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The role of patience as a decision-making heuristic in leadership

M.D. Haque (ADR Global Management, Los Angeles, California, USA)
Lu Liu (Department of Organizational Leadership, University of La Verne, La Verne, California, USA)
Angela TitiAmayah (Department of Business Management and Economics, State University of New York Empire State College, Rochester, New York, USA)

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management

ISSN: 1746-5648

Article publication date: 12 June 2017




The purpose of this paper is to address the gap in the literature by providing a precise conceptualization of the concept of patience in the context of leadership.


The current study was conducted using a qualitative approach as it aimed to explore leaders’ perceptions and experiences with patience and eventually build a theoretical model in relation to the role of patience in leadership. Because the aim of the study was to obtain insight into the experiences of the participants in their own words, this study adopted a grounded theory research design.


The grounded theory study resulted in an emergent theoretical model for understanding the decision-making process of leaders who exhibit patience as a character strength and how those leaders promote organizational success. Through an inductive approach, this grounded theory study identified the behaviors that participating leaders viewed as patient, as well as the outcomes and the contextual conditions for the effectiveness of such behaviors.

Research limitations/implications

A major contribution of this study is that leaders epitomized by patience are guided by a decision-making framework that can contribute to more favorable decision making outcomes.

Practical implications

The proposed model for patience leadership has implications for developing the leadership capacity.


Patience, as a leadership quality, has been overlooked virtue in the social and psychological sciences. In order to explore the potential nexus between patience and leadership, the study has offered an emergent theoretical model and indicated the specific ways in which leaders may effectively practice patience.



Haque, M.D., Liu, L. and TitiAmayah, A. (2017), "The role of patience as a decision-making heuristic in leadership", Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 111-129.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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