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A Content Validation of Work Passion: Was the Passion Ever There?

Abstract

Work passion research most frequently utilizes the dualistic model of passion, which asserts two types of passion that differ based on the internalization of passion into one’s identity: harmonious (adaptive) and obsessive (maladaptive) passion. While interest in work passion is exponentially increasing, scholars have recently pointed out concerns regarding the content validity of the most commonly used measure of the dualistic model of work passion, The Passion Scale. To address these questions, we conduct a content validation of The Passion Scale employing recent best practices in content validation research. Specifically, we examine the degree of content validity of the focal constructs (i.e., the facets of work passion), as well as the distinctiveness of the focal constructs from orbiting constructs (i.e., related but conceptually and empirically distinct constructs), such as work engagement and workaholism. The findings of this research highlight several areas for improvement regarding the content validity of The Passion Scale. Additionally, we include a pool of sample items that could be used to create a revised scale. Implications and future directions for work passion research are discussed.

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Notes

  1. It should be noted that the positive emotions facet of harmonious passion and the negative emotions facet of obsessive passion were mentioned in 3 of the 7 (42.86%) articles we reviewed. To ensure thoroughness, we included these facets in our content validation. All other facets for harmonious and obsessive passion were mentioned in all 7 articles except: significant part of identity (harmonious passion; 6 of 7); harmony (harmonious passion; 6 of 7); controls individual (obsessive passion; 6 of 7); conflicts with other activities (6 of 7).

  2. The 2010 measure also includes a “passion criteria” subscale consisting of four items which assess whether someone is passionate or not. We view this as external to the dualistic model of passion and thus did not include it in our content validation.

  3. The explanation given regarding this discrepancy (Vallerand, 2010, pg. 107) states “the original passion scale (Vallerand et al., 2003) consisted in two 7-item subscales. A slightly revised scale consisting of 6-item scales is now used. These subscales correlate very highly with their respective original subscale (r = 0.80 and above) and yield the same findings with determinants and outcomes. In addition, we have used a 3-item version (Vallerand et al., 2007) and even a 1-item version (Philippe & Vallerand, 2007) of each subscale with much success.”

  4. Percentages sum to > 100% as participants were instructed to select all that apply.

  5. These two orbiting constructs were paired together based on their large number of facets and to ensure participants received an equal distribution of focal and orbiting constructs.

  6. Although we intentionally modeled our methodology after Colquitt et al.’s (2019), we would like to echo Colquitt et al.’s word of caution in that the htc and htd may be impacted by a number of variables, such as the number of anchors chosen, the wording of anchors, number of judges, and type of judges.

  7. While Colquitt et al.’s (2019) cutoffs were established using a large sample (N = 2119), it is worth noting that these cutoffs were establish relative to 112 scales. Thus, over time, these values may be updated as more studies are conducted and/or are refined in the context of a specific variable (i.e., work passion).

  8. The extent to which this is considered contamination could be debated given the overlapping content in the definitions of work meaningfulness and the value/meaning facet of work passion.

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This research was supported by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Louisiana State University.

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Correspondence to Rachel Williamson Smith.

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Smith, R.W., Min, H., Ng, M.A. et al. A Content Validation of Work Passion: Was the Passion Ever There?. J Bus Psychol (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-022-09807-1

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Keywords

  • Work passion
  • Content validation