Research Article: 2021 Vol: 27 Issue: 3
Odetola Ifeoluwa Oluwatosin, Covenant University
Omotayo Adegbuyi, Covenant University
The central aim of this research is to identify the effects of entrepreneurial passion on sustainable performance using selected restaurant business owners as the case study. In so doing, this study assessed the dimensions of entrepreneurial passion which are creativity, commitment, need for achievement, self-efficacy and internal motivation and how it affects the sustainable performance dimensions which are innovative processes, social performance, economic growth, environmental vitality and operational excellence. The findings offer a positive answer to the research questions of the study. Descriptive research design is employed for the study. Regression analysis is used to measure the relationship between the entrepreneurial passion and sustainable performance in selected restaurant businesses in Lagos State. SPSS is adopted for the research in testing the research hypothesis. This study recommends that one way to achieve this is to nurture the individual to perceive, understand and regulate passion. The study also recommends that one way to better prepare individuals’ mindset in the society may be to encourage them to increase their passion for entrepreneurship and opportunities. Efforts can also be made to help them acquire more entrepreneurial mindsets for potential opportunities. This could have implications for labour policies that have traditionally called for more emphasis on entrepreneurship to tackle the economic challenges of work and employment for the youth.
Entrepreneurial Passion, Sustainable Performance, Entrepreneurship, Sustainability.
The relation between entrepreneurship, economic development and innovation is well known and well researched (Baumol et al., 2019). New companies carry on critical roles in all economies. Through incorporating product and process innovations, new ventures modify existing industries, constraining traditional, well-established counterpart companies to reevaluate their forms of doing business (Doutriaux, 1991; Stangler, 2019). The increase in the standards of health and level of material comfort in the last few years can be due to entrepreneurship and innovation over sectors such as biotechnology and mass communication (Stangler, 2019). In the process, new firms can also increase value in society by helping increase the tax incomes of states, enhance national competitiveness and create jobs (Decker, Haltiwanger et al., 2014; Hafer, 2013). New ventures and the entrepreneurial spirit behind them are to be thanked for generating employment and human development in struggling economies and inspiring innovative countries to raise their standards of living (Read & Sarasvathy, 2015).
The act of entrepreneurship is usually related with great uncertainty, especially when it includes bringing something really novel to the world whose market never exists. Several advantages can therefore be obtained from entrepreneurial activities that comprise selfemployment, jobs for others, development of more land, income generation and enhanced economic growth, healthy competition, availability of more goods and services, creation of new markets, reassurance of the usage of modern technology, decrease of informal economy, growth of entrepreneurial skills and attitudes among potential entrepreneurs (Baumol et al., 2019). Entrepreneurs are a considerable force for economic development. Entrepreneurs build businesses or enterprises by pooling resources and manpower together in order to manage the enterprise. Research on the conditions driving entrepreneurial zeal has a strong historical background and stretches to the disciplines of economics, sociology and psychology (Ho & Pollack, 2014).
The subject of passion has become a topic of attention in the popular media throughout the past decade, (The New York Times, 2018), and in foreign bestsellers (Duckworth, 2016).
Most people agree that discovering and fulfilling one’s passion is a generally recognized characteristic of a successful life, with potentially meaningful contributions to society by certain passionate activities that transform the strengths and desires of individuals into positive and effective actions (O’Keefe et al., 2018). A sub-field of passion research that has drawn considerable interest from researchers during the past decade is entrepreneurial enthusiasm (e.g., an individual’s passion for inventing, establishment or growth of a new enterprise (Cardon, Gregoire et al., 2013). Given the significance of entrepreneurial operation for economic and social growth, scholars have started to explore the personal and contextual factors linked to entrepreneurial passion (Cardon et al., 2013; Thorgren & Wincent, 2015), and the vital role played by entrepreneurial passion in the formation and development of entrepreneurial projects.
Passion is the energy which emanates from putting more of you into what you are doing. It reflects the rhythm of what one is attracted to, what motivates one and what brings one to life (Cardon et al., 2013). Passionate individuals are the ones who fill a discussion with a blast of new energy, they are inspired to get up every day and commit 200% into what they do, so they usually calculate performance in various manners. In order to be effective, one needs to be enthusiastic about his goals (Breugst et al., 2012). Passion is the driver of an entrepreneur. This was first defined to understand entrepreneurial conduct that varies from non-entrepreneurs because of the uncongenial risk taking, motivational energy, determination, uncompromising pursuit of demanding goals, dedicated in the face of goals, unusual intensity of concentration and resolute confidence in a vision of the entrepreneur (Cardon et al., 2009; Breugst et al., 2012). This is felt when the entrepreneur carries out tasks that contribute to his/her entrepreneurial position (Ho & Pollack, 2014).
There is lack of reliable theoretical ties to essential and proven frameworks in research on entrepreneurship like innovation, dedication, need for achievement, self-efficacy and internal motivation. Although researchers have started to establish conceptual frameworks that clarify the affective essence of passion (Cardon et al., 2009; Murnieks et al., 2014), they have not classified how passion contributes to entrepreneurs’ creativity, dedication, desire for success, self-efficacy and internal motivation. Definitely, we actually have knowledge about how passion applies for entrepreneurs and their ventures and how it applies. If passion is to be recognized as a significant motivating force in entrepreneurship, (Vallerand et al., 2017), we need to obtain more insights into the particular ways in which passion connects with creativity, commitment, need for achievement, self-efficacy and internal motivation.
In fact, conceptual studies in the field of entrepreneurship regarded passion as a strong positive force guiding entrepreneurs and encouraging hard work, determination, perseverance, eagerness and high success (Cardon et al., 2009; Cardon & Kirk, 2015). This perception was reinforced by (Cardon & Colleagues, 2009) description of passion as a positive affective condition. The following empirical studies adopted this conceptualization and concentrated on the research of beneficial effects of entrepreneurial passion. Consequently, they have also found positive results of passion. Such research portrayed passion as an entrepreneur’s advantageous trait which would have unmistakably had positive impacts for the new venture.
The possibility that passion might also have negative consequences has not been consistently recognized or examined in the entrepreneurship research, regardless of the fact that was empirically tested in prior studies that explored passion in other field like sport, music or work (Ho et al., 2011; Philippe et al., 2010). While a few papers proposed that passion may have negative implications (e.g., inability to consider or acknowledge disconfirming evidence; overcommitment in a struggling venture) and called for research to explore the crippling, and not just the encouraging roles of passion (Cardon et al., 2005; Cardon et al., 2012), entrepreneurship researchers have not yet completely replied to this request for clarity. Therefore, by relying exclusively on the positive benefits of passion, current literature misguides us by neglecting potential drawbacks of passion, which reinforces a distorted, counterfactual outlook on passion and its results.
Sustainable development could be defined as “the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (UN Brundtland Report, 1987). Brundtland report focuses on social justice and human development within the framework of social equity and the equitable distribution and utilization of resources (Banerjee, 2008). Managing the resources rationally ensures a natural and societal environment for the next generations by conducting an integrative approach with economic, social and environmental politics (Iyigun, 2015). The world is becoming wealthier and intangible business assets and business value can’t be described in economic terms because of the definition paradox. A business model, which has the value creation at the core, will allow concepts of sustainability because value creation is the primary motivator (Wheeler et al., 2013). It is impossible for a company to achieve its sustainable survival without creating value to its employees, shareholders, customers, society and all of its stakeholders because of the new dimensions of competition such as environmental and societal success (Iyigun, 2015). Sustainable entrepreneurship is a concept that includes the overall impact of sustainable performance which can be described as a desire to keep the business going forward, including contributing to employees, the environment, government and the economy at large.
These contributions can have a direct or indirect impact, including giving attention to the wider community in the form of the establishment of social foundations, involving the community in the part of being a supplier of local raw materials and becoming a trainer for superior local product knowledge so that it can be maximally empowered by large companies (Crals, 2005, Genoveva, 2020).
Therefore, this study identifies three research gaps. First, we are restricted in our understanding of how passion contributes to strong psychological mechanisms such as creativity, dedication, need for success, self-efficacy and internal motivation. This was thought that passion in the entrepreneur sets events in motion. However, we do not know much about just what occurs as the passion wheel begins spinning though. Secondly, at the moment we do not have a good picture of the theoretical processes that underlie the operation of passion and its subsequent performance. Thirdly, regardless suggestions from research in related areas, the idea that entrepreneurial passion has a connection with sustainable performance has still not gotten attention in entrepreneurship. This study therefore examines the entrepreneurial passion and sustainable performance in selected restaurant business in Nigeria.
Notwithstanding the progress in the past decade, there is still no strong theoretical base for the principle of passion, so it has not been explicitly incorporated into current theoretical structures of entrepreneurship. The trend of passion in business is discussed quite frequently in general and specialist press. Company articles, interactions with entrepreneurs and short stories show passion as the primary driver of inspiration and a requirement for achievement in entrepreneurial activities. Definitely, a lot of prosperous entrepreneurs attribute their determination to passion. Though, there is no sufficient conceptually, complete evidence that passion actually aids clarify the gap in comprehension about the inspiration of entrepreneurs. Several studies on passion in entrepreneurship concentrate on objective proof from experience and therefore have not yet succeeded in statistically proving that the credibility of passion is well rooted in reality (Cardon et al., 2009). Academic research of passion in entrepreneurship suggests diverse results of passion, but fails to specifically define the processes by which passion contributes to those outcomes (Cardon et al., 2012). There is lack of reliable theoretical ties to essential and proven frameworks in research on entrepreneurship like innovation, dedication, need for achievement, self-efficacy and internal motivation.
Although researchers have started to establish conceptual frameworks that clarify the affective essence of passion (Cardon et al., 2009; Murnieks et al., 2014), they have not classified how passion contributes to entrepreneurs’ creativity, dedication, desire for success, self-efficacy and internal motivation. Definitely, we actually have knowledge about how passion applies for entrepreneurs and their ventures and how it applies. If passion is to be recognized as a significant motivating force in entrepreneurship, (Vallerand et al., 2017), there is a need to obtain more insights into the particular ways in which passion connects with creativity, commitment, need for achievement, self-efficacy and internal motivation. In addition, shortcomings in existing studies leave gaps in the theoretical framework describing the working processes through which passion applies its possible effect on the innovation, dedication, desire for success, self-efficacy and internal motivation of entrepreneurs. The overwhelming majority of current research on entrepreneurial passion concentrates on the beneficial impact of passion (Vallerand et al., 2017). Based on this trait that passion shares like many other beneficial impacts, prior researches have embraced prior conceptual norms as regards the consequences of favourable impacts, modifying the independent variable into passion. Thus, they repeated several of the findings of prior researches of overall helpful impact. Although such researches offer a first overview of behavioural results of passion, they restrict the roles of passion to those that result from it as positive effect, and fail to expand our knowledge of the exceptional operating mechanisms of passion. Disregarded conceptual version of the psychological singularity of passion provides a fresh variety of conceptual relationships and permits one to explore the mechanism of passion outside those that arise from it being a beneficial influence (Murnieks et al., 2014). This brings a whole new variety of possibilities of theoretically recognizing the nature of passion as an influential force and the processes through which it brings sustainable performance in the entrepreneurial practice. In fact, theoretical researches in the field of entrepreneurship regarded passion as a strong influential dynamism guiding entrepreneurs and encouraging discipline, determination, persistence, enthusiasm and great success (Cardon et al., 2009; Cardon & Kirk, 2015). The perception was reinforced by (Cardon et al., 2009) description of passion as a favorable effective condition. The following practical researches embraced this concept and concentrated on the research of beneficial effects of entrepreneurial passion. Consequently, they have also discovered favourable results of passion. Such research portrayed passion as an entrepreneur’s advantageous trait which would undeniably have favourable outcomes for the new company.
The probability that passion might also have negative consequences has not been consistently identified or investigated in entrepreneurial study, regardless of the fact that it was empirically tested in previous studies that explored passion in other field like athletics, entertainment or work. While a few papers proposed that passion may have negative implications (e.g., inability to consider or acknowledge non-confirming proof; over-commitment in a struggling business) and called for research to explore the crippling, and not just the encouraging roles of passion (Cardon et al., 2005; Cardon et al., 2012), entrepreneurial researchers are yet to completely reply this request for clarity. Therefore, by relying exclusively on the helpful benefits of passion, current writings mislead us by overlooking possible demerits of passion, which reinforces a distorted, counterfactual outlook on passion and its results. An exceptionally advantageous representation of passion can deceive entrepreneurs or businesspersons into searching gullibly for passionate entrepreneurs to partner with, though passion might not necessarily have favourable results (Philippe et al., 2010). Therefore, from a theoretical outlook, relating passion absolutely to advantageous results, without reciprocal deliberation of possible adverse consequences, signifies a skewed and inadequate representation of the passion phenomenon and does not improve theories in this area. This biased view of passion study in entrepreneurship illustrates the importance of understanding benefits and drawbacks of becoming passionate, as well as the conditions in which any result may occur (Ho et al., 2011).
Therefore, it identifies three research gaps. First, we are restricted in our understanding of how passion contributes to strong psychological mechanisms such as creativity, dedication, need for success, self-efficacy and internal motivation. This was thought that passion in the entrepreneur sets events in motion. Nevertheless, we do not know a lot about just what occurs as the passion wheel begins spinning though. Secondly, at the moment we do not have a good picture of the theoretical processes that underlie the operation of passion and its subsequent performance. Thirdly, regardless suggestions from researches in related areas, the idea that entrepreneurial passion has a connection with sustainable performance has still not gotten attention in entrepreneurship. Considering the deficiencies in passion studies posed in entrepreneurship, and from the perspective of conceptual and practical perspectives one can obtain from similar fields of research, a novel and systematic comprehension of the phenomena of passion and the results in the entrepreneurial phase is required.
The aim of this research is to identify the correlation linking entrepreneurial passion and sustainable performance among selected restaurant businesses in Ikeja, Lagos state. In line with this, the precise objectives are to:
The following questions were outlined from the objectives to guide the research.
Overview of Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship literatures have recognized that the entrepreneur is important to the new venture’s development and its success (Schumpeter, 1934; Ioana, 2017). This tradition dates to the first references of entrepreneurship. The word “entrepreneur” as used today can be traced to the 17th century French military, where the head of the military expedition was nominated. This might be reason why the English translation for the French word entrepreneur was “adventurer” or “merchant” (Redlich, 1949; Ioana, 2017). Indeed, up until modern-day, it is related to risk, venture and progress. In the 18th century, the concept was first brought in to economical context by the Irish French economist and banker Richard Cantillon (Murphy, 1986; Ioana, 2017). In his analysis, he differentiates between fixed income wage earners and entrepreneurs – non-fixed income wage earners and describes the entrepreneur as a person who buys products at a certain price so that they can be sold later, possibly at a profit (Hébert & Link, 1989; Ioana, 2017).
Entrepreneurship is a trend that has been recognized as having a global impact resource in every country where it is well developed and based on parameters relevant to country economic policy implementation (Ahmad & Seymour, 2018). The hope of all nations is for the growth and survival of their people, and these results in the discovery of opportunities instead of prosperity and creativity by the entrepreneurs of the country (Smit & Musango, 2015). Therefore, it is important for all nations to provide room for entrepreneurs to succeed in their business activities as this will have multiplying effects in the growth of the nation through a growing trade economy. Entrepreneurship is not just about starting a new company. In an uncertain world, entrepreneurship is characterized as a process of value creation and appropriation led by entrepreneurs (Mishra & Zachary 2014).
According to (Imran et al., 2019), Entrepreneurship is related to innovation of forms and is one of the most important contributors to economic development, especially in today's world, as it brings several benefits. In economic terms, entrepreneurship refers to risk taking and innovation. The risk taking connects to the chance and probability of the success of new and sustainable business ventures, ideas, products, or services, however, such innovation is likely to benefit society’s development and economic growth (Imran et al., 2019). A firm’s decision-making skills are essential to prepare the work force for crisis, as well as the job itself, not only bringing the development of products but also the views and ideas of society (Azhar et al., 2015).
It was during the sixteenth century that the word “entrepreneur” was regarded as a person who is responsible for undertaking a business venture (Curry, 2014).
Entrepreneurial passion in developing market economies is critical for both academia as well as policy makers since these economies reflect an exceptional cultural environment where entrepreneurs are confronted with multiple growth constraints (Moy & Luk, 2003; Robson & Obeng, 2008; Adomako, 2016). However, scholarly perception of entrepreneurial passion in these economies is less recognized. For instance, while studies from the Western World have empirically explored how passion contributes to venture development (Baum & Locke, 2014) and venture capital investment decisions (Chen et al., 2019), several of this research may not generalize to developing countries in general and Nigeria precisely. This is because there are diverse cultural, institutional, economic, and socio-political environments in developing countries (Julian & Ofori-Dankwa, 2013). The market structures for resource exchange, for instance, are well established in the developing economies and the regulatory frameworks are relatively stable. In comparison, developing economies or less developed market economies are marked by elevated rates of uncertainty and business imperfections (Luo & Tung, 2007; Adomako, 2016). This establishes structural voids and hurdles to entrepreneurship in developing economies (Acquaah, 2007; Adomako, 2016).
Role of Entrepreneurs in the Development of the Economy
Entrepreneurial development is the main contribution in any country's economic development. The objectives of industrial development, balanced regional growth, and job creation are achieved through entrepreneurial development. Entrepreneurs are at the core of economic growth, resulting in increased job opportunities for unemployed youth, higher per capita wages, higher living standards and higher government revenues in the form of salaries, sales tax, export duties, import duties etc. (Hubner, 2017). The entrepreneurs serve as a gateway to developing new businesses, thus rejuvenating the economy and maintaining the economic development in the following ways:
a) Improvement in per capita income/wealth generation
Based on Table 1 above, the accounting socialization variable has a minimum value of 8 because of 93 respondents there were 8 respondents who answered statements with an average value of 2 answers and a maximum value of 18 because of 93 respondents there was 1 respondent who answered statements with an average value of answers4.5.The accounting socialization variable has a mean value of 12.16 and a standard deviation of 2.763.
How Questionnaire was Distributed among 3 Local Governments
|Local Governments||Number of registers business||Distribution of Copies|
b) Generation of employment opportunities
By establishing a new business venture, entrepreneurs create job opportunities for others. Unemployment is a major issue, especially in the context of developing economies like Nigeria. Educated youths often are unable to get to get a suitable employment themselves. Thus, entrepreneurs are not only self-employed, but they are also job creators (Standwick & Standwick, 2009).
c) Inspire others towards entrepreneurship
The team created by an entrepreneur, offers the employees the opportunity to have first-hand experience of participating in an entrepreneurial venture. An existing venture provides a number of entrepreneurial opportunities through forward and backward linkages, to these employees even to become entrepreneurs themselves. Thus, this process helps in forming a chain reaction of entrepreneurial activity which directly contributes to the health of the economy (Naidu & Rao, 2018).
d) Balanced regional development
Entrepreneurs seek to reduce regional economic development. They set up the industries in the backward areas to avail various subsidies and incentives offered by the Central and State Governments, thereby balancing the economic growth in different regions in the country (Hubner, 2017).
e) Enhance the number of enterprises
The number of companies focused on new ideas/ concepts / products in a region increases as new businesses are founded by entrepreneurs. An increase in the number of firms enhances the competition for new ideas, but greater competition across firms also facilitates the entry of new firms specializing in a particular new product or service. This is because the necessary complementary inputs are more likely available from small specialist niche firms than from large vertically integrated products (Wicks & Freeman, 2010).
Passion was first identified to understand entrepreneurial behaviour; unusual risk-taking, uncommon intensity of focus and unwavering dream-belief. It is often described as 'the fire of passion' or 'the fire in the belly' which drives everyday effort (Cardon et al., 2009; Breugst et al., 2012). It is the feeling that arises when “one has the freedom and opportunity to pursue one’s vision” (Galbraith et al., 2014). Or as the founder of the Body shop said it is ‘the fire that drives your life’s work’. It is different from motivation, since it encompasses a wide range of psychological forces that encourage individuals to exert effort, whereas passion is more about an intense, optimistic inclination toward specific tasks (Murnieks et al., 2014).
While also building on literatures on social psychology and entrepreneurship (Chen et al., 2019) has described entrepreneurial passion as the extreme emotional condition of an entrepreneur expressed by personal valuable cognitive and behavioural action. Consequently, if passion is quite integral to successful entrepreneurship activities, then, it is only logical that this must be present or build prior to setting up of ventures. Researchers have also called for a greater understanding of passion because of its fundamental significance in entrepreneurial enterprise (Cardon et al., 2015; Chen et al., 2019).
Entrepreneurship is the embodiment of passion. It makes entrepreneurs believe in what they do, which is necessary to realize their business dreams and to achieve success against all odds (Ma & Tan, 2016). According to Shane et al. (2013), Passion will promote the identification of opportunities, the creation of ideas and the execution of opportunities (resource assembly, organizational design, market making, and product growth). Entrepreneurial passion plays a role in the formation of new businesses and sustainable performance (Cardon et al., 2015), and has a significant positive impact on the financing decisions of business capitalists (Chen et al., 2019). Passion has an indirect effect on business growth (Smith et al., 2015) and boosts the likelihood of success for an entrepreneur (Foo, 2016).
A scientific review done by (Cardon et al., 2009), showed that among the articles they analysed, three themes were most prevalent when describing entrepreneurial passion: (1) The "passion" content is an intense and optimistic emotion (2) Whose empirical sources or artifacts typically include incentives, tasks, or events relevant to a venture and (3) has a motivational effect which encourages entrepreneurs to overcome barriers and remain engaged (Cardon et al., 2009). Psychological literature on emotions and thoughts, focused on these three concepts, grounded ideas from study and experience in entrepreneurship, (Cardon et al., 2009) defined their own definition. This definition will be leading in this study as well due to the following two reasons: 1) It defines passion from an entrepreneurial perspective, and 2) It is the most cited definition of passion in literature. Entrepreneurial passion is a deliberately open and intense positive feeling felt by participating in entrepreneurial activities involving positions that are important and relevant to the entrepreneur's self-identity (Cardon et al., 2009). The next session looks at the unique role identities of entrepreneurs.
Antecedents of Entrepreneurial Passion
Scholars have begun to investigate the personal and antecedents of entrepreneurial passion, but their precedents have gained comparatively less attention than their outcomes. Only 25 of the 60 empirical studies conducted on entrepreneurial passion looked at the antecedents of entrepreneurial passion (Newman et al., 2019). In the following sections, we would discuss personal and contextual antecedents that have been connected to various types of entrepreneurial passion.
Antecedents of entrepreneurial passion towards different domains
Personal antecedents: A small number of studies have examined the link between demographic variables (e.g., entrepreneurial tenure, experience, age, gender, and education level) and entrepreneurial passion towards different activities/domains. For example (Cardon et al., 2013) examined whether an entrepreneurs’ passion towards inventing, founding, and developing varied according to their age, gender, education level, prior entrepreneurial experience, and firm age. They found that male entrepreneurs and those with prior entrepreneurial experience exhibited significantly higher levels of intense positive feelings towards inventing. They also found that the age of the firm was positively related to the entrepreneur’s intense positive feelings and identity centrality towards founding. Finally, they established that entrepreneurial experience was positively related to the entrepreneur’s identity centrality toward developing (Lopez et al., 2018).
Stenholm and Nielsen (2019) found a positive link between entrepreneurial experience and a composite measure of entrepreneurial passion capturing passion towards inventing, developing, and founding. (Tagger et al., 2019) found that while founding experience was positively related to passion for founding, business experience was positively related to passion for developing. They also found that the entrepreneur’s core self-evaluation was related to passion for founding, developing, and inventing. (Collewaert et al., 2016) looked at how entrepreneurial passion for founding changed over the venture lifecycle. While they found that an entrepreneur’s identity centrality remained stable over time, they also found that an entrepreneur’s intense positive feelings for founding decreased over time.
Contextual antecedents: A small number of studies have examined the role played by contextual antecedents in shaping entrepreneurial passion towards different domains. Drawing on data from 39 entrepreneurial firms, (Kang et al., 2016) examined the link between the organizational climate and the entrepreneurial passion of employees. They found that the innovation climate in the organization was positively related to employees’ passion for inventing, and that the strength of this relationship was contingent on the proactive climate in the organization. Drawing on social support theory, (Stenholm & Nielsen, 2019) found that entrepreneurs who perceived higher levels of emotional support from others had higher levels of entrepreneurial passion towards inventing, founding, and developing, especially when they had greater entrepreneurial experience. (Bolinger & Bolinger, 2019) highlighted rivalry and revenge as a potential source of entrepreneurial passion. Finally (Mensmann et al., 2019) found that participation in personal initiative training fostered entrepreneurial passion towards inventing and developing among female entrepreneurs, but not male entrepreneurs.
Antecedents of entrepreneurs’ passion for work
Contextual antecedents: Some but limited work has examined the contextual antecedents of entrepreneurs’ passion for work more generally. (Snell et al., 2015) found that the marketing capabilities of small firms were positively related to an entrepreneur’s passion for work. Drawing on social facilitation theory, (Bhansing et al. 2017) examined whether the location in which creative entrepreneurs work (i.e., creative business centers) predicted their entrepreneurial passion. They found that the passion exhibited by others in the location where entrepreneurs worked (localized passion) was positively associated with their own entrepreneurial passion as a result of emotional contagion processes. The next section discusses the outcomes of passion in entrepreneurship.
Concept of Sustainable Performance
Sustainable development could be defined as “the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (UN Brundtland Report, 1987). Brundtland report focuses on social justice and human development within the framework of social equity and the equitable distribution and utilization of resources (Banerjee, 2008). Managing the resources rationally ensures a natural and societal environment for the next generations by conducting an integrative approach with economic, social and environmental politics (Iyigun, 2015). The world is becoming wealthier and intangible business assets and business value can’t be described in economic terms because of the definition paradox. A business model, which has the value creation at the core, will allow concepts of sustainability because value creation is the primary motivator (Wheeler et al., 2013).
It is impossible for a company to achieve its sustainable survival without creating value to its employees, shareholders, customers, society and all of its stakeholders because of the new dimensions of competition such as environmental and societal success (Iyigun, 2015). Sustainable entrepreneurship is a concept that includes the overall impact of sustainable performance which can be described as a desire to keep the business going forward, including contributing to employees, the environment, government and the economy at large. These contributions can have a direct or indirect impact, including giving attention to the wider community in the form of the establishment of social foundations, involving the community in the part of being a supplier of local raw materials and becoming a trainer for superior local product knowledge so that it can be maximally empowered by large companies (Crals, 2005; Genoveva, 2020).
Emerging Perspective of Entrepreneurship towards Sustainability
Entrepreneurship and sustainability are not mutually exclusive (Gawel, 2012) and it has been consolidated recognized that sustainability are inextricably intertwined with entrepreneurship (Criado-Gomis et al., 2017). Sustainability-related entrepreneurship has emerged as an increasingly important concept of great interest with different theoretical approaches like “Ecological Modernization Theory, Entrepreneurship Theory, Game Theory, Stakeholder Theory, Institutional Theory, Non-Institutional Theory, Dynamic Capabilities View, and Resource-based View” (Criado-Gomis et al., 2017). However, even those papers have brought up array of definitions, whereas it is well said that the sustainable entrepreneurship assume to put emphasis on forcing the entrepreneurial actions to contribute to sustainability.
Entrepreneurial passion has a significant contribution to the firm performance, while some scholars and practitioners have criticized that entrepreneurial actions centered on generating profits would damage the environment or social cohesion (Chang & Park, 2018). Therefore, the enterprises should also be responsible for the negative social and environmental effects (Cohen & Winn, 2017) since they have been challenged by societal pressures and environmental legislation (Yang et al., 2017). Nowadays, sustainability has attached its great importance to government, NGOs and business after the WCED world commission, there is agreement that continuous economic growth of established economic systems is unsustainable. Furthermore, it is no doubt that the entrepreneurs differ in what they value (Tomczyk et al., 2013). From economics perspective, entrepreneurs are motivated by self-interest (Bacq et al., 2016) or profit-seeking motives as they insisted on the incompatible relationship between economic and non-economic benefits. That is, they think the higher considerations of the society and environment, the lower profits they could attain. Since the entrepreneurs are definitely made, not born (Ericsson & Charness, 2014), the sustainability mindset requires the entrepreneurs to deeply make better understanding of sustainable issues (Kuchertz & Wagner, 2010). This new breed of entrepreneurs is dually oriented towards both entrepreneurial growth and sustainability.
Dimensions of Sustainable Performance
The concept of “sustainability” and “triple bottom line” (Elkington, 1997) has created a platform consisting of business, government and civil society. Triple bottom line as a concept includes three main dimensions which are closely related with each other. Economic sustainability or growth is the preliminary step of a company’s survival and sustainability, which is the ability to manage its capital, stock and funds including capital, tangible and intangible assets. Environmental sustainability or vitality ensures that companies operate without harming the ecosystem and creating over-dose emission. Social sustainability or performance implies that companies have to manage their business operations according to the stakeholders’ needs, which should be in accordance with the value system of the company (Iyigun, 2015). All the dimensions have a different effect showing the interaction and interdependency among them (Elkington, 1997). This research therefore included two more dimensions of sustainability to expand the literature and help to understand sustainability more (Innovative processes and operational excellence).
Innovative processes: Jensen et al. (2017) found that the customers are more satisfied, when they get better services and products. They found that in China companies, with innovation, the employees’ performance increases because the job become easier and faster. The impact of the increase in employee performance also increases customer satisfaction. On the other hand, (Gronthier & Chiritia, 2019) found that the impact of innovation capabilities in companies consists of three stages: resources, process and values. The resources come from the incubator program; this program creates more combination of employee innovation. The process is acted upon the new project development test, which are based on business model with focus on customer unsolved problems.
Operational excellence: Rusev and Salonitis (2017) have defined operational excellence as a consequence of an enterprise-wide practice of ideal behaviours based on the correct principles and the right cultural adaptation focused on customer value addition or simply as a state where each and every employee can see and contribute to the flow of value to the customer and fix that flow before it breaks down as a consequence of applying the right principles and behaviours. According to (Duggan, 2012), a key component of operational excellence is leanness, which means avoiding waste by keeping the system functioning as efficiently as possible. Employees must strive to ensure that the parts of the system they are responsible for are not wasting resources. This in turn benefits the flow of value to the company's customers. In addition, the employee's ability to maintain that flow and to fix it when it breaks down helps free management to focus on increasing the business.
For this research, the emphasis will be on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, identity theory and contingency theory. It is because they have the basic explanations for the motivation gotten by entrepreneurs (restaurant business owners) in displaying their business which is the basic build up.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Dagmar (2014) claimed that the underlying concept is the assumption that an unfulfilled need causes uncertainty and a state of imbalance, that results in establishing the equilibrium of the targeted objectives that will fulfil the desire and choice of a behavioural approach. (Gawel, 1997; Adebanji et al., 2017) stated that Maslow posited that all behaviours are motivated by unsatisfied needs and as a result, people will be better motivated if their work experience satisfies their needs and wants. With the help of Abraham Maslow theory on motivation using the needs concept, distinguishing between primary needs, such as food, sleep, and other biological needs, and secondary psychological needs that are learned and vary by culture and by an individual becomes a requirement (Upadhyaya, 2014).
Implications of Maslow’s theory to entrepreneurship: The Maslow’s theory identified and arranged the needs of persons in the society as displayed in the hierarchy. It asserted that lower needs must be satisfied before trying to satisfy the higher needs (Upadhyaya, 2014). In this light it can be assertive that the needs for entrepreneurs especially restaurant business owners are expected to be in the basic needs platform and are found in the physiological needs. Possibly the identification of this needs will lead to the reduction or elimination of vices in the society. Also, once a need is satisfied, it ceases to be a strong motivator. The criticisms against Maslow’s theory is that it is not research based and it is questionable whether human needs can be clearly arranged and satisfied in such hierarchy (Nwachukwu, 2012).
Maslow’s suggestion of specific order of needs may not apply to everyone but in the case of entrepreneurs, it sure will apply for fundamental growth cause the requirement for physiological and social needs are general as the necessities that needs to be fulfilled are basic. The created government regulation for business activities are for accountability not to ensure basic survival or business continuity. Thus, the ability for them to result into success led to mishap. This noticeable mishap by business opportunity detectors results into currency making chance for the entrepreneurs, where the sorted needs are found and created. Viewing the concept of the Maslow theory, the entrepreneurs can be linked with the psychological needs (i.e. food, shelter, sex and etc.) with possible influence from other needs and could be attributable to. The attainment of needs brings forth a relationship between like minds and thus the social need is considered, sprouting the entrepreneurship’s growth (Adebanji et al., 2019).
Identity theory: The social psychology literature suggests that the concept of passion reflects high-priority goals that shows emotionally significant outcomes (Frijda, 2013) and tends to demonstrate the individual’s creativity (Goldberg, 1986; Adomako, 2016). Prevailing scholarly studies argued that entrepreneurs’ passion is connected to identities (Murnieks & Mosakowski, 2006; Cardon et al., 2009; Cardon et al., 2013; Murnieks et al., 2014). Identity internalises expectations about the aspect’s individuals hold about themselves which are central, distinctive and enduring, and which are at least in part reflected in the social role that they enact (Brockner et al., 2016; Cardon et al., 2009). For this reason, identity theory provides a theoretical orientation for examining the relationship between entrepreneurial passion and sustainable performance. Identity theory, conceptualised in previous studies (Stryker & Burke, 2010) suggests that identities commence as social roles. These roles demonstrate the behaviours and meanings connected to certain social group such as entrepreneurs. Accordingly, (Cardon et al. (2009) broadened the identity theory in the entrepreneurship literature by suggesting multi-faceted entrepreneurial self-concept. More specifically, extant literature has argued that there are many different types of entrepreneurial identities rather than a single entrepreneurial identity (Cardon et al., 2009); Cardon et al., 2013). Accordingly, a few scholars have conceived passion from empirical perspective considering three specific aspects the entrepreneurial passion: 1) passion involves the experience of intense positive feelings, 2) passion results from engagement in activities with identity meaning and salience to the entrepreneur 3) the feelings and identity centrality are focused on three specific entrepreneurial domains (Cardon et al., 2013).
Contingency theory: Several scholars have examined the contingency theory (Ginsberg & Venkatraman, 1985 cited in Adomako, 2016). A point of convergence is that there are several ways of organising and for that matter any one way of organising is not sufficient under all situations. It has been argued that there is no comprehensive strategy that is excellent for all businesses regardless of their resource advantages and environmental conditions (Galbraith, 1973; Adomako, 2016). Several contingency scholars contend that firm performance is a function of the agreement between a firm and its external environment, strategy, and structure (Duncan, 1972; Fredericks, 2004 Adomako, 2016). Consistent with other contingency scholars, (Fiedler 1964; Adomako, 2016) suggests that the optimum organisation is subject to various internal and external constraints. Strategic management scholars argued that the assumption is rooted in the concept of matching organizational resources with the corresponding environmental context (Chandler, 1962; Andrews, 1980; Ginsberg & Venkatraman, 1985; Adomako, 2016). This suggests that there is no one-size fits all set of strategic choices that is optimal for all businesses, irrespective of their resource positions and environmental context (Lawrence and Lorsch, 1967, Adomako, 2016).
The following hypotheses have been outlined to achieve the purpose of the study.
H1: There is no positive relationship between entrepreneur’s creativity and innovative processes.
H2: There is no positive correlation between entrepreneur’s commitment and social performance.
H3: There is no positive relationship between need for achievement and economic growth.
H4: There is no positive correlation between entrepreneur’s self-efficacy and environmental vitality.
H5: There is no positive relationship between entrepreneur’s internal motivation and operational excellence.
The quantitative approach was implemented in this study because the data obtained from this analysis is numerical and analyzed using statistical methods. Data was collected from the respondents by conducting an online Google questionnaire form. The study used cross-sectional research design because a structured questionnaire was used to collect data from respondents at once.
This research design was adopted because it is an applicable design to find out how entrepreneurial passion factors affect the sustainable performance of restaurant business owners at a period. Since there is no recent survey done to determine the number of registered restaurant business owners, the study therefore used the Restaurant Association survey report to determine the population of the study. The population of the study consisted of 980 registered restaurant businesses operating within Kosofe, Surulere and Ikeja in Lagos State. Owners were selected because of their knowledge and familiarity with the running of their own establishment. The choice of this group of restaurant businesses was because of their registration with the relevant authorities. As such, they are well organized with registered office addresses and full-time employees. The study used cluster sampling technique to locate the sample out of the population. The study also adopted cluster sampling technique to choose restaurant business owners from the 3-local government in Lagos State namely, Kosofe, Surulere and Ikeja and simple random sample was used to select the population from the clusters. Simple random sampling is appropriate to cut smaller sample size from a larger population to make the generalizations about the larger group.
Sample Size Determination
The sample size for this research will be determined by Yamane formula as cited in Israel (2015). The assumption is that the sample is demonstrative of the population. Sample size formula: n = N / 1+N (e)2
Where: n = sample size
N = population size
e = sample error level of significance 1= constant
= 980 / 1+980 (0.05)2
= 980 / 1+980 x 0.0025 = 980 / 1+ 2.45
= 980 / 3.45
The minimum sample size for this study is two hundred and eighty four (284).
The use of questionnaire by the researcher was that, it helped the researcher to get opinions as they are in their natural state. It also guaranteed measureable answers for the same items from all participants. Also, it saved both time and cost to allocate and evaluate. The questionnaire employed to gather the data was closed-ended. This is because it has the benefits of being faster and simple for participants to answer and it is also easy to code and statistically evaluate. It divided the questionnaire into three parts. Section A collected respondents' bio-data, section B was based on questions about each variable operationalized under the independent variable, while section C was based on questions using a four-point likert scale for each of the variables in the dependent variable (strongly agree, agree, disagree and strongly disagree).
The above table shows how the total copies of questionnaire were dispersed according to population size of each of the 3 local governments in Lagos State. This was achieved by taking the numbers of registered restaurant businesses, multiplied by the sample size of the study and divided by the total registered restaurant businesses.
Validity of Research Instrument
Validity describes how the data adopted captures the expanse of research (Ghauri & Gronhaug, 2015). Generally, validity implies “measure what is proposed to be measured” (Field, 2015). Content validity which was used for the study is described as the extent in which items in an instrument reveal the content to which the instrument will be general (Straub et al., 2014). In general, content validity includes the evaluation of a new survey instrument in order to ensure that it incorporates all the necessary elements and excludes undesirable elements from a particular construction area (Straub et al., 2014). The critical method of content validity method requires the access of scholars to experts in order to enable authentication. To achieve a pronounced content validity, the research instrument was given to my supervisor and other academic expertise in my university to proof read and remark on. It was to ensure that all items in the questionnaire were fully in agreement with the research questions and hypotheses (Haar, 2019).
Test of Hypotheses
The hypothesis raised in this study was tested using regression analysis. The hypothesis summary in Table 2 shows that there are significant correlations among entrepreneurial passion and sustainable performance constructs. This proves that entrepreneurial passion influences sustainable performance.
|1||There is no positive relationship between entrepreneur’s Creativity and innovativeprocesses.||Regression||0.007||H01 Rejected||There is a positive relationship between entrepreneur’s creativity and innovative processes. 2:.027F-Value: 7.388|
|2||There is no positive relationship between entrepreneur’s commitment and social performance.||Regression||0.000||H02 Rejected||There is a positive relationship between entrepreneur’s commitment and social performance. R2:.095F-Value: 28.437|
|3||There is no positive relationship between need for achievement and economic growth.||Regression||0.000||H03 Rejected||There is a positive relationship between need for achievement and economic growth. R2:.061
|4||There is n positive relationship between entrepreneurs’ self-efficacy and environmental vitality||Regression||0.000||H04: Rejected||There is a positive relationship between entrepreneur self-efficacy and environmental vitality. R2: .213 F-Value: 72.989|
|5||There is no positive relationship between entrepreneur’s internal
Motivation and operational excellence.
|Regression||0.000||H05: Rejected||There is a positive relationship between entrepreneur’s internal motivation and operational excellence. R2: .071 F-Value: 20.602|
The first hypothesis stated that no positive relationship existed between creativity and innovative processes. The findings supported the study by (Imran et al., 2019) where it was mentioned that a very vital trait that entrepreneurs must possess in order to achieve sustainable development in their business organization is the ability to be creative. It was also stated that creativity in business gave entrepreneurs a competitive advantage because passionately pursuing creativity exposed entrepreneurs to greater opportunities for growth and development. The findings were also in line with a research by (Akuraun et al., 2019) that examined entrepreneur’s characteristics for successful business enterprise and discovered that creativity among others is what keeps entrepreneurs going in business. It was further mentioned that the ability to constantly develop creative ways of running a business or organization is what gives rise to successful entrepreneurs and organizations. Furthermore, (Genoveva & Tanardi, 2020) pointed out that entrepreneurial passion has been seen to play a vital part in organizational sustainability with specific reference to passion for creativity.
The second hypothesis stated that no positive relationship existed between commitment and social performance. The findings agreed to a research by (Gronthier & Chirita, 2019) and it was mentioned that entrepreneurs who are passionately committed to the efficient and effective running of their business enterprise come out very successful at it. It was further stated that people begin projects passionately but do not have the commitment factor to follow through to the end even under difficult times, which is why most businesses foldup because of lack of commitment. Cardon and Glauser (2010) emphasized on the need for entrepreneurs and leaders of organization to possess commitment as a quality because commitment as it relates to sustainable performance is what will bring about productivity in organizations.
The third hypothesis stated that no positive relationship existed between need for achievement and economic growth. The findings fully supported a research carried out by McClelland (2010), where a strong relationship was identified between need foe achievement and economic sustainability among entrepreneurs. It was further mentioned that entrepreneurs who possess the trait of a need for achievement are high achievers who bear a strong desire for success and establish challenging standards for themselves. They not only strive to achieve outstanding outcomes but also seek improvements in their actions to obtain the best results. Mamun and Ekpe (2019) also mentioned that the need for achievement has been considered as one of the dynamic forces among individuals striving for success. Likewise, the success in a business venture can motivate an entrepreneur’s personal desire or drive. The researchers further elaborated on the idea that most times are ample resources and opportunities and still the business is not a successful venture only because the entrepreneur does not have the desire to achieve financial success.
The fourth hypothesis stated that no positive relationship existed between self-efficacy and environmental vitality. Siddiqui, (2016) who discovered a significant relationship between entrepreneurial self-efficacy on performance while highlighting that successful entrepreneurs passionately embrace self-efficacy which leads to improved performance. Miao et al. (2017) carried out an empirical research stating that self-efficacy predicts sustainable performance. Based on social learning theory, entrepreneurs who have self-efficacy hold a strong belief in their capabilities to accomplish an entrepreneurial task. They tend to establish goals that are challenging in nature and show persistence in their efforts to accomplish a task, which is reflected in the improved performance of a business. Another study by Meri and Alkhalaf, (2019) stated that entrepreneurs who possess high self-efficacy are highly ambitious and set challenging goals for their business ventures. They researchers further mentioned that care has to be taken when setting challenging goals to assure that the goals are attainable, while at the same time keeping the entrepreneurs motivated to work with full determination in the interest of their business.
The last hypothesis stated that no positive relationship existed between internal motivation and operational excellence. The findings were in agreement with Stangler, (2019) where it was stated that motivation leads to a desire to exert effort towards achieving an objective and it is highly important in entrepreneurship. It was also mentioned that motivation is an inner state that causes an individual to behave in a way that ensures the accomplishments of some goals. Harris, Saltstone, and Fraboni, (2019) studied the relationship between entrepreneurial motivation and crowd funding success. They explained entrepreneurial motivation by dividing it into two types: The first type was common motivation which considered risk appetite, achievement needs, control points, and tolerance to ambiguity, etc. The second type was task-oriented, motivation which considered goal setting. Entrepreneurial motivation was divided into four types: family, security, intrinsic rewards, independence and autonomy and extrinsic rewards. It was discovered that the entrepreneur is motivated for tracking wealth and fame, which are the motivation of taking social responsibility and motivation for pursuing self-achievement. Mahto and McDowell (2020) conducted a study on entrepreneurial motivation by considering a non-entrepreneur’s journey to becoming an entrepreneur and concluded that entrepreneurship is considered as an action-oriented phenomenon and entrepreneurial motivation is the most important element of an individual’s contribution in the entrepreneurial practice.
The research is confined to restaurant business owners in Ikeja, Lagos therefore, the results are not a wide opinion of the experiences of entrepreneurs in other business ventures. The results are also limited to the effects of entrepreneurial passion on sustainable performance and not bearing in mind other aspects of entrepreneurship that may impact on sustainable performance. This denotes that the results may not exclusively define the effects on sustainable performance because other aspects also contribute to sustainable performance. Diverse independent variables have diverse connections with sustainable performance and as such their impact can never be similar. Another limitation is that the number of restaurant business owners that will be present as at when data collection will be carried out may not amount to the entire number of restaurant owners due to the corona virus outbreak which is quite high in Lagos state. Most restaurant owners may prefer not to open so as not to contact corona virus victims.
As the entrepreneurship literature points out, the role of passion is critical for explaining business success. There are several recommendations to be derived from the conclusions of the study especially from developing market economies such as Nigeria.
First, a crucial element of an individual’s entrepreneurial development is to nurture the individual to perceive, understand and regulate passion. Indeed, there is a pressing need for governments and policy makers to improve growth outcomes of restaurant businesses, especially in developing countries. This study recommends that one way to achieve this is to nurture the individual to perceive, understand and regulate passion.
The study’s findings can help career mentors, coaches, and policy makers in designing policy relevant interventions that bring in entrepreneurialism into the career development and guidance process. Given that passion is an important component of entrepreneurship, training programs can be designed to develop cognitive-related processes involving passion that extend beyond creating new ventures to include the broader career context. Second, entrepreneurs need support from their governments and other organizations to operate successfully. This is important because entrepreneurs encounter constraints to sustainable performance. Indeed, the literature highlights the significance of the external environment for supporting entrepreneurial activities. Third, the present study recommends that one way to better prepare individuals’ mindset in the society may be to encourage them to increase their passion for entrepreneurship and opportunities. Efforts can also be made to help them acquire more entrepreneurial mindsets for potential opportunities. This could have implications for labour policies that have traditionally called for more emphasis on entrepreneurship to tackle the economic challenges of work and employment for the youth.
Given that the different dimensions of entrepreneurial passion are increasingly seen as key factors, the exploration of entrepreneurial passion and its influence on organizational performance is expanding in both psychology and entrepreneurship but remains in its infancy in sustainable performance. The central aim of this research was to identify the effects of entrepreneurial passion on sustainable performance using selected restaurant business owners as the case study. In so doing, this study assessed the dimensions of entrepreneurial passion which are creativity, commitment, need for achievement, self-efficacy, and internal motivation and how it affects the sustainable performance dimensions which are innovative processes, social performance, economic growth, environmental vitality and operational excellence. The findings offer a positive answer to the research questions of the study. Building on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, identity theory and contingent theory, these results suggest that entrepreneurial passion can strengthen the significant positive effects of sustainable performance. As such, this research is a major attempt to unravel the value of entrepreneurial passion on sustainable performance among restaurant business owners. The present research contributed significantly to the entrepreneurial passion literature by providing a mechanism that helps entrepreneurs to identify which dimension of passion brought fruitful insights for future entrepreneurs, in order to improve their individual behaviour as well as sustainable performance. The study has equally added to knowledge by elaborately discussing five dimensions of entrepreneurial passion (creativity, commitment, need for achievement, self-efficacy, and internal motivation) and five dimensions of sustainable performance (innovative processes, social performance, economic growth, environmental vitality and operational excellence) alongside integrating concepts from regulatory focus theory. It has provided a mechanism that regularized passionate entrepreneur’s self-efficacy and improved their individual performance. The study has also contributed to knowledge on how passion develops and influences outcomes outside of the context of entrepreneurship.
The present findings suggest that future researchers should make further use of sustainability-based models. The five dimensions of entrepreneurial passion (creativity, commitment, need for achievement, self-efficacy and internal motivation) each represent fruitful directions for future research. The study also suggests that entrepreneurial passion research would benefit greatly from longitudinal data on different factors on sustainable performance. The present study needs to be repeated with larger samples and in another cultural context. In this regard, it would be interesting to explore how university lecturers, students, doctors and entrepreneurs in general perceive the concept of passion. A comparable study can be carried out among entrepreneurs that embrace passion and those that do not embrace it. The difference between these two will help show the importance of passion in entrepreneurs towards sustainability.
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