The research was developed on the framework of cognitive theory leveraging on the concept of entrepreneurial passion and Role investment theory. Chen et al (2009:201) defines “entrepreneurial passion as an entrepreneur’s intense affective state accompanied by cognitive and behavioural manifestations of high value”. Chances are an activity that is important to an individual or group would yield better result simply because it’s expected that the individual will put in extra effort.
Vallerand et al (2003:756) classified passion to be of two types i.e. “harmonious passion which is associated with voluntary internalization of the job and obsessive passion which deals with a pressured internalization of the job”. Forest et al (2011:28) however believes that “Harmonious passion is linked to positive consequences while Obsessive passion is related to less positive or negative consequences”. Furthermore, Ho et al (2011) viewed job passion as simultaneously encompassing both affective and cognitive features. The affective nature represents a fondness for the work while the cognitive nature places the job as important to the individual (Cardon et al, 2003:515). The research differentiated job passion from other attitudes such as extrinsic and intrinsic motivation, flow, job satisfaction etc that can be confused for work passion.
Ho et al (2011) believes that whatever outcome that can be derived from either type of Job passion is dependent on the individual cognitive engagement in the form of absorption and/or attention. According to Gardner (cited in rothbard, 2001:656),”attention refers to cognitive availability and the amount of time one spends thinking about a role” while Goffman and Kahn (cited in rothbard, 2001:656) explained “absorption as being engrossed in a particular role and refers to intensity on one’s focus on a role”. Zigarmi et al (2010:32) explains Engagement as “the positive attitudes and behaviours that organization would like to see in their employees”. To therefore link passion to performance while leveraging on the cognitive attention and absorption, the researcher sets certain hypothesis (the hypothesis are available in the appendix).
The research is a positivistic, deductive study which used a cross sectional design to investigate job passion and work performance. Questionnaires were administered to a survey sample of 557 respondents out of which performance appraisal record of 509 respondents was obtained as a secondary data to support the primary data obtained. Ho et al (2011) used passion scale to measure the harmonious and obsessive passion, two scales to measure Cognitive engagement, the control variable which helps to differentiate the concept of job passion and other similar behavioural concepts was measured using a seven point scale ranging from 1(not at all) to 7(to a great extent) and finally tested the hypothesis with a two step approach. Anderson and Gerbing (1988:411) believe “a two-step modelling approach provides basis for a meaningful inferences about theoretical construct and their interrelations...”
Findings from the study show that Harmonious passion had a significant positive relationship with Absorption & Attention and Obsessive passion was negatively related to attention but unrelated to Absorption; findings also confirmed hypothesis 3a but disagreed with 3b. In general, the findings show that...