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Measuring Entrepreneurial Passion: Conceptual Foundations and Scale Validation

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 15:20

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.

Categories: Books

Pathways of Passion:: Identity, Centrality, Passion, and Behavior Among Entrepreneurs."

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 15:15

This study examines the role of passion among entrepreneurs. In particular, the authors integrate identity theory with the literature surrounding passion to investigate the possible pathways through which entrepreneurial identities might influence passion, as well as the relationship between entrepreneurs’ passion and behavior. Structural equation modeling of responses from 221 entrepreneurs suggests that passion rises and falls in connection with entrepreneurial identity centrality and, furthermore, that passion is associated with individual entrepreneurial behavior and entrepreneurial self-efficacy. This research provides a starting point for investigating the factors that may impact the development of entrepreneurs’ passion as well as the specific mechanisms through which passion energizes entrepreneurial action.

Categories: Books

Pathways of Fire: An Empirical Look at Entrepreneurial Passion

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 15:10

This paper develops and tests a theory of entrepreneurial passion. We draw from the literature on identity theory to investigate the influence of entrepreneurial identities on entrepreneurial passion, as well as the relationship of entrepreneurial passion to behavior. Empirical analyses of responses from 247 entrepreneurs confirm that entrepreneurial passion rises and falls in connection with entrepreneurial identity centrality. Moreover, entrepreneurial passion influences entrepreneurial behavior through multiple pathways involving intrinsic motivation, self-efficacy and positive affect. This research provides new insights into the factors that impact entrepreneurial passion as well as the mechanisms through which that passion stokes the fire of entrepreneurial action.

Categories: Books

Volunteer Management Practices during Challenging Economic Times

Thu, 03/19/2015 - 10:54

Nonprofit organizations rely upon volunteers to facilitate their missions of meeting critical community needs. Since 2006, on average, 61.9 million Americans or 26.4 percent of the adult population volunteered every year through organizations delivering 8.1 billion hours of service worth approximately $162 billion to America’s communities (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012; Corporation for National and Community Service 2010). Most recent data released by The Bureau of Labor in 2013 further suggest between September 2011 and September 2012 approximately 64.5 million people volunteered via an organization at least once. In light of high unemployment, donor fatigue, and slow economic growth, it is also anticipated that nonprofit reliance on volunteers will continue to increase (Salamon and Spence 2009). As cautioned by Doherty and Mayer (2003) when revenue sources are compromised as a result of an ailing economy, continued devolution, and severe budget cuts at all levels of government, nonprofits will increasingly be compelled to cope in new ways to achieve their missions. Therefore, as nonprofit organizations continue to face compromised revenue sources due to severe federal funding cuts and reduced donor support, managers will be compelled more than ever before to utilize their volunteers with fewer resources. However, the words of Lipsky and Smith (1989/90) and again by Brudney and Duncombe (1992) still ring true today: volunteers are not free, nor are nonprofit managers always equipped to make the most of their volunteers (Urban Institute 2004; Yanay and Yanay 2008). Furthering the findings of prior research (Levine and D’Agostino 2012), the purpose of this study is to identify the specific practices that emerge among volunteer managers in human service organizations during challenging economic times. Given that volunteer management encompasses a range of complex activities, such as recruiting, coordinating, leading, supporting, administering and organizing volunteers as well as strategic oversight and management of volunteer programs this study introduces complexity theory as a lens for understanding volunteer management capacity during challenging economic times. Although business (Curley 2012) and legal studies (Hornstein 2005) have utilized complexity as a guiding theory, the framework used in this study is a unique and important contribution to the nonprofit volunteer management literature. This study incorporates complexity theory as a means to frame a model of volunteer management that offers nonprofit chief executives, managers and funders a new perspective on how to successfully cope with volunteers and strengthen capacity during these challenging times. First, literature reviewing nonprofit and volunteer management capacity building is examined. The paper then introduces complexity theory as a basis for understanding volunteer management capacity. We then proceed with the methods section and discussion of key findings. We conclude with study limitations and areas for future research.

Categories: Books

Measuring Brief

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 16:25
Categories: Books

Measuring Brief

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 16:25
Categories: Books

Measuring Brief

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 16:25
Categories: Books

2014 Bench Memorandum

Thu, 03/12/2015 - 16:25
Categories: Books

Greenwashing and Self-Declared Seafood Ecolabels

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 16:15

The credibility and veracity of an environmental claim depends on a high degree of transparency, clarity, and trust. Businesses that utilize ecolabels to market the environmental performance of their seafood products often turn to third-party certifications to minimize the potential for greenwashing and provide a level of verification and independence. Others rely on a riskier approach by developing their own self-declared or first-party ecolabels. Seafood retailers and suppliers considering the creation and use of an ecolabel, certification, or seal to be used in the marketing of seafood products should ensure compliance with applicable Food and Drug Administration and United States Department of Agriculture labeling rules. Furthermore, entities pursuing self-declared or first-party seafood ecolabels should consult the Federal Trade Commission's Green Guides, closely follow developments in greenwashing litigation under federal and state consumer protection and unfair competition laws, and heed the early advice of legal experts in the field.

Categories: Books

Contesting Disclaimer-of-Reliance Clauses by Efficiency, Free Will, and Conscience: Staving Off Caveat Emptor

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 16:11

This Article hopes to make evident two trends seemingly in conflict. The first trend is toward raising the standards of probity and veridicality in contractual relations toward greater accountability and liability on market actors operating outside traditional bounds. The first is expressed by new rules that: require good faith and fair dealing between parties; ensure sellers are obligated to disclose material facts about a property otherwise unavailable to buyers; and make wrongdoing parties liable to non-parties who foreseeably relied on the wrongdoers' contractual undertakings. This trend promises to avert injury, achieve efficiency, and seems to accord with society's evolving notions of fairness.

The second trend, exemplified in Teers, counters the first. Because humans are innately self-interested, entrepreneurs (and rascals) have devised techniques to avoid these new levels and kinds of exposure to potential liability for non-disclosure and to non-parties. They have employed market and contract strategies that purport to shift to the other party the onus of uncovering the truth--which might be buried under layers of misrepresentations and that limit non-parties' right to rely on contract promises. The effect is to enable a market actor to contract away liability for intentional wrongdoing by the simple expedients of “as is” and “disclaimer-of-reliance” clauses--the result in Teers. This is troubling in a number of respects. First, the clauses undercut the fundamental character of enforceable contracts being the product of free will. Indeed, the first requirement of contract formation is a meeting of minds. Fraud, ostensibly camouflaged by disclaimers, negates the unknowing party's free will. Second, such liability-avoidance techniques, although ostensibly consistent with the contracting parties' free will, disturb the markets because of the externalities. Absent the truth about the quality or condition of the property, buyers enter into transactions, or pay too much for property unsuitable, or useless, for its intended purpose. Undisclosed defects present the potential for injury to third parties. A buyer's costs of inspection and discovery are greater than a seller's costs of disclosure. Lastly, the exploitative use of these clauses disturbs our sensibilities, offends the law's conscience, and debases not just the parties, but society at large.

Courts' responses to these opportunistic maneuvers have been disparate. Some courts enforce the clauses without much hesitation, focusing on the venerable values of freedom and certainty of contract, chastising buyers for their gullibility. Others categorically outlaw the clauses, expressing consternation at conduct that seems abjectly fraudulent and exploitative. Yet others appear to be inclined to uphold agreements that are freely entered into, although these courts take a case-by-case approach, making fine distinctions based on subtleties in the clause's language, which might allow an injured party relief. These trends must be examined in context, historical and contemporary, to determine whether they reveal a rational response to the self-interested choices of contract participants and whether these responses must be bolstered to ensure that responsibility for unrealized expectations or harm is fairly allocated among the parties. In the end, this Article proposes that disclaimer-of-reliance clauses should be presumptively unenforceable, as they offend current market morality and public policy.

Part II will trace the evolution of thought on market transactions and contracting. Part III discusses the shift in thinking about contract. Part IV reviews limits on contracting imposed by law and policy. Part V discusses the imperative of the law's conscience, outlining a framework for evaluating disclaimer-of-reliance clauses. This Article ends with conclusions and comments on how legal relations have, and must, change in the interests of fairness and efficiency in real estate markets.

Categories: Books

An Environmental Understanding of the Local Land Use System

Tue, 03/10/2015 - 13:25

This Article is adapted from Chapter Three of John R. Nolon, Protecting the Environment Through Land Use Law: Standing Ground, published in 2014 by ELI Press. The book updates and expands on the author’s previous work, describing in detail how localities are responding to new challenges, including the imperative that they adapt to and help mitigate climate change and create sustainable neighborhoods. This Article outlines a comprehensive framework for understanding how traditional local land use authority can be used to preserve natural resources and environmental functions at the community level.

Categories: Books