The purpose of this paper is to unpack the underlying mechanisms of entrepreneurs' passion, orientation and behavior by investigating the role of rational and nonrational cognitive elements. Building on dual process theory and sociointuitionism, a conceptual model is proposed in order to explore the relationship between entrepreneurial passion, entrepreneurial orientation (EO) and strategic entrepreneurship behavior (SEB). Specifically, entrepreneurs' linear thinking styles (System 2) and nonlinear thinking styles (System 1) are hypothesized as being significant moderators of such a relationship.
Covariance-based structural equation modeling (CB-SEM) is used to empirically validate the proposed conceptual model and test the moderating hypotheses on a sample of 300 entrepreneurs actively involved in European small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Entrepreneurial passion is shown to be a significant antecedent of EO, which, in turn, strongly influences SEB. Moreover, entrepreneurs' linear thinking style positively moderates the EO-SEB relationship, but not the link between passion and EO. Instead, a nonlinear thinking style positively moderates the relationship between passion and EO, but not the links between EO and SEB.
Entrepreneurs should trust their nonlinear thinking style – related to affective/emotive and intuitive information processing systems – to foster the effect of their entrepreneurial passion on EO. Furthermore, entrepreneurs should rely on a linear thinking style, namely the rational and deliberative cognitive processes, to enhance the impact of their EO on SEB.
Dual process theory and sociointuitionism are integrated to simultaneously investigate the effect of nonrational and rational cognitive mechanisms on entrepreneurs' orientation and behavior. Moreover, the proposed model is empirically tested on a sample of entrepreneurs working in SMEs located in Europe, which have received little attention from entrepreneurship scholars in comparison to their US counterparts. The authors’ findings suggest important implications for entrepreneurs, policymakers and entrepreneurial universities educators.
Ethical approval: All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.Informed consent: Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Zollo, L., Rialti, R., Tron, A. and Ciappei, C. (2020), "Entrepreneurial passion, orientation and behavior: the moderating role of linear and nonlinear thinking styles", Management Decision, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-10-2019-1500Download as .RIS
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