Encyclopedia Entry

Grounded Theory

Brian Haig

Grounded theory is a broad perspective on how to conduct qualitative social science research. It comprises a distinctive methodology, a particular view of scientific method, and a set of procedures for analyzing data and constructing theories. The methodology provides a justification for undertaking qualitative research as a legitimate, indeed rigorous, form of inquiry. The conception of scientific method depicts research as a process of inductively generating theories from closely analyzed data. The specific procedures used in grounded theory comprise an array of coding and sampling procedures for data analysis, and a set of interpretative procedures that assist in the construction of theory that emerges from, and is grounded in, the data. In all of this, grounded theory researchers are expected to meet the canons of doing good scientific research, such as reproducibility and generalizability. Grounded theory has been employed by researchers in a variety of disciplines, including sociology, nursing studies, ...

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