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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.3/216919
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- Passion, resilience, obsession and sustained entrepreneurial action: the path to entrepreneurial success
- Fisher, Rosemary
- Entrepreneurs are said to be passionate and resilient. Entrepreneurial action is a precursor to entrepreneurial success, and is logically dependent on the passionate behaviour and resilience of the entrepreneur. That passion and resilience are helpful to entrepreneurship is not disputed, but obsessive passion has been shown to be debilitating. How is it that entrepreneurs can experience success if their passion for their ventures is both a positive phenomenon and a problematic one? How these seemingly diametrically opposed features of the one phenomenon can contribute to entrepreneurial success represents a gap in the knowledge about passion in the context of entrepreneurship. Addressing that gap will assist entrepreneurship‘s practitioners, educators and policymakers to understand and therefore manage or anticipate the implications of this important entrepreneurial phenomenon. This research uses mixed methods to explore passion‘s contribution to entrepreneurial success. Interviews with 10 successful founding entrepreneurs were used to develop hypotheses and an explanatory model then tested using data derived from 215 founding entrepreneurs, who voluntarily participated in an on-line survey. This research concludes that an entrepreneur‘s passion for their venture is both harmonious and obsessive in nature. However, each passion type contributes differentially to entrepreneurial outcomes. Resilience is found to work in correlation with harmonious passion to predict entrepreneurial success. Entrepreneurial intrusive thoughts are found to be part of the pathway to sustained entrepreneurial action. Thus, this research finds that passion, resilience and intrusive thoughts (a form of obsession) contribute to the explanation for an entrepreneur‘s capacity for sustained entrepreneurial action and/or achieve entrepreneurial success. There are several limitations to this research. The characteristics of the entrepreneurs who participated in this research, the self-report nature of the research, the use and interpretation of qualitative results, the choice of the variables explored in the structural equation model, the use of new constructs as dependent variables and the development of new constructs from the subjective opinion of participants all represent possible limitations of this research. Nonetheless, these results do present opportunities for further research. In particular, an opportunity exists to improve an develop further the new constructs and scales developed in this research. The findings of venture related intrusive thoughts and their impact present an interesting area to examine further particularly in the context of work-life balance or psychological well-being. Finally, the results from The Passion Scale suggest an opportunity for further research examining the dualistic nature of the entrepreneurs‘ passion and its role in sustained entrepreneurial action and entrepreneurial success. The confirmed presence of passion, resilience and obsession suggests entrepreneurship education programs should include information about these phenomena, how they may impact an entrepreneur, and how they may be managed or enhanced. The lack of association between business performance metrics and the amount of time the entrepreneur invests working in and on their venture sends a strong message to current and prospective practitioners about maintaining a balanced workload and delegating responsibility to others, as over commitment of personal time may not be related to venture performance.
- Publication type
- Thesis (PhD)
- Research centre
- Swinburne University of Technology. Faculty of Business and Enterprise
- Publication year
- Entrepreneurial obsession; Obsession; Passion; Resilience
- Australasian Digital Theses collection
- Publisher URL
- Copyright © 2011 Rosemary Lee Fisher.
- Thesis Supervisor
- [Alex Maritz and Antonio Lobo]
- Thesis Note
- [Thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Swinburne University of Technology, 2011.]
- Additional information
- This thesis received the 2012 Professor John O. Miller AO Award for the most distinguished thesis by a PhD or DBA student, awarded by Swinburne University of Technology Faculty of Business and Enterprise.
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