Contingent leadership and effectiveness of trauma resuscitation teams

J Appl Psychol. 2005 Nov;90(6):1288-96. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.90.6.1288.


This research investigated leadership and effectiveness of teams operating in a high-velocity environment, specifically trauma resuscitation teams. On the basis of the literature and their own ethnographic work, the authors proposed and tested a contingency model in which the influence of leadership on team effectiveness during trauma resuscitation differs according to the situation. Results indicated that empowering leadership was more effective when trauma severity was low and when team experience was high. Directive leadership was more effective when trauma severity was high or when the team was inexperienced. Findings also suggested that an empowering leader provided more learning opportunities than did a directive leader. The major contribution of this article is the linkage of leadership to team effectiveness, as moderated by relatively specific situational contingencies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adult
  • Anthropology, Cultural*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Female
  • Group Processes
  • Group Structure
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training
  • Leadership*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Power, Psychological
  • Resuscitation / education*
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*