Abstract

Individuals such as entrepreneurs are regarded as identifying strongly with the firm they create (Cardon et al., 2009). It is not uncommon for entrepreneurs to refer to their venture as their “baby”. If the business subsequently fails, the level and strength of the entrepreneur’s identification to their firm influences their attitudes and reactions to the failure. Alternatively, many entrepreneurs are rational actors that negotiate entrepreneurial failure without developing any identifiable emotional attachment to their business. To explore entrepreneurial identification further we examine entrepreneurs’ business failure experiences. We draw upon the dualistic model of passion to argue that the type of identification formed is a precursor to the form of passion experienced, be it harmonious or obsessive.

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