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Grounded Theory Research by Mind Map: Grounded Theory Research
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Grounded Theory Research

Presenting... Grounded Theory Research by Terry, Trina and Christine. Please take a look around, there are notes and audio files to explore. Make sure the Properties box is open so you can access all the information.

Critics' Assertions

Please watch Youtube video by Dr. Graham Gibbs, 4:45-end. Access it on the links tab.


Researchers need to set aside any preconceptions they may already have in order to view the data as objectively.

Category saturation

Judging when category saturation is complete is subjective.

Internal differences

Glasser, who co-founded GT with Strauss in 1967, later criticized Strauss' approach as being too prescribed and structured. Charmaz criticized Strauss and Corbin's approach for being too structured and said that the use of jargon, diagrams and conceptual maps is an attempt by the researchers to gain power through their use.

Theoretical Underpinnings

Field of study

Is unique among qualitative approaches in that it was developed within a single discipline, Sociology. It is now also popular in other disciplines such as nursing, education, and psychology.


Classic grounded theory assumes an objective observer who uses a very rigorous, systemic set of procedures to collect and analyze data in order to develop a theory to explain the data.

Social Constructivist

Constructivist grounded theory recognizes multiple realities and can have a more abstract approach to data collection and analysis. The resulting 'theory' is recognized to be only suggestive as it is an interpretation of how the subjects construct their realities.

Internal divisions

Strauss and Glaser originally worked together to develop a framework for GT. Shortly after, however, they went their separate ways; Glaser felt Strauss was too rigid in his approach. Much later Charmaz adopted GT but with certain changes, creating "constructivist grounded theory".

Seminal Researchers

Role of literature reviews

Glaser is very clear that literature reviews should not be done prior to developing the theory in order to maintain an open mind. In the linked video he goes so far as to say that it is "a waste of time" as it often does not relate well to the final theory.

Research Purposes and Questions

See audio file.


Used when no theory exists to explain the process or when the theory available is incomplete or does not fit the context.


To generate or discover a theory based on the views of a large number of participants.


What was the process? What was central to the process? What influences or causes are involved? What strategies were used? What were the outcomes?

Data Collection and Analysis

Systematic procedure

Strauss and Corbin's Model

Is this methodology right for the research question?

Theoretical sampling

Open coding, Go to the field, Go to the office, Go back to the field, Go back to the office

Axial Coding, Axial coding paradigm, Comparative method of analysis, Go back to the field, Go back to the office

Selective coding


Conditional Matrix (optional)

Examples, "A Grounded Theory of Behavior Management Strategy Selection, Implementation, and Perceived Effectiveness Reported by First-Year Elementary Teachers" by Smart and Igo (2010), "Coping strategies of high school students with learning disabilities" by Givon and Court (2009), "Moderated guiding: a grounded theory of nursing practice in end-of-life care" by McCallin (2011)

Constructivist Grounded Theory

The Charmaz model.



Examples, "'Discovering' chronic illness: Using grounded theory" by Charmaz (1990), "Using grounded theory and action research to raise attainment in, and enjoyment of, reading" by Butterfield (2009)

Reporting and Evaluation

End result

End result is a theory, often summarized into a diagram, either a web or using concentric circles (eg. Creswell, p.293) which is then explained in detail.

Reporting forms

Reporting can be in the form of papers, theses, monographs and presentations.


The examples provided all presented their theories in chart form. This was followed by a detailed description of the different parts of the chart.

Key Researchers

Please watch Youtube clip by Dr. Graham Gibbs from the University of Huddersfield in the UK.  Watch until 4:45

Anselm Strauss

Published "The Discovery of grounded theory" with Glaser in 1967

Often worked with Juliet Corbin

Eg. Corbin & Strauss, 2008

Barney Glaser

Developed classic grounded theory with Strauss

Founded the Grounded Theory Institute

Often works with Judith Holton, Editor-in-chief of Grounded Theory Review

Eg. Glaser & Holton, 2004

Kathy Charmaz

Developed constructivist Grounded Theory

Eg. Charmaz, 1990

Antoinette McCallin

Uses classic grounded theory

Contributor and reviewer of Grounded Theory Review

One of 13 researchers of Grounded Theory Online

Eg. McCallin, 2011


Butterfield, 2009

Butterfield, J. (2009). Using grounded theory and action research to raise attainment in, and enjoyment of, reading. Educational psychology in practice, 25(4), 315-326.

Charmaz, 1990

Charmaz, K. (1990). 'Discovering' chronic illness: Using grounded theory. Social science & medicine, 30(11), 1161-1172.

Corbin & Strauss, 2008

Corbin, J. M., & Strauss, A. L. (2008). Basics of qualitative research: techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory (3rd ed.). Los Angeles, Calif.: Sage Publications.

Creswell, 2007

Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry & research design: choosing among five approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Givon & Court, 2010

Givon, S. & Court, D. (2010). Coping strategies of high school students with learning disabilities: a longitudinal qualitative study and grounded theory. International journal of qualitative studies in education, 23(3), 283-303.

Glaser & Holton, 2004

Glaser, B., & Holton, J. (2004). Remodeling Grounded Theory. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 5(2), 1-17.

Glaser & Strauss, 1967

Glaser, B.G. & Strauss, A.L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: strategies for qualitative research. Chicago: Transaction Publishers.

McCallin, 2011

McCallin, A.M. (2011). Moderated guiding: a grounded theory of nursing practice in end-of-life care. Journal of clinical nursing, 20(15-16), 2325-2333.

Smart & Igo, 2010

Smart, J.B. & Igo, B.L. (2010). A grounded theory of behavior management strategy selection, implementation, and perceived effectiveness reported by first-year elementary teachers. The elementary school journal, 110(4), 567-584.