Passion for the job requires new thinking in businesses

Published: 26 March 2012

Work Passion and a work passion inventory - a tool that can be used when recruiting new employees - are studied by researchers Sara Thorngren and Joakim Wincent, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Passion and that the work is meaningful and filled with pleasure is important for today's workers. It requires employers to think about and create working environments where employees have a way out for their passion and creativity, says the two researchers.

Passion is the factor that venture capitalists in the United States consider as most important when they are investing money in new businesses. To look at a prospective employee's commitment to their work could be as important as assessing the formal competence.

Joakim Wincent and Sara Thorngren studies passion linked to the work of 3000 entrepreneurs and project managers of large European projects, among others. The research is based on surveys and statistical analysis of business data from the companies. One goal is to develop a work passion inventory - a battery of questions to find people with a strong commitment to various work roles.

– It requires a new approach which creates jobs and command and control tools that fits those who think that the work should be meaningful and fun and are passionate about this, says the researchers. For example, how do you lead an organization with many enthusiasts so that workers have space and can retain their enthusiasm.

Smaller leader-centered organizations, can for example, be a solution as well as better understanding on how groups with many passionated employees will work best together.

The research team at the university is unique and competitive. The reception of the prestigious IDEA Award, awarded by the Academy of Management, shows a belief that   passion is deemed to have significant impact on future business research. The project around passionate entrepreneurs and workers led by LTU and funded by the Medical Research Council, FAS, Handelsbanken's research foundations, and partly also by Vinnova.

Text: Åsa Svedjeholm