Abstract

The characterization and analysis of entrepreneurial passion has tended to focus on its intraindividual effects, and especially its origins, to date. While such a depiction is emotionally compelling, we suggest that this perspective may be obscuring important interindividual considerations. Given that the roots of passion grow from identity theory, and identity theory explicitly recognizes the influence that concern for other people’s reactions can have on motivation and self-construal (Burke, 1991; Stryker & Burke, 2000), we examine whether or not consideration of these factors is important for the study of entrepreneurial passion. In doing so, we attempt to socialize the examination of entrepreneurial passion and view the influence that concerns for other people may have on this powerful construct. Since the entrepreneurial identity lies at the core of entrepreneurial passion (Cardon et al., 2009), and identities are social constructs that translate the reflected views of others into expectations and motivations at the individual level (Burke, 1991; Mead, 1934), we reason that entrepreneurial passion may be influenced by concerns oriented externally to individual entrepreneurs. We argue that the socially-embedded theoretical bedrock of identities has not been examined in this respect, and aim to rectify that with this study. To do so, we employ two constructs which bridge the gap between individual self-concepts and the social environment: entrepreneurial identity centrality (Hoang & Gimeno, 2010) and affective interpersonal commitment (Stryker & Serpe, 1994). We integrate these constructs with the Dualistic Model of Passion (Vallerand, 2015) to examine how social concerns may influence harmonious and obsessive passion among entrepreneurs, as well as how these relationships may be moderated by gender. These different types of passion have not been examined at length in entrepreneurship and represent fundamentally different constructs with different effects and antecedents, which should be scrutinized.

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