Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate dividend policy decisions in developing countries through studying Jordanian non-financial firms. It aims to highlight the issue of dividend policy and the behaviour of dividends in Jordan as an emerging market. Design/methodology/approach: The paper examines the dividend policy situation in Jordan and compares the differences between developed markets and the emerging markets in the dividend policy context. It uses previous studies and it also covers the determinants of dividend policy. Findings: The paper finds that the dividend policy in Jordan, as a developing country, is influenced by factors similar to those relating to developed countries such as: leverage ratio, institutional ownership, profitability, business risk, asset structure, growth rate and firm size. Furthermore, the factors affecting the likelihood of paying dividends are similar to those affecting the dividend policy. Finally, the results show that the Lintner model is valid for Jordanian data, and that Jordanian firms have target payout ratios and that they adjust to their target relatively faster than firms in more developed countries. Practical implications: The practical implication of the study is that investors and managers should consider the factors that affect the dividend policy when they make their profit distribution decision. Originality/value: The paper investigates the factors that affect the dividend policy and also consider the behaviour issue of dividend payments.