Different approaches have tried to explain the multiple ways in which businesses engage in social‐purpose activities. The achievements and shortcomings of business social engagement in a country with complex socio‐political conditions like Colombia allows a rich description in two levels: a panorama of very diverse social initiatives, and an understanding of how particular companies have been able to put the market and the State to create social value. We contend that despite the tradition of business engagement in the betterment of Colombian society, collective action among businesses is yet to be achieved.
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