5.2.5 – Grounded Theory

Grounded Theory


Research is gathered about an area of interest and the theory emerges from this research as it is gathered and analysed. This is an inductive method.

(1) Identify an area of interest and find out where data for this can be gathered from.
(2) As the data is gathered, ‘codes’ and ‘categories’ can be identified.
(3) Patterns are identified from the codes and categories.
(4) The theory will develop around these patterns.
(5) Once the theory has developed, they begin to only code the relevent information for the theory
(6) Finally, they review the literature and develop the theory further.

For example Nathaniel (2007) was interested in nursing practice and used grounded theory to do this.


(+) Evidence is integrated into the theory, which increases the validity.
(-) If data is flawed or misinterpreted, this could reduce the validity. For example, they may have been biased when gathering the data and disregarded relevent, contradicting evidence. They may be forcing the data to fit with the theory.
(-) Reliability –> With the same evidence, other people may come to completely different conclusions.
(-) Takes a very long time to gather the data, especially in the beginning when the theory isn’t clear.