The antecedents of entrepreneurial behaviours with an orientation toward the natural environment are attracting academic interest. At this point, however, little is known about the relationship between environmental passion, environmental identity and environmental entrepreneurial behaviours. This paper is aimed at understanding how unique emotions that feed environmental passion impact on the development of entrepreneurs’ identities and behaviours. With this goal in mind, a qualitative inductive study of 22 entrepreneurs was conducted using the Italian wine industry as a research setting, and their histories were analysed. The findings suggest that environmental passion does affect entrepreneurial behaviours and that different levels of passion lead to different identities and behaviours. Thus, the results prove that entrepreneurial behaviours with an environmental orientation are passion- and identity-relevant. The interviews revealed that they do not make decisions in a calculating manner, but rather apply criteria related to their passions and identities. The study results show that entrepreneurs that have an intense passion for the natural environment develop an environmental identity, which in turn leads to entrepreneurial behaviours with a stronger environmental orientation. These significant findings open interesting avenues for future research, such as the analysis of the studied relationships under a family business lens. The research also offers practical implications for helping managers develop an alternative perspective to that of traditional economy-oriented entrepreneurs.
- Environmental identity
- Environmental passion
- Environmental self-identity
- Pro-environmental entrepreneurial behaviour
- Wine industry