In leadership research, supervisors’ affect was found to influence employees’ performance (George, 1995). As in the entrepreneurial context passion plays a significant role (Smilor, 1997, Cardon et al., in press), we investigate the effect of entrepreneurs’ displays of passion on the employees’ commitment to work for their company. We draw on psychological literature (e.g, Sy et al., 2005) and suggest that employees’ commitment, i.e. the identification and involvement with the firm (O'Reilly and Chatman, 1986), will increase when employees perceive high levels of passion displayed by entrepreneurs about inventing, founding, or developing their ventures (cf. Cardon et al., in press).

Furthermore, employees’ commitment was shown to be positively influenced by goal similarity between supervisor and employee (Vancouver et al., 1994). We propose that the perception of financial and nonfinancial goals as being similar will also have a positive effect on the employees’ commitment as well as a moderating effect on the relationship between perceived entrepreneurial passion and commitment.