Books and publications

Harvard Business Review

Managing the perks and pitfalls of proactive people

Companies need proactive employees. Proactive employees do more than they are supposed to, are good at realizing ideas, and work to overcome resistance to change. They are essential for suggesting, developing, and sustaining innovative new projects and for helping companies stay competitive.
But being proactive at work involves risk. Entrepreneurial employees often are not rewarded for being proactive. In fact, many face obstacles when trying to innovate in their organizations. For example, pushing for change without being told to can ignite resistance from supervising managers and fellow colleagues. And there is a chance that an initiative might be poorly timed or carried out inappropriately.


Entrepreneurial Team Cognition: A Review

de Mol, E., Khapova, S.N., & Elfring, T.  The Interantional Journal of Management Reviews, 2015.


Entrepreneurial team scholars highlight the importance of studying entrepreneurial team cognition in gaining a better understanding of why some entrepreneurial teams are capable of developing teamwork leading to successful entrepreneurial outcomes while others are not. However, in the absence of a clear definition of entrepreneurial team cognition, researchers continue to employ a vast diversity of potentially related concepts. To bring clarity to this fragmented area of research, the authors performed a systematic literature review of papers concerned with entrepreneurial team cognition published in the leading management and entrepreneurship journals over the past 20 years. This review was guided by two main research questions: (a) what is entrepreneurial team cognition, and (b) how does entrepreneurial team cognition interact with inputs, processes and outcomes. Based on the published literature, key properties of the concept are identified, and an overarching definition of entrepreneurial team cognition composed of these properties is introduced. Next, the review outlines how entrepreneurial team cognition interacts with other variables within a comprehensive input-mediator-output framework. Finally, the review addresses how future research can build on the proposed definition and framework to advance the theoretical depth and empirical investigation of entrepreneurial team cognition.

Predicting Burnout in a Moderated Mediated Model of Job fit

de Mol., E., Ho, V., & Pollack, J. 2016. Journal of Small Business Management


We introduce, and empirically test, a model of entrepreneurial burnout that highlights the relationships among job fit, entrepreneurial passion, destiny beliefs, and burnout. Using a sample of 326 individuals involved in entrepreneurial jobs, we tested the link between job fit and two forms of passion—harmonious and obsessive—and the moderating role of entrepreneurs’ destiny beliefs about work (i.e., the belief that a successful career is “meant to be”). Findings illustrated that their job fit perceptions were positively related to harmonious passion, which in turn negatively predicted burnout. Additionally, the relationship between job fit and obsessive passion was moderated by destiny beliefs, such that it was positive at high and average levels of destiny beliefs. In turn, obsessive passion was positively related to burnout. We discuss implications for both theory and practice.


Heart & Brain: The influence of affective and rational determinants in new venture teams: an empirical examination

The majority of the new venture teams fail within their first year of founding. It is therefore important to understand what drives new venture team performance. After decades of a scholarly focus on rational determinants of new venture performance, such as human capital, feelings and emotions have become increasingly recognized as key drivers of new venture success. While existing work has significantly improved our understanding of these affective determinants, it has focused predominantly on individual entrepreneurs, and has neglected the reality that the majority of the new ventures is founded and led by teams, rather than by individuals. The current study contributes develops an integrative research framework that examines the influence of new venture team affective and rational inputs, and new venture team processes, on new venture outcomes. Original hypotheses relating to these three research themes are tested by using two unique datasets collected among USA based entrepreneurs, and new venture teams participating in a Dutch accelerator program. Results demonstrate that the best performing new ventures combine affective inputs, including entrepreneurial passion, and rational inputs, including human capital, that contribute to beneficial new venture outcomes. Results also indicate that new venture teams can leverage venture performance through participating in team processes and emergent states, such as strategic consensus and entrepreneurial team cognition. Finally, findings reveal a dysfunctional side of passion by showing that its effects are highly conditional on the type of passion that entrepreneurs experience and the composition of the team.