Despite its widely researched role in individual success in many life domains, there is little evidence of how positive affect (that is, the extent to which an individual subjectively experiences positive feelings and emotions) plays a role in entrepreneurial success. Our study proposes and tests an extended model of Baron’s (2008) conceptual framework to investigate the role of positive affect in entrepreneurial success by using a dataset of more than 800 sole proprietors. Our research model relates positive affect to Baron’s key aspects of the entrepreneurial process (opportunity recognition, financial resource acquisition, social network development, response to dynamic environment, and tolerance to stress) and the entrepreneurial success of sole proprietors. Our findings show that positive affect is indirectly and positively associated with the entrepreneurial success of sole proprietors through this entrepreneurial process. Indeed, sole proprietors who express generally positive feelings and emotions are more likely to succeed due to their increased capacity to recognize opportunities, develop broad social networks, respond effectively to rapid change in highly dynamic environments and tolerate intense levels of stress. Our findings have important implications for theory and practice.

(positive) affect, PANAS, entrepreneurial process, entrepreneurial success, sole proprietors
M@n@gement : Revue officielle de l'Association Internationale de Management Stratégique
Department of Applied Economics

Bernoster, I, Khedhaouria, A, & Thurik, A.R. (2019). Positive affect, the entrepreneurial process, and entrepreneurial success. M@n@gement : Revue officielle de l'Association Internationale de Management Stratégique, 22(2), 273–296. Retrieved from