The relationship with knowledge, skills of entrepreneurs and companies' internal factors: Findings from collective enterprises in Colombia

Ana Milena Silva Valencia


This research refers to the identification and analysis of the factors that explain the success in the creation of solidarity organizations in a context of crisis in Colombia. As a research topic, the evolution that entrepreneurship has had as a scientific field and in the generation of knowledge should be highlighted. However, this theme is in the gestation stage or beginning in countries like Colombia, where its emergence is basically confined to the last ten years. Organizations have been limited by their inventory of resources and capabilities. Therefore, entrepreneurship has proven to be a strategy in which despite the adversities in the environment, whether due to economic, political or social crisis, entrepreneurship requires personal qualities that make it possible to gain access to valuable, differential and complementary resources and/ or capabilities. This research analyzes entrepreneurship from the theory of Resources and Capabilities defining resources as “the assets, organizational processes, attributes, information and knowledge controlled by a company that allow it to achieve and implement strategies that improve its effectiveness and efficiency” (Barney, 1991).

Taking as reference one of the seminars of the venture, Schumpeter (1934), who disseminated the concept of creative destruction suggested that organizations must, on the one hand, have sufficient stability to allow them to manage their learning leading to continuous growth and, on the other hand, need to have sufficient flexibility to face their environment, which is constantly changing and highly competitive.

This research identifies the success factors in the formation of solidarity or non-profit economy organizations in Colombia since 2009. It analyses their influence on social, environmental and economic effectiveness, factors that are latent in organizations and factors that are included in the international agenda on social responsibility that

The relationship with knowledge 193 organizations must legitimize regardless of their legal nature. In this sense, Elkington’s1 model known as triple income statement links these three dimensions: social, environmental and economic and the interaction that results from them.

In the Colombian context, there has been an increase in unemployment rates since 2009, these being in percentages close to 10% in recent years. In 2015, the unemployment rate was 8.2%.2 It is here that entrepreneurship takes shape and presents alternative solutions in difficult situations, and so entrepreneurship is an adequate way to generate sources of work and income through conformation of organizations where the human being prevails as the subject and purpose of the economy. This research aims to explain how entrepreneurial skills and knowledge (KSE) and internal company factors (CIF) have an influence or are related to economic, social and environmental factors. Several authors from the approach of the theory of resources and capabilities state that “a company is a collection of resources, a knowledge tank to the extent that resources have individual competencies and are capable of providing diverse services. The way to use and dispose of this collection of resources, between different uses and in the course of time, is determined by administrative decisions” (Penrose's, 1959, cited in Ibarra, 2004).

The theory of resources and capabilities takes into account the strengths of the organization represented in resources and capabilities that allow it to have a competitive advantage and products and services that are difficult to imitate. The resources and capacities of companies can be translated as that endowment or inventory of resources that is the result of its own history and that this composition can be maintained over time (Peteraf, 1993).

The empirical verification was carried out in a sample of cooperatives in Colombia, using a research methodology with a quantitative approach, in which the Multiple Regression Analysis was used and as a previous analysis to select the variables the MCA (Main Components Analysis). This work’s purpose is to answer the following research question: How do entrepreneurial skills and abilities (ESA) and internal company factors (ICF) influence or relate to economic, social and environmental factors? In order to answer this research question, the objective was to identify the social, economic and environmental factors of solidarity economy organizations that were constituted in crisis situations in Colombia through the influence of internal factors and entrepreneurial capacities.

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