Changing times at cuban universities: Looking into the transition towards a social, entrepreneurial and innovative organization

Damaris Cruz-Amarán, Maribel Guerrero, Alma Delia Hernández-Ruiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Since the 1990s, the socialist higher education system has faced several reforms oriented to satisfy social, economic, and technological demands. However, little is known about the transformation process of the socialist university system over the past two decades. This study provides a better understanding of the entrepreneurial and innovative transition of universities located in socialist economies. By adopting mixed theoretical approaches, we proposed a conceptual model to understand the social, the innovative, and the entrepreneurial transformation of socialist universities. We revised and tested this model in the context of Cuban universities by implementing a prospective case study approach. Our findings show insights about the transition towards a business model innovation within Cuban universities. The determinants have been state regulations, the closing of the complete cycle from teaching to the commercialization of results, and the creation of hybrid structures to manage knowledge. Consequently, the university is facing managerial challenges related to its ability to explore and exploit its activities to generate social, innovative and economic outcomes. Our results provide practical implications for the university managers and actors involved in the transformation process of Cuban universities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2536
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Business model innovation
  • Cuba
  • Entrepreneurial universities
  • Higher education system
  • Innovation ecosystem
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Socialist economies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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