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Passionate Firms Make More Progress, Research Finds

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Passionate teams are higher in team progress, regardless of whether that passion is focused on one or multiple team activities, finds new research from Aalto University School of Business.

According to Associate Professor Ewald Kibler, head of the entrepreneurship unit at Aalto, and postdoctoral researcher Bernadetta Ginting-Szczesny, team entrepreneurial passion (TEP) plays an important role in business ventures as it can positively impact team outcomes and venture performance.

Analysing survey data on 326 individuals from 107 teams at Finnish SMEs, they suggest having a shared passion helps teams work together toward a common goal while maintaining focus and motivation.

Nevertheless, they find additional advantages to directing this passion at multiple activities.

For instance, teams with multiple focuses for their TEP are higher in team potency and identification than teams with single-focus TEP. The researchers suggest this shows teams that are passionate about multiple key activities are more confident in their abilities as a team.

“When a team has high diversity in individual passions without a shared TEP, team performance could suffer. Yet, when a team has shared TEP that incorporates multiple focuses, the impact of that TEP on the team outcomes is positive,” explains Professor Ewald Kibler.

The study finds that teams in which people display high levels of compassion towards others, and themselves tend to experience more polyfocal TEP.

“Managers should devote attention to creating cultures that help team members openly communicate their individual passions, allowing them to contribute positively to their teams while minimising conflicts. These emotional aspects of the team are critical for team dynamics and performance and should receive attention both in the initial team formation stage and throughout ongoing team operations,” says Bernadetta Ginting-Szczesny.

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