Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship


Measuring Entrepreneurial Passion: Conceptual Foundations and Scale Validation


Article published in Journal of Business Venturing, Volume 28, Issue No. 3, May 2013, Pages 373–396.

Document Type



Along with other affective and emotional dimensions, passion is at the heart of entrepreneurship. Yet past research on entrepreneurial passion (EP) has been hindered by the lack of a sound measurement instrument. Through a series of empirical studies conducted with samples from relevant populations, we develop and validate an instrument to capture EP and its inherent dimensions. We show that the task-specific dimensions of EP (intense positive feelings toward the domains of inventing, founding and developing, and the centrality of these domains to entrepreneurs' self-identity) are conceptually and empirically distinct from one another, and from other emotions and cognitions known to play a role in entrepreneurship. Our theory and results indicate that proper measurement of entrepreneurial passion incorporates the interaction between entrepreneurs' feelings and identity centrality for each domain. We discuss the implications of our model, instrument and findings for future research on the affective components of innovation and entrepreneurship. We also develop specific guidelines for using our validated instrument in future research.