Process improvement in SMEs: The impact of harmonious passion for entrepreneurship, employee creative self-efficacy, and time spent innovating


  • Mark T. Schenkel Belmont University
  • Steven Farmer Wichita State University
  • John M. Maslyn Belmont University


Harmonious passion, creative self-efficacy, and time spent innovating are examined as antecedents to innovative process improvement suggestions in a field study of 213 employees in an SME. Results show that time spent innovating, or thinking about and experimenting with new ideas, predicts the number of process improvement suggestions.  Time spent innovating is, itself, influenced by the employee’s level of harmonious passion for entrepreneurship, moderated by creative self-efficacy. Counter to expectations, the moderation was negative; such that the positive relationship between harmonious passion and time spent innovating became weaker as creative self-efficacy became stronger. The results provide insight into the complex relationships between passion, competency, and entrepreneurial behavior and suggest the need for additional focus on the processes employees follow to engage in workplace innovation. In doing so, this study makes three specific contributions. First, it provides a fundamental step toward understanding the role harmonious passion plays in innovation in an SME context. Second, it begins to explain the relationship between individuals’ thoughts, behaviors, and outcomes in the nascent stages of innovation in SMEs. Finally, it provides insight into the heretofore unexplored link between passion and creative self-efficacy in fostering innovative behavior. 


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Author Biographies

Steven Farmer, Wichita State University

W. Frank Barton Distinguished Chair in Business

John M. Maslyn, Belmont University