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Entrepreneurial Passion General Introduction

There are many moments that are filled with despair and agony, when you have to fire people and cancel things and deal with very difficult situations . . . it’s so hard (to build a company) that if you don’t have a passion, you’ll give up. -Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Inc. Passion—a word often reserved for romance and artistic work—is more prevalent than we normally think. In the business world, nonromantic passion is closely tied to economic activities. It is an important, albeit(although) rarely recognized, factor in resource allocation decisions made by managers, investors, and consumers alike. To attract customers, producers of consumer goods often express their passion for their products and what they can do for consumers and society at large; for example, Starbucks emphasizes its passion for people and its passion about creating a “third place” where people can relax and make connections, not just get coffee (Kumar & Luo, 2006).

The passion displayed by entrepreneurs has been one of the most frequently observed phenomena of the entrepreneurial process (smilor 199). Entrepreneurs have to sell their venture plans to potential investors, potential employees, and major customers. In such situations, passion is often critical to convince the targeted individuals to invest their money, time, and effort in the new venture. In corporate settings, people championing new products seek top management support and resources through powerful product presentations (Howell & Boies, 2004). Passion is perhaps even more important in the nonprofit sector, where donors often do not receive returns in terms of financial profits. In this case, promoters of such ventures are required to make a compelling case for the causes they endorse. Thus, passion, as an intangible, hard-to-measure quality of those asking for resources, can be powerful and critical in many endeavors that are aimed at creating something new in society.

Passion is a strong indicator of how motivated an entrepreneur is in building a venture, whether she/he is likely to continue pursuing goals when confronted with difficulties, how well

cognitive. internal drive and full engagement with personally meaningful work activities” (2003: 15). It is domain- . and in which they invest time and energy [behavioral+” (2003: 756). Vallerand et al. entrepreneurial efforts are generally defined in terms of the recognition and exploitation of business opportunities. and new ways of organizing”(Baum and Locke. exploit new products. Perttula defined passion for one’s work as “a psychological state characterized by intense positive emotional arousal.1997). While different researchers have used different and often overlapping ways of conceptualizing the notion of passion. For example. 1988. Although these pursuits can take form. Vallerand et al. and lead people in growing the venture (cf. or in nonromantic settings such as work. defined passion as “a strong inclination toward an activity that people like *affective+. Smilor 1997)..she/he articulates the vision to current and future employees. Passion is often associated with “love. four aspects are common to most research: passion 1) is wholly or partly a strong emotion that 2) encapsulates a host of different and mixed emotions 3) is directed Objectives of the presentation:   To throw light on the emotional side of entrepreneurship. and whether she/he will be able to influence. Definition of passion and entrepreneur Broadly speaking entrepreneurs are those who “discover. Social psychologists have treated passion as a motivational construct that contains affective. persuade. notably through the founding of the new ventures (Baron. venkataram. Similarly. To give a brief on employees’ commitment towards entrepreneurship venture. and behavioral components. 2004:588). 2008. 2003). Passion has long been recognized as a central component of entrepreneurial motivation and success (Bird. new processes.” be it love in romantic relationships. These two definitions suggest that passion helps direct one’s attention and actions and that it is a domain-specific motivational construct. that they find important [cognitive].

Experiencing passion is typical of many successful entrepreneurs. willingness to work long hours. especially positive affect. and even zeal that come from the energetic and unflagging pursuit of a worthy.specific because one needs to have a target of love for passion.. attempts to define passion share a common emphasis on affect. and this target is often a specific activity or a collection of activities that embody certain implicit or explicit values. Wincent. 2000. 1989). Shane. courage. In the entrepreneurship literature. Smilor defined passion as the “enthusiasm. Wincent et al. Why Passion? Because without passion jumping out of an airplane at an altitude of 12000 feet from the ground would be called suicide and not skydiving” Introduction to Entrepreneurial Passion: Chen et al (2009) define entrepreneurial passion as “an entrepreneur’s intense affective state accompanied by cognitive and behavioral manifestations of high personal value”. 2009. and uplifting purpose” (1997: 342) and thus effectively qualified it as an affective experience that accompanies actions laden with value. 515) and motivates them to persist in the face of obstacles (Chen. 517). 2009) Elements of entrepreneurial passion: . and Collins called it a “selfish love of work” (2003: 268). Singh. Baum and Locke called passion (for work) “love” for work (2004: 588). 2009.& Kotha. & Drnovsek.. p. Entrepreneurial passion refers to “consciously accessible intense positive feelings experienced by engagement in entrepreneurial activities associated with roles that are meaningful and salient to the self-identity of the entrepreneur” (Cardon. it is the “fire of desire” that drives their daily efforts (Cardon. high levels of initiative. For example. Locke. Yao. p. joy. Passion has been related to drive. tenacity. challenging. and persistence in the face of obstacles (Bierly et al. Bird.

regardless of costs. Intense Positive Feeling The notion of passion has a long history. 1996]). for instance. 1997: 57). motivational quality. Spinoza’s Ethics [Della Rocca. . and intense longing (Table 1). This fire of desire is referred to in virtually all writings on entrepreneurial passion with words such as enthusiasm. and behaviors and that persist over time. suggests that passion promotes intense. In the psychological literature passion is conceived as energy that gives individuals a sense of “pleasure and promise” (Rockwell. Across these definitions. the two important elements that compel further scrutiny is 1) Consciously Accessible. with early writings about its nature and importance dating back to Greek and Western philosophers (e. Aristotle’s Rhetoric [Roberts. 2002: 52) and engages them “wholeheartedly with what . passion invariably involves feelings that are hot. Vallerand and colleagues’ (2003) notion of passion is focused on activities in which people invest time and energy and that they find important..Drawing from the work of Cardon and colleagues(2009. p 517) to define entrepreneurship as a “consciously accessible. moral theologists (e. Intense Positive Feeling 2) Roles that are meaningful and salient to the self identity 1)Entrepreneurial Passion Is a Consciously Accessible. intense positive feelings experienced by engagement in entrepreneurial activities associated with roles that are meaningful and salient to the self identity of the entrepreneur”. Bhagavad Gita [Radhakrishnan. most view passion as any intense emotion that stirs humans with energy and deep longing to make a difference. and identity meaning. zeal. Csikszentmihalyi (1990). external obstacles. and cultural mythologies (e. . plans.. thoughts. Other scholars argue that passion is activated by emotionally important goals that control and guide desires. While these writings differ on whether it impairs or empowers reason.. and suffused with desire. *they+ love” (Belitz & Lundstrom. flow like states of total absorption in one’s activities. 1993]). political scientists (e.g. and moral objections (Frijda.g. Machiavelli’s The Prince [1984]). overpowering. 1924]). Social psychologists’ interest in studying passion is more recent and emphasizes its conscious experience..g.g. 2005).

but distinct from states that are negative and intense (e. As a feeling. contented).The scholarly view of passion is compatible with a feeling that is highly intense and positive. desired. Reflection might include self-awareness (“What am I feeling physically?”).g.. rather.g. stressed). similar to excitement. entrepreneurial passion differs from episodic changes in core affect. As a feeling. upset.. elation. For example.. or states that are positive but not intense (e. Vallerand et al(2003). see also the Appendix). 2003..e. passion is aroused not because some entrepreneurs are inherently disposed to such feelings but. remembered.g. . passion involves “intense longing” that one feels for objects or activities that are deeply meaningful to one’s identity. whether those objects are real. 2007. passion involves consciously experienced changes in core affect (i. fatigued. While the latter is subconsciously or unconsciously activated by external objects or activities that may be inert or irrelevant to an individual’s identity meaning. internal affective state) that are attributed to external stimuli and that are effortfully reflected upon and stored cognitively for later retrieval (Damasio. and categorization (“How does it compare with other feelings?”). because they are engaged in something that relates to a meaningful and salient self-identity for them. It means that the individuals may reflect on the intensity of their feelings vis-à-vis different tasks and activities. Entrepreneurial Passion is not conceived as a personality trait. but rather an affective phenomenon that one may experience when engaging in or thinking about certain activities. appraisals (“Why am I feeling this way?” “What caused this feeling?”). Entrepreneurial Passion Results from Engagement in Activities with Identity Meaning and Salience In our view. or anticipated. is more enduring than the experience of episodic emotions associated with external stimuli(Wincent et al 2008). and joy. states that are not at all intense (e. Passion thus consists of deeply experienced positive feelings for something important to the entrepreneur and as a result. Schwarz & Clore. imagined. calm).

and Collins (2003) say that entrepreneurial passion is a love of work. (Murnieks. Locke. 2007). 2012). and Vallerand and colleagues define passion as a “strong inclination toward an activity that people like. Stryker and Burke (2000) argued that an individual’s identities are organized hierarchically. such that identities are placed higher in the hierarchy are more salient and central to one’s central identity than identities placed lower. The concept of identity refers to internalized expectations that individuals have about the characteristics they hold as central. a more nuanced approach focuses on three distinct roles that different entrepreneurs may experience differently. Although the overall role of “being an entrepreneur” may be the object of passion. and expanding the venture once it has been created. but are consistently found at the heart of the entrepreneurial process: (1) an inventor identity. Murnieks et al. 2011. Identity theory (Burke & Reitzes. Murnieks. and (3) a developer identity. As such. Cardon et al. growing. self-identity is often comprised of many individual identities (Farmer et al. (2) a founder identity. (2005) say that passion is about love for the venture itself. In practice. especially the literature focusing on conceptions of identity rooted in the self (Stryker & Burke. whereas others may weigh one identity as significantly more meaningful to them. Goffman. these variations in identity lead entrepreneurs to engage in those activities they identify closely with. distinctive and enduring and that are at least partially reflected in the roles they enact (Burke and Reitzes 1991). where the entrepreneur’s passion is for activities involved in identifying. 1959). 2000). that they find important” (2003:757). and to disengage from those with which they do not. and exploring new opportunities. 1991. where the entrepreneur’s passion is for activities involved in establishing a venture for commercializing and exploiting opportunities. Undeniably. where the entrepreneur’s passion is for activities related to nurturing. 1981. Smilor (1997) argues it is about enthusiasm for venture-related activities. 2007. inventing. provides the theoretical ..Baum and Locke (2004) and Shane. some entrepreneurs may be equally passionate about all three of these identities.

Noting that the self is composed of multifaceted identities. Researchers have defined identity as internalized expectations about those characteristics individuals hold as central. In particular. distinctive. identity as more salient and central.. and individuals are motivated to maintain and confirm their self-meaning by engaging in activities and interacting with people in ways that confirm the role expectations and validate the behavioral implications of salient social categories (Burke & Reitzes. and enduring about them and that are at least partially reflected in the roles they enact (Burke & Reitzes. Therefore. identity theory acknowledges that. and change larger social and economic conditions to help one’s selfgrowth and survival (Burke & Reitzes 1991).logic for conceptualizing these three role identities. over a lifetime. an entrepreneur may change the salience of different role identities (e. 2000). some entrepreneurs may view a founder.. Role identities put people in social categories (e. however. Indeed. making an entrepreneur’s self-meaning temporally both distinctive and coherent. For example. 1991). sustain. 1991. entrepreneurs who find self-meaning in the role of an inventor brimming with market-disruption ideas are likely to view the inventor identity as a central. Goffman. at any given time. . “Who am I?” and on how this self knowledge motivates reflexive thought and self initiated action to create. identities are organized hierarchically such that an identity placed higher in the hierarchy is more salient and more central to self-meaning than those placed lower (Stryker & Burke. they may be committed more to the role of creating a new venture than to that of exploring or inventing new opportunities. consequently. and.g.Burke and Reitzes (1991) likened this to an active self that seeks engagement in activities that confirm and disengagement from those activities that distract from salient identities. “I am an inventor”). and enduring characteristic about their self. 1959). for any individual. 1981. This distinctive and salient role identity motivates entrepreneurs to engage in certain activities (and disengage from others) and explains the affective experience that this engagement invokes. rather than inventor. identities are a source of motivation for actions that result in social validation of self-meaning. Here the focus is on the “active self” that asks. possibly defining. founder may become more central than inventor).g. the relative importance of role identities is stable.

it matters which specific role identity invokes passion for entrepreneurs. and to mechanisms by which the active self negotiates among different identities. For instance.g. human (e. board members) capital. employees).. Alternatively. tinkering with new product development. Similarly. Consideration of multiple entrepreneurial role identities may help explain conditions that lead to harmonious passion (e.g. However. entrepreneurs may have multiple identities that depict varying patterns and are organized in a hierarchy of more or less importance.g.. and social (e. to what extent it .g. value creation and appropriation).Entrepreneurs are often differentially passionate toward entrepreneurial activities. experience passion for activities that involve assembling the resources necessary to create a firm. are aroused by passion when they engage in activities that involve seeking out new ideas. entrepreneurs whose self meaning is derived from the developer identity. exemplified by Stephan Wozniak. Thus. More generally. serial and portfolio entrepreneurs may be more passionate about the founder role and willing to sell their firm to others who are more interested in growing the venture to realize its full market potential. entrepreneurs who have the founder identity as most salient.g.. It is not necessary that entrepreneurs have a single identity that is hierarchically dominant..g. such as Wayne Huizenga. where none is clearly dominant or where some may be in conflict. exemplified by Ray Kroc.. entrepreneurs with a salient inventor identity.. Burke (2006) has noted that multiple identities shift focus to internal organization of identities. or scanning the environment for market-disruptive opportunities. For example. when one role identity crowds out other identities). entrepreneurs may be so passionate about the inventor role that they never actually take their products to the market or found the venture to exploit the opportunity. experience passion when they engage in activities related to market development (e. VC funding).. when they do. Finally. when an entrepreneur can easily transition among salient role identities) and to obsessive passion (e.g. attracting new customers) and financial growth (e. including financial (e. entrepreneurs may disengage from activities relevant to other less meaningful identities.

scale anchors. IPF-inv2 Searching for new ideas for products/services to offer is enjoyable to me. Nunnally and Bernstein. we surveyed experienced entrepreneurs to examine the structural. We then conducted three pilot studies to fine tune our items and obtain preliminary evidence for our measurement approach. 2011.. Validation of the concept Building on relevant exemplars from this and other journals (Chandler et al. nomological and criterion validity of our instrument. First. we drew from psychometric research (e.. 5=‘strongly agree’ ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Domain and item #Validated item IPF-inv1 It is exciting to figure out new ways to solve unmet market needs that can be commercialized. . IPF-inv4 Scanning the environment for new opportunities really excites me. 2009. 2=‘disagree’. we followed a three-stage procedure to assess our instrument in terms of multiple dimensions of validity (Cook and Campbell. Tang et al. 2000). IPF-inv3 I am motivated to figure out how to make existing products/services better. and how an entrepreneur’s active self manages multiple identities. 4=‘agree’. Lewis. and items for EP's dimensions and domains ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Instructions: Please indicate the extent to which you agree or disagree with each statement ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ScaleAnchors 1=‘strongly disagree’.interferes in the fulfillment of roles related to other identities. founding. and developing.g. 2003. 3=‘neither agree nor disagree’. Instructions. Scandura and Williams. Shipp et al. 2012). Finally. 1994) to articulate our measurement strategy and develop theoretically consistent items.. 1979. The validated items for measuring Entrepreneurial Passion's two dimensions (Intense Positive Feelings and Identity Centrality) across the three domains of inventing.. IC-inv1 Inventing new solutions to problems is an important part of who I am.

Perceived passion can influence employees’ positive affect at work and their goal clarity. and the uncertainty about the venture’s future development path often motivate employees to look for career options outside the venture (Cardon. IC = identity centrality. which. Nicola Breugst and Team 2011) As employee commitment is crucial for the success of entrepreneurial firms (Baron & Hannan. inv = inventing. the lack of financial resources for paying high salaries. 2003. Being the founder of a business is an important part of who I am. 2002). Cardon & Stevens. However. in turn. Nurturing and growing companies is an important part of who I am. IPF = intense positive feelings. and dev = developing. generating and preserving employee commitment in entrepreneurial ventures is challenging since missing organizational legitimacy. Employee commitment to entrepreneurial ventures (Perceptions of entrepreneurial passion and Employees’ commitment to entrepreneurial ventures. 2006). whereas perceived passion for founding has a negative effect. employees’ positive affect at work and the clarity of their work goals mediate the relationship between perceived entrepreneurial passion and commitment but in a different manner for different types of entrepreneurial passion. Hmieleski. & Pearce. Owning my own company energizes me. it is likely that entrepreneurs substantially impact employee motivation and behavior (Ensley. trigger commitment. fnd = founding. 2004).IPF-fnd1 IPF-fnd2 IPF-fnd3 IC-fnd1 IPF-dev1 IPF-dev2 IPF-dev3 IC-dev1 Establishing a new company excites me. Nurturing a new business through its emerging success is enjoyable. Assembling the right people to work for my business is exciting. Pushing my employees and myself to make our company better motivates me. Importantly. Note. Since entrepreneurs and employees are in frequent and direct contact with each other in most small ventures. I really like finding the right people to market my product/service to. these mechanisms explain why perceived passion for inventing and developing positively impacts employee commitment. In the study conducted by Dr Nicola Breugst and team. understanding how employees’ perceptions of entrepreneurial passion can influence their commitment to new ventures is an important topic for entrepreneurship research. .

its influence on followers can differ depending on the context. entrepreneurs “show strong and positive emotions toward their projects” (Chen et al. even if the activities for which entrepreneurs are passionate may currently be difficult or painful and. arouse shortterm negative affect. “entrepreneurs who feel passion for their venture may also experience shorter-term emotions that vary in intensity and valence. Wincent. 2008) or performance (George. Matherne. Specifically.The study informs the leadership literature by showing that although leaders might display the “same” affective. results in positive outcomes such as organizational citizenship behavior (Johnson. Existing studies (either implicitly or explicitly) suggest that leaders’ displays of positive affect is generally contagious and evokes positive affective experiences in employees at work. thus diminishing employee commitment to that venture.. passionate entrepreneurs are likely to display overall positive affect at work because “*p+assion ensures that the entrepreneur persists in the face of difficulties and keeps enthusiasm high during the pursuit” (Cardon. it appears that this argument does not apply uniformly. however. p. Hence. 37) . p. which. Zietsma. 2009). 2009. Strong Emotional display When engaging in activities for which they are passionate..Although entrepreneurs’ engagement in activities for which they are passionate will arouse their positive affect (Cardon. 203). Saparito. For entrepreneurial passion. 1995). et al. therefore. employees’ perceptions of entrepreneurs’ passion for founding new ventures—the “heart” of entrepreneurial activity— can signal that the entrepreneur might leave the current venture once it is established to found the next one. our data suggest that. 2005. & Davis. in turn.

research has found that many highly skilled inventors tend to select themselves as employees into small firms (Zenger. Cardon & Stevens. In young ventures where marketable products still have to be developed and inventing is the venture’s key activity. decisions. in young ventures. 2004). which aligns their goals with the entrepreneur’s passionate inventing activities. Further. and other performance based incentives. entrepreneur’s affect through a concordant affective reaction (Epstude & Mussweiler. 2009) can trigger concordant or discordant affective reactions. entrepreneurs who are passionate about inventing show positive affect while identifying and exploring new opportunities and developing new products and services. 1994). employees working with these passionate entrepreneurs will perceive that it is highly important for the entrepreneurs to make the venture successful in the long run—an attitude that employees are likely to share given their interest in job and income security (Monsen. 2005). Thus. since developing new products and services is essential for the venture’s future performance. through stock options.Perceived Entrepreneurial Passion and Employees’ Positive Affect at Work Depending on the type of passion that employees perceive their supervisors to have. and goals with (the majority of ) his or her employees.. Indeed. This involvement allows them to understand this type of entrepreneur’s perspective.. employees often indirectly or directly participate in the success of innovation efforts (e. . 2008. Finally. attitudes. First. & Saxton. Aldrich. 2009. These employees will vicariously experience the entrepreneur’s affect through a concordant affective reaction (Epstude & Mussweiler. & Williams.g. 2010). positive affect—when they perceive higher levels of entrepreneurial passion for inventing (Epstude & Mussweiler. profit sharing. 2000). Platow et al. Welbourne.). and actions—that is.. to “put themselves in the shoes” of an entrepreneur who is passionate about inventing. Patzelt. Platow et al. employees are often actively involved in the invention process (Katz. Chen et al. which will trigger the employees’ concordant affective reaction—that is. the display of positive affect connected to entrepreneurial passion (Cardon. an entrepreneur who is passionate about inventing is likely to share perspectives.

2005). it is likely more difficult for employees to “put themselves into the entrepreneur’s shoes. Third. These entrepreneurial activities are different from employees’ activities in entrepreneurial ventures and usually do not involve them (Katz et al.g. Further. Thus. This will better enable them to take the entrepreneur’s perspective. This is also likely to reduce concordant affective transfer (Platow et al. developing new markets. and expanding the founding team.” which will limit their concordant affective reactions to the entrepreneur’s displayed affect (Platow et al.g.g..... employees worry about their future when they believe that the entrepreneur will leave the firm after the start-up phase). Employees are likely to understand the importance of these activities because—like the entrepreneur—they have a vital interest in making the company successful in the long run. Due to this limited understanding. why the entrepreneur spends so much time talking to potential investors instead of developing the venture’s internal operations). Further. such as raising capital.Second. 2000). the seed capital is raised. developing the venture often offers career opportunities for employees. and the founding team is expanded). Therefore. the entrepreneur will be motivated to engage in these activities again and will move on to create the next firm instead of making the current venture successful in the long run.) or even lead to a discordant affective reaction (e. entrepreneurs experiencing passion for developing their current venture display positive affect when engaging in activities like finding new customers. employees are likely to have a limited understanding of the entrepreneur’s decisions and actions related to these activities (e. finding the right location.. research found that experienced employees often choose to work for entrepreneurial firms because . For example. and optimizing organizational processes—activities that are essential for making the company successful in the long run. entrepreneurs who are passionate for founding display positive affect during activities related to the creation of a new firm. the right location is found. there appears to be a conflict between the entrepreneurs’ and employees’ goals and attitudes regarding the current venture’s future development in this particular context. employees may interpret entrepreneurs’ passion for such activities in such a way that they believe once the current venture is sufficiently established (e. thus resulting in employees experiencing less positive affect at work.

. Positive affect at work 6. Perceived passion for inventing has a positive influence on employees’ positive affect at work and. the entrepreneur’s interest in growing the firm is likely to be shared by the employees. 2009). Findings of the study 1. no of employees. which also likely accounts for its displays and employees’ perceptions of these displays. 2005. One reason for this finding might be that passion is mainly affective in nature (Cardon. on employees’ affective commitment. Employees’ positive affect at work is a more important mediator for the perceived passion–commitment relationship than goal clarity (which mediates only the effect of passion for developing). Employees’ perception of higher levels of passion for developing will thus indicate to them that they are “in the same boat” with the entrepreneur. Perceived passion for founding 4. Sullins. Second. in turn. Perceived passion for inventing 3. venture age. Variables 1. tenure. Hence. Affective Commitment 2.Wincent. Perceived passion for developing 5. Third. This feeling and the effect of their common goals can be further enhanced when incentive systems allow employees to participate in the venture’s future success. Control variables – age. gender. perceived passion for developing has a positive effect on the employees’ positive affect and goal clarity and thus has an indirect positive effect on their commitment. perceived passion for founding has a negative influence on employees’ positive affect and an indirect influence on their affective commitment. Goal Clarity 7. 1991). education. . thus intensifying the concordant transfer of positive affect (Platow et al.they value the superior career opportunities related to the growth potential of small firms (Leung. 2003).. et al. 2.

business plan. . Hence. the behavioral side or the emotional side of the entrepreneurship is not much explored. Conclusion of the Presentation: The success of Entrepreneurship is always been seen in terms of the. resources.3. etc. Employees are likely to be more receptive to the entrepreneur’s passion for developing than to his or her passion for inventing and founding. feasibility of the venture. market segmentation. with the note that entrepreneurial passion definitely has a major contribution in the success of a venture. I conclude my presentation. initial investment. But.