Transformative Topics

November's Transformative Topics considers entrepreneurship in recognition of National Entrepreneurship Day celebrations. But this week we also remember the importance of the lives that were given in World War 1 to obtain peace as part of Armistice Day or Remembrance Day on November 11th - the day that the treaty declaring World War 1 to be over occurred in 1918. In line with this, we feature an article by Andres Barrios, Cliff Shultz and Juan Carlos Montes Joya (2019) entitled, "Entrepreneurship as Boundary Object: Toward Reintegration of Colombia's Ex-Militants into Civil Society."  


You can find full information for the paper on the TCR website here.


Andres and Cliff reflects on their paper and the importance of this research topic:  

Peace is not a state achieved when parties sign an agreement, peace is a process that depends on the goodwill and deeds by numerous, interdependent parties and institutions after the agreement. To succeed, over time, this process requires diligence via constructive engagement with and among all stakeholders, throughout a marketing system adversely affected and perhaps devastated by war or other forms of violent conflict. The article (Barrios, Shultz and Montes 2019) emerged from our aim to contribute, as academics, to peace making in Colombia, a country ravaged by 52 years of civil war. We highlight the transformative potential of entrepreneurship in re-engaging people—particularly ex-combatants and victims of them—into a cooperative, inclusive and just society, that provides for and benefits as many consumer-citizen stakeholders as possible. Such efforts result not only in economic gain in the short run, but they also facilitate community building and societal well-being, in the longer run. Peace however can be fragile; to be sustained in recovering economies/countries, it requires vigilance. 
Toward a sustainable peace in Colombia, and since the publication of our article, we have developed and implemented an entrepreneurship training program that helps ex-combatants to develop their citizen competencies, which in turn facilitates peaceful integration into society in ways that contribute meaningfully to the ex-combatants and to broader society. The program to date has been implemented with a hundred ex-combatants across the country; ongoing successes portend the possibilities of project-expansion and/or replication in other countries, including for example, Venezuela, Iraq, Ukraine and potentially other places, countries and regions devastated by war and other forms of systemic, violent conflict. 


For those working in this area, we strongly encourage you to consider submitting an article to the special issue to be featured in the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing on "Marketing to End War, Create Peace, and Enhance Sustainable Well-Being". For more information see:

To find more work on entrepreneurship or conflict and peace, search the TCR's publication archives, typing a keyword or author into the search box.


Citation:  Andrés Barrios Fajardo, Clifford Shultz, and Juan Carlos Montes Joya. (2019) "Entrepreneurship as boundary object: Toward reintegration of Colombia’s ex-militants into civil society." Journal of Macromarketing 39 (4): 368-384.


Abstract:  War and other violent conflicts greatly degrade a country’s economic, social, and marketing systems. In the aftermath of conflict, national and international organizations develop different strategies, such as business development, aimed at the reconstruction of these systems. This article draws on boundary theory to frame the way in which entrepreneurship can help ex-militants to discard war-activities and to reintegrate peacefully and productively into a peace-time economy. An interpretive study examining the life-narratives of former militants of illegal groups involved in Colombia’s armed conflict – the world’s longest, lasting 52 years – regarding their business start-ups was designed and administered. Findings extend current Macromarketing and Entrepreneurship literature by showing how policies and entrepreneurial business practices in recovering marketing systems can help ex-militants to overcome discrimination, to transform their identities and to reintegrate peacefully into civil society, which in turn may portend a more inclusive and equitable marketing system and robust national economy.

Written on behalf of your TCR Digital Outreach Team

Laurel Steinfield -

Roland Gau -

Shauna Kearney -

Naz Onel -

Jane Machin -


If you have suggestions for articles or topics to feature please reach out to any member of the Digital Outreach Team 

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