Abstract

The study of expertise in the field of entrepreneurship is still in its infancy, as scholars strive to identify those personal, behavioral, and environmental characteristics that influence skill development. Prior expertise research indicates that a key predictor of expertise development is individual engagement in deliberate practice – intense, prolonged, and highly focused efforts to improve one’s skills. Further, this research has also identified certain motivational and self-regulatory constructs that may play a crucial role in enabling persistent engagement in deliberate practice. Consequently, in this study we explore entrepreneurial passion as a key motivational driver of skill development, investigating how an entrepreneur’s passion both directly and indirectly (through its influence on goal orientation) influences the development of entrepreneurial expertise. We hypothesize that there is a direct positive relationship between entrepreneurial passion and skill development, as well as an indirect positive relationship as mediated by the entrepreneur’s learning goal orientation. In addition, we propose that entrepreneurial passion also reduces an entrepreneur’s performance goal orientation, which then has a negative relationship with the development of entrepreneurial skills.

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