Cognition, Technology & Work

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 158–164 | Cite as

Adaptive leadership in trauma resuscitation teams: a grounded theory approach to video analysis

  • Yan XiaoEmail author
  • F. Jacob Seagull
  • Colin F. Mackenzie
  • Katherine Klein
Original Article


The detailed analysis of team interactions can be a source of insight into team processes and how teams interact with technology. Video recordings afford an exciting medium for such analysis. We describe a study of team leadership in the highly dynamic, high-stakes environment of trauma resuscitation. The study was conducted through video recording team activities in actual work settings and analysing the video data using a grounded theory approach. The primary research questions were: what are the functions of team leadership and how do they vary according to task situations? A corpus of 152 video segments from 18 trauma patient resuscitation cases was compiled to address these research questions. A catalog of team leadership functions was developed, along with a categorisation of the task situations in which team leadership occurred. The implications of this catalog and the mapping between leadership and task situations are discussed in relation to the findings from an interview study and a survey study on team leadership. The methodological advantages of a grounded theory approach for in-context video analysis for studying work are also discussed.


Leadership Team performance Qualitative methods Video analysis 



The work reported here was supported by the Army Research Institute (DASW 01-99-K-0003) and National Science Foundation (IIS-9900406). The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not reflect the official positions of the funding agencies. The authors wish to thank the assistance of Jacqueline Moss, Rebecca Roys, Paul Regnault and Jonathan Ziegert and the support of the clinicians who participated in the study reported here. Jean MacMillan also provided valuable contributions to the revision of an earlier version of the paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yan Xiao
    • 1
    Email author
  • F. Jacob Seagull
    • 1
  • Colin F. Mackenzie
    • 1
  • Katherine Klein
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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