Entrepreneurial Passion: A Systematic Literature Review and Research Agenda
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Entrepreneurial passion has been regarded as the heart of business venturing for centuries. Recently, it has been a topic of interest in the academic community. Over the past decades, there has been an increasing number of publications in this area. However, the extant research is relatively large, heterogeneous, and patchy. Yet, little effort has been made to integrate the findings of those studies and assess the current state of the knowledge. Therefore, we are left with a fragmented, rather than a nuanced, holistic understanding of entrepreneurial passion. This study aims to conduct a systematic review of the literature on the neglected area of passion in entrepreneurship. Particularly, it seeks to synthesise the previous academic findings, highlight the research gaps, and proposes future research agenda to extend the body of literature in three aspects: the targets, causes, and consequences of entrepreneurial passion. The two interrelated research questions are: (1) what has prior research found regarding the targets, causes, and consequences of entrepreneurial passion?; and (2) what are the future research opportunities regarding the targets, causes, and consequences of entrepreneurial passion? In order to achieve the research objectives, a systematic literature review was employed as the research method. A total of 61 peer-reviewed journal articles were obtained from an electronic search in two large international databases (EBSCO and SCOPUS) in a rigorous and systematic manner. In terms of the method for analysing data, this study adopted a thematic synthesis to identify the literature themes and weave them together. It also applied framework synthesis to build a framework of the interrelationships between the targets, causes, and consequences of entrepreneurial passion. An analysis of the results of the review suggests that: (1) the targets of entrepreneurs’ passion are directed toward four specific domains: entrepreneurial activities, venture-related objects, stakeholders associated with the firm, and concepts (idea, cause or goal); (2) there are four drivers of entrepreneurial passion: entrepreneurial education, engagement in entrepreneurship, individual differences, and role models; and (3) entrepreneurial passion leads to two main consequences: micro (individual) and meso (firm-related) outcomes. Based on these findings, future research avenues to extend and enrich the literature were proposed accordingly. This research has made several contributions. Theoretically, it provides thematic insights on the targets, causes, and consequences of entrepreneurial passion, and illustrates the interconnection between these three aspects through a framework. It also identifies gaps and prospective lines of inquiries. Regarding practical contributions, entrepreneurs could learn about the drivers of passion in order to spark and sustain such feeling throughout their entrepreneurial career. The findings of this review could advance their understanding of the adverse effects of passion, and thus learn how to mitigate its harmful consequences.