Strauss and corbin 1990 basics of qualitative research pdf

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strauss and corbin 1990 basics of qualitative research pdf

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In this chapter we introduce grounded theory methodology and methods.

Jump to navigation. Grounded Theory is a qualitative research approach that attempts to develop theories of understanding based on data from the real world. Unlike some other forms of qualitative inquiry, grounded theory attempts to go beyond rich description which it also strives for to an explanation of the phenomena of interest. The second key word is grounded. For example, if one wished to derive a grounded theory about the effects of childhood abuse on adult functioning, one would gather many kinds of data from persons who had grown up amid child abuse, and would build the theory of how it affects adult development on the information obtained from those people.

Basics of Qualitative Research (3rd ed.): Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory

Grounded theory is a systematic methodology that has been largely, but not exclusively, applied to qualitative research conducted by social scientists. The methodology involves the construction of hypotheses and theories through the collecting and analysis of data.

The methodology contrasts with the hypothetico-deductive model used in traditional scientific research. A study based on grounded theory is likely to begin with a question, or even just with the collection of qualitative data. As researchers review the data collected, ideas or concepts become apparent to the researchers. As more data are collected, and re-reviewed, codes can be grouped into higher-level concepts, and then into categories. These categories may become the basis of a hypothesis or a new theory.

Thus, grounded theory is quite different from the traditional scientific model of research, where the researcher chooses an existing theoretical framework, develops one or more hypotheses derived from that framework, and only then collects data for the purpose of assessing the validity of the hypotheses.

Grounded theory is a general research methodology, a way of thinking about and conceptualizing data. It is used in studies of diverse populations from areas like remarriage after divorce [5] and professional socialization. While collaborating on research on dying hospital patients, Glaser and Strauss developed the constant comparative method which later became known as the grounded theory method.

They summarized their research in the book Awareness of Dying , which was published in Glaser and Strauss went on to describe their method in more detail in their book, The Discovery of Grounded Theory. Grounded theory emerged in a context in which there was a wave of criticism directed at fundamentalist and structuralist theories that were both deductive and speculative in nature.

A turning point in the acceptance of the theory came after the publication of Awareness of Dying. Their work on dying helped establish the influence of grounded theory in medical sociology , psychology , and psychiatry. Grounded theory combines traditions in positivist philosophy , general sociology , and, particularly, the symbolic interactionist branch of sociology.

According to Ralph, Birks and Chapman, [9] grounded theory is "methodologically dynamic" [7] in the sense that, rather than being a complete methodology, grounded theory provides a means of constructing methods to better understand situations humans find themselves in.

Glaser had a background in positivism, which helped him develop a system of labeling for the purpose of coding study participants' qualitative responses. He recognized the importance of systematic analysis for qualitative research. He thus helped ensure that grounded theory require the generation of codes, categories, and properties. Strauss had a background in symbolic interactionism , a theory that aims to understand how people interact with each other in creating symbolic worlds and how an individual's symbolic world helps to shape a person's behavior.

He viewed individuals as "active" participants in forming their own understanding of the world. Stauss underlined the richness of qualitative research in shedding light on social processes and the complexity of social life.

According to Glaser, the strategy of grounded theory is to interpret personal meaning in the context of social interaction. Grounded theory constructs symbolic codes based on categories emerging from recorded qualitative data. The idea is to allow grounded theory methods to help us better understand the phenomenal world of individuals. Grounded theory provides methods for generating hypotheses from qualitative data.

After hypotheses are generated, it is up to other researchers to attempt to sustain or reject those hypotheses. Questions asked by the qualitative researcher employing grounded theory include "What is going on? Researchers using grounded theory methods do not aim for the "truth. When applying grounded theory methods, the researcher does not formulate hypotheses in advance of data collection as is often the case in traditional research, otherwise the hypotheses would be ungrounded in the data.

Hypotheses are supposed to emerge from the data. A goal of the researcher employing grounded theory methods is that of generating concepts that explain the way people resolve their central concerns regardless of time and place. These concepts organize the ground-level data. The concepts become the building blocks of hypotheses. The hypotheses become the constituents of a theory. In most behavioral research endeavors, persons or patients are units of analysis, whereas in grounded theory the unit of analysis is the incident.

When comparing many incidents in a certain area of study, the emerging concepts and their inter-relationships are paramount. Consequently, grounded theory is a general method that can use any kind of data although grounded theory is most commonly applied to qualitative data. Most researchers oriented toward grounded theory do not apply statistical methods to the qualitative data they collect.

The results of grounded theory research are not reported in terms of statistically significant findings although there may be probability statements about the relationship between concepts. Rather, questions of fit, relevance, workability, and modifiability are more important in grounded theory. A theory that is fitting has concepts that are closely connected to the incidents the theory purports to represent; fit depends on how thoroughly the constant comparison of incidents to concepts has been conducted.

A qualitative study driven by grounded theory examines the genuine concerns of study participants; those concerns are not only of academic interest. Grounded theory works when it explains how study participants address the problem at hand and related problems. A theory is modifiable and can be altered when new relevant data are compared to existing data. Theorizing is involved in all these steps.

One is required to build and test theory all the way through till the end of a project. The idea that all is data is a fundamental property of grounded theory. The idea means that everything that the researcher encounters when studying a certain area is data, including not only interviews or observations but anything that helps the researcher generate concepts for the emerging theory. According to Ralph, Birks, and Chapman field notes can come from informal interviews, lectures, seminars, expert group meetings, newspaper articles, Internet mail lists, even television shows, conversations with friends etc.

Coding places incidents into categories and then creates one or more hierarchies out of these categories in terms of categories and subcategories or properties of a categories. A property might be on a continuum such as from low to high, this may be referred to as a dimension. The core variable explains most of the participants' main concern with as much variation as possible. It has the most powerful properties to picture what's going on, but with as few properties as possible needed to do so.

A popular type of core variable can be theoretically modeled as a basic social process that accounts for most of the variation in change over time, context, and behavior in the studied area. It happens sequentially, subsequently, simultaneously, serendipitously, and scheduled" Glaser, Open coding or substantive coding is conceptualizing on the first level of abstraction.

Written data from field notes or transcripts are conceptualized line by line. In the beginning of a study everything is coded in order to find out about the problem and how it is being resolved. The coding is often done in the margin of the field notes. This phase is often tedious since it involves conceptualizing all the incidents in the data, which yields many concepts.

These are compared as more data is coded, merged into new concepts, and eventually renamed and modified. The grounded theory researcher goes back and forth while comparing data, constantly modifying, and sharpening the growing theory at the same time they follow the build-up schedule of grounded theory's different steps. Strauss and Corbin proposed axial coding and defined it in as "a set of procedures whereby data are put back together in new ways after open coding, by making connections between categories.

Theoretical codes help to develop an integrated theory by weaving fractured concepts into hypotheses that work together. The theory, of which the just-mentioned hypotheses are constituents, explains the main concern of the participants.

It is, however, important that the theory is not forced on the data beforehand but is allowed to emerge during the comparative process of grounded theory. Theoretical codes, like substantive codes, should emerge from the process of constantly comparing the data in field notes and memos. Selective coding is conducted after the researcher has found the core variable or what is thought to be the tentative core. The core explains the behavior of the participants in addressing their main concern.

The tentative core is never wrong. It just more or less fits with the data. After the core variable is chosen, researchers selectively code data with the core guiding their coding, not bothering about concepts of little relevance to the core and its sub-cores. In addition, the researcher now selectively samples new data with the core in mind, a process that is called theoretical sampling — a deductive component of grounded theory.

Selective coding delimits the scope of the study Glaser, Grounded theory is less concerned with data accuracy than with generating concepts that are abstract and general.

Theoretical memoing is "the core stage of grounded theory methodology" Glaser Memoing is also important in the early phase of a grounded theory study e. In memoing, the researcher conceptualizes incidents, helping the process along. Theoretical memos can be anything written or drawn in the context of the constant comparative method, an important component of grounded theory.

In memos, investigators develop ideas about naming concepts and relating them to each other. They examine relationships between concepts with the help of fourfold tables, diagrams, figures, or other means generating comparative power.

Without memoing, the theory is superficial and the concepts generated are not very original. Memoing works as an accumulation of written ideas into a bank of ideas about concepts and how they relate to each other.

This bank contains rich parts of what will later be the written theory. Memoing is total creative freedom without rules of writing, grammar or style Glaser The writing must be an instrument for outflow of ideas, and nothing else.

When people write memos, the ideas become more realistic, being converted from thoughts into words, and thus ideas communicable to the afterworld.

In grounded theory the preconscious processing that occurs when coding and comparing is recognized. The researcher is encouraged to register ideas about the ongoing study that eventually pop up in everyday situations, and awareness of the serendipity of the method is also necessary to achieve good results. Building on the work of sociologist Robert K. Merton , [24] his idea of serendipity patterns has come to be applied in grounded theory research.

Serendipity patterns refer to fairly common experiences when observing the world. Serendipity patterns include unanticipated and anomalous events. These patterns can become the impetus for the development of a new theory or the extension of an existing theory.

Merton also coauthored with Elinor Barber The Travels and Adventures of Serendipity , [25] which traces the origins and uses of the word "serendipity" since it was coined. The book is "a study in sociological semantics and the sociology of science," as the subtitle declares.

Basics of Qualitative Research Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory

Grounded theory method GTM Glaser and Strauss, ; Strauss and Corbin, ; Charmaz, is characterized by the continuous interplay between the collection and analysis of data in order to generate theory that is firmly grounded in empirical phenomena Glaser and Strauss, ; Strauss and Corbin, The method is now an accepted research approach in the information systems IS discipline Urquhart et al. That said, there are many debates around the application of GTM, and the method is contested Duchscher and Morgan, ; Bryant and Charmaz, Important debates relate to the underlying epistemology Mills et al. As a result, there are now different strands of GTM, which differ in various aspects, including induction, deduction, and verification Heath and Cowley, ; Matavire and Brown,

Grounded theory is a systematic methodology that has been largely, but not exclusively, applied to qualitative research conducted by social scientists. The methodology involves the construction of hypotheses and theories through the collecting and analysis of data. The methodology contrasts with the hypothetico-deductive model used in traditional scientific research. A study based on grounded theory is likely to begin with a question, or even just with the collection of qualitative data. As researchers review the data collected, ideas or concepts become apparent to the researchers.

Skip to search form Skip to main content You are currently offline. Some features of the site may not work correctly. DOI: Corbin and A. Corbin , A. Strauss Published Sociology, Computer Science.

Basics of qualitative research : grounded theory procedures and techniques

Grounded theory is a well-known methodology employed in many research studies. Qualitative and quantitative data generation techniques can be used in a grounded theory study. Grounded theory sets out to discover or construct theory from data, systematically obtained and analysed using comparative analysis. While grounded theory is inherently flexible, it is a complex methodology. Thus, novice researchers strive to understand the discourse and the practical application of grounded theory concepts and processes.

This essay focuses on one qualitative research method, grounded theory.


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