Harried or myopic leadership: an undue bias for action

Markus Paukku, Liisa Välikangas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


We explore the timing of action as a perspective into bad leadership. The ability to take immediate action is a much-lauded leadership characteristic. The searches of excellence assume that such an action bias delivers success. In this chapter we develop a contrary point of view. We suggest that the kind of harried action conditioned by the demands of the moment and shaped by frequently myopic organizational routines may not result in very good leadership at all, in particular when facing a crisis or meeting a challenge. Hastiness often incurs the costs of action while falling short of the objective. Instead, we suggest that active waiting—a concept supported by examples from military strategy—may constitute temporally reflexive priming for leadership action.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDebating Bad Leadership : Reasons and Remedies
EditorsAnders Örtenblad
Number of pages17
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-65024-7
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-65025-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NamePalgrave Debates in Business and Management
PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland
ISSN (Print)2524-5082
ISSN (Electronic)2524-5090


  • 512 Business and Management


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