurred boundaries between sectors enable the formation of alliances between organizations without requiring changes in their institutional identity. Alliances as mechanisms that enable new scopes of interaction have been well studied in the for-profit sector. However, this behavior has not been extensively studied in the context of the social sector. Ramírez’ research intends to understand the relationship between the process of building inter-sector social alliances and the development and scaling of social innovations involved in these alliances. The study method is to compare multiple case studies between organizational alliances.

Doctoral candidate Julia Helena Díaz Ramírez

Julia Helena Díaz Ramírez received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in industrial engineering in Colombia. She has been a Ph.D. student in economic science at Universidad de los Andes since 2010. Her areas of research are education and learning communities. She taught organizations and systems thinking, and worked in the public sector in education and e-government. She has also volunteered in a school and an environmental foundation near Bogotá.

Julia Helena Díaz Ramírez received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a master’s degree in industrial engineering in Colombia. She has been a Ph.D. student in economic science at Universidad de los Andes since 2010. Her areas of research are education and learning communities. She taught organizations and systems thinking, and worked in the public sector in education and e-government. She has also volunteered in a school and an environmental foundation near Bogotá.

Doctoral supervisor Prof. Dr. Roberto Gutiérrez Poveda

Roberto Gutiérrez has a Ph.D. in sociology from The Johns Hopkins University and has been an associate professor in the School of Management at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá in Colombia since 1995. Between 2003 and 2008, he chaired the Social Enterprise Knowledge Network (SEKN), an alliance of 10 universities throughout Ibero America. He teaches business strategy and has published academic articles on social entrepreneurship, partnerships, education, and sustainable development in highly respected journals.

Roberto Gutiérrez has a Ph.D. in sociology from The Johns Hopkins University and has been an associate professor in the School of Management at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá in Colombia since 1995. Between 2003 and 2008, he chaired the Social Enterprise Knowledge Network (SEKN), an alliance of 10 universities throughout Ibero America. He teaches business strategy and has published academic articles on social entrepreneurship, partnerships, education, and sustainable development in highly respected journals.