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Entrepreneurial Passion as Mediator of the Self-Efficacy to Persistence Relationship


  • Melissa S. Cardon,

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    • Please send correspondence to: Melissa S. Cardon, tel.: 914-773-3618; e-mail:

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    • Melissa S. Cardon is Professor of Management at the Pace University, Lubin School of Business, 861 Bedford Road, Goldstein 112, Pleasantville, NY 10570, USA.
  • Colleen P. Kirk

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    • Colleen P. Kirk is Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Division of Business, Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY, USA.

  • This paper was presented at the 2010 Academy of Management Conference in Montreal, Canada. The authors thank Barbara Bird, James Hayton, and anonymous reviewers for their comments on previous versions of this manuscript.


What makes some entrepreneurs persist in their venture efforts while others quit? Self-efficacy has robustly been found to drive persistence, yet recent work suggests that affect, in particular entrepreneurial passion, may also enhance persistence. We empirically examine the possibility that the long-standing relationship between self-efficacy and persistence might be mediated by entrepreneurial passion. Using data from 129 entrepreneurs, we find that the self-efficacy to persistence relationship is mediated by passion for inventing and for founding but not by passion for developing firms. The passion of entrepreneurs appears to help explain the relationship between entrepreneurial self-efficacy and sustained entrepreneurial action.