In search of missing time: A review of the study of time in leadership research

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34 Scopus citations


Many studies describe leadership as a dynamic process. However, few examine the passage of time as a critical dimension of that dynamism. This article illuminates this knowledge gap by conducting a systematic review of empirical studies on temporal effects of leadership to identify if and how time has been considered as a factor. After synthesizing key findings from the review, the article discusses methodological implications. We propose that a computational science approach, particularly agent-based modeling, is a fruitful path for future leadership research. This article contributes to leadership scholarship by shedding light on a missing variable (time) and offering a novel way to investigate the temporal, dynamic, emergent, and recursive aspects of leadership. We demonstrate the usefulness of agent-based modeling with an example of leader-member exchange relationship development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalLeadership Quarterly
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2017


  • Agent-based model
  • Computational science
  • Leadership
  • Process
  • Time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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