Grounded Theory Method (GT) is a systematic methodology in the social sciences involving the discovery of theory through the analysis of data. Grounded theory method is a research method which operates almost in a reverse fashion from traditional social science research. Rather than beginning with a hypothesis, the first step is data collection, through a variety of methods. From the data collected, the key points are marked with a series of codes, which are extracted from the text. The codes are grouped into similar concepts in order to make the data more workable. From these concepts, categories are formed, which are the basis for the creation of a theory, or a reverse engineered hypothesis. This contradicts the traditional model of research, where the researcher chooses a theoretical framework, and only then applies this model to the phenomenon to be studied.
- 1 Background
- 2 Four stages of analysis
- 3 Premise
- 4 Grounded theory nomenclature
- 5 Split in methodology
- 6 Criticism
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
The Grounded Theory method was developed by two sociologists, Barney Glaser and Anselm Strauss. Their collaboration in research on dying hospital patients led them to write the book Awareness of Dying. In this research they developed the constant comparative method, later known as Grounded Theory Method. From its beginnings in health, the grounded theory method has come to prominence in fields as diverse as drama, management, manufacturing and education.
Four stages of analysis
|Codes||Identifying anchors that allow the key points of the data to be gathered|
|Concepts||Collections of codes of similar content that allows the data to be grouped|
|Categories||Broad groups of similar concepts that are used to generate a theory|
|Theory||A collection of categories that detail the subject of the research|
Grounded theory method is a systematic generation of theory from data that contains both inductive and deductive thinking. One goal is to formulate hypotheses based on conceptual ideas. Others may try to verify the hypotheses that are generated by constantly comparing conceptualized data on different levels of abstraction, and these comparisons contain deductive steps. Another goal of a grounded theory study is to discover the participants’ main concern and how they continually try to resolve it. The questions the researcher repeatedly asks in grounded theory are "What’s going on?" and "What is the main problem of the participants, and how are they trying to solve it?" These questions will be answered by the core variable and its subcores and properties in due course.
Grounded theory method does not aim for the "truth" but to conceptualize what is going on by using empirical research. In a way, grounded theory method resembles what many researchers do when retrospectively formulating new hypotheses to fit data. However, when applying the grounded theory method, the researcher does not formulate the hypotheses in advance since preconceived hypotheses result in a theory that is ungrounded from the data.
If the researcher's goal is accurate description, then another method should be chosen since grounded theory is not a descriptive method. Instead it has the goal of generating concepts that explain the way that people resolve their central concerns regardless of time and place. The use of description in a theory generated by the grounded theory method is mainly to illustrate concepts.
In most behavioral research endeavors, persons or patients are units of analysis, whereas in GT the unit of analysis is the incident. Typically several hundred incidents are analyzed in a grounded theory study since usually every participant reports many incidents.
When comparing many incidents in a certain area, the emerging concepts and their relationships are in reality probability statements. Consequently, GT is a general method that can use any kind of data even though the most common use is with qualitative data (Glaser, 2001, 2003). However, although working with probabilities, most GT studies are considered as qualitative since statistical methods are not used, and figures are not presented. The results of GT are not a reporting of statistically significant probabilities but a set of probability statements about the relationship between concepts, or an integrated set of conceptual hypotheses developed from empirical data (Glaser 1998). Validity in its traditional sense is consequently not an issue in GT, which instead should be judged by fit, relevance, workability, and modifiability (Glaser & Strauss 1967, Glaser 1978, Glaser 1998).
Fit has to do with how closely concepts fit with the incidents they are representing, and this is related to how thorough the constant comparison of incidents to concepts was done.
Relevance. A relevant study deals with the real concern of participants, evokes "grab" (captures the attention) and is not only of academic interest.
Workability. The theory works when it explains how the problem is being solved with much variation.
Modifiability. A modifiable theory can be altered when new relevant data is compared to existing data. A GT is never right or wrong, it just has more or less fit, relevance, workability and modifiability.
Grounded theory nomenclature
A concept is the overall element and includes the categories which are conceptual elements standing by themselves, and properties of categories, which are conceptual aspects of categories (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). 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. "GT is multivariate. It happens sequentially, subsequently, simultaneously, serendipitously, and scheduled" (Glaser, 1998).
All is data is a fundamental property of GT which means that everything that gets in the researcher’s way when studying a certain area is data. Not only interviews or observations but anything is data that helps the researcher generating concepts for the emerging theory. Field notes can come from informal interviews, lectures, seminars, expert group meetings, newspaper articles, Internet mail lists, even television shows, conversations with friends etc. Another linked with this concept technique consists of conducting self interview and treating that interview like any other data, coding and comparing it to other data and generating concepts from it.
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 you are conceptualizing all the incidents in the data, which yields many concepts. These are compared as you code more data, and merged into new concepts, and eventually renamed and modified. The GT researcher goes back and forth while comparing data, constantly modifying, and sharpening the growing theory at the same time as she follows the build-up schedule of GT’s different steps.
- On a related note, Strauss and Corbin (1990, 1998) also proposed axial coding and defined it in 1990 as "a set of procedures whereby data are put back together in new ways after open coding, by making connections between categories." They proposed a "coding paradigm" (also discussed, among others, by Kelle, 2005) that involved "conditions, context, action/ interactional strategies and consequences.” (Strauss & Corbin, 1990, p. 96)
Selective coding is done after having found the core variable or what is thought to be the core, the tentative core. The core explains the behavior of the participants in resolving their main concern. The tentative core is never wrong. It just more or less fits with the data. After you have chosen your core variable you selectively code data with the core guiding your coding, not bothering about concepts with little importance to the core and its subcores. Also, you now selectively sample new data with the core in mind, which is called theoretical sampling – a deductive part of GT. Selective coding delimits the study, which makes it move fast. This is indeed encouraged while doing GT (Glaser, 1998) since GT is not concerned with data accuracy as in descriptive research but is about generating concepts that are abstract of time, place and people. Selective coding could be done by going over old field notes or memos which are already coded once at an earlier stage or by coding newly gathered data.
Theoretical codes integrate the theory by weaving the fractured concepts into hypotheses that work together in a theory explaining the main concern of the participants. Theoretical coding means that the researcher applies a theoretical model to the data. It is important that this model is not forced beforehand but has emerged during the comparative process of GT. So the theoretical codes just as substantives codes should emerge from the process of constantly comparing the data in field notes and memos.
Theoretical memoing is "the core stage of grounded theory methodology" (Glaser 1998). "Memos are the theorizing write-up of ideas about substantive codes and their theoretically coded relationships as they emerge during coding, collecting and analyzing data, and during memoing" (Glaser 1998).
Memoing is also important in the early phase of a GT study such as open coding. The researcher is then conceptualizing incidents, and memoing helps this process. Theoretical memos can be anything written or drawn in the constant comparison that makes up a GT. Memos are important tools to both refine and keep track of ideas that develop when you compare incidents to incidents and then concepts to concepts in the evolving theory. In memos you develop ideas about naming concepts and relating them to each other. In memos you try the relationships between concepts in two-by-two tables, in diagrams or figures or whatever makes the ideas flow, and generates 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 1998). The writing must be an instrument for outflow of ideas, and nothing else. When you write memos the ideas become more realistic, being converted from thoughts in your mind to words, and thus ideas communicable to the afterworld.
In GT 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.
In the next step memos are sorted, which is the key to formulate the theory for presentation to others. Sorting puts fractured data back together. During sorting lots of new ideas emerge, which in turn are recorded in new memos giving the memo-on-memos phenomenon. Sorting memos generates theory that explains the main action in the studied area. A theory written from unsorted memos may be rich in ideas but the connection between concepts is weak.
Writing up the sorted memo piles follows after sorting, and at this stage the theory is close to the written GT product. The different categories are now related to each other and the core variable. The theoretical density should be dosed so that concepts are mixed with description in words, tables, or figures to optimize readability.
In the later rewriting the relevant literature is woven in to put the theory in a scholarly context. Finally, the GT is edited for style and language and eventually submitted for publication.
No pre-research literature review, no taping and no talk
GT according to Glaser gives the researcher freedom to generate new concepts explaining human behavior. This freedom is optimal when the researcher refrains from taping interviews, doing a pre research literature review, and talking about the research before it is written up. These rules makes GT different from most other methods using qualitative data.
No pre-research literature review. Studying the literature of the area under study gives preconceptions about what to find and the researcher gets desensitized by borrowed concepts. Instead, grounded theories in other areas, and GT method books increase theoretical sensitivity. The literature should instead be read in the sorting stage being treated as more data to code and compare with what has already been coded and generated.
No taping. Taping and transcribing interviews is common in qualitative research, but is counter-productive and a waste of time in GT which moves fast when the researcher delimits her data by field-noting interviews and soon after generates concepts that fit with data, are relevant and work in explaining what participants are doing to resolve their main concern.
No talk. Talking about the theory before it is written up drains the researcher of motivational energy. Talking can either render praise or criticism, and both diminish the motivational drive to write memos that develop and refine the concepts and the theory (Glaser 1998). Positive feedback makes you content with what you've got and negative feedback hampers your self-confidence. Talking about the GT should be restricted to persons capable of helping the researcher without influencing her final judgments. Grounded is also a technical term.
Split in methodology
Since their original publication in 1967, Glaser and Strauss have disagreed on how to apply the grounded theory method, resulting in a split between Straussian and Glaserian paradigms. This split occurred most obviously after Strauss published Qualitative Analysis for Social Scientists (1987). Thereafter Strauss, together with Juliet Corbin, published Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques in 1990. This was followed by a rebuke by Glaser (1992) who set out, chapter by chapter, to highlight the differences in what he argued was original grounded theory and why, according to Glaser, what Strauss and Corbin had written was not grounded theory in its "intended form" but was rather a form of qualitative data analysis. This divergence in methodology is a subject of much academic debate, which Glaser (1998) calls a "rhetorical wrestle". Glaser continues to write about and teach the original grounded theory method.
According to Kelle (2005), "the controversy between Glaser and Strauss boils down to the question of whether the researcher uses a well-defined 'coding paradigm' and always looks systematically for 'causal conditions,' 'phenomena/context, intervening conditions, action strategies' and 'consequences' in the data, or whether theoretical codes are employed as they emerge in the same way as substantive codes emerge, but drawing on a huge fund of 'coding families.' Both strategies have their pros and cons. Novices who wish to get clear advice on how to structure data material may be satisfied with the use of the coding paradigm. Since the paradigm consists of theoretical terms which carry only limited empirical content the risk is not very high that data are forced by its application. However, it must not be forgotten that it is linked to a certain micro-sociological perspective. Many researchers may concur with that approach especially since qualitative research always had a relation to micro-sociological action theory, but others who want to employ a macro-sociological and system theory perspective may feel that the use of the coding paradigm would lead them astray."
Glaser originated the basic process of Grounded theory method described as the constant comparative method where the analyst begins analysis with the first data collected and constantly compares indicators, concepts and categories as the theory emerges.
The first book, The Discovery of Grounded Theory, published in 1967, was "developed in close and equal collaboration" by Glaser and Strauss. Glaser wrote "Theoretical Sensitivity" in 1978 and has since written five more books on the method and edited five readers with a collection of grounded theory articles and dissertations.
The Glaserian method is not a qualitative research method, but claims the dictum "all is data". This means that not only interview or observational data but also surveys or statistical analyses or "whatever comes the researcher's way while studying a substantive area" (Glaser quote) can be used in the comparative process as well as literature data from science or media or even fiction. Thus the method according to Glaser is not limited to the realm of qualitative research, which he calls "QDA" (Qualitative Data Analysis). QDA is devoted to descriptive accuracy while the Glaserian method emphasizes conceptualization abstract of time, place and people. A theory discovered with the grounded theory method should be easy to use outside of the substantive area where it was generated.
Strauss & Corbin's approach
Generally speaking, grounded theory is an approach for looking systematically at (mostly) qualitative data (like transcripts of interviews or protocols of observations) aiming at the generation of theory. Sometimes, grounded theory is seen as a qualitative method, but grounded theory reaches farther: it combines a specific style of research (or a paradigm) with pragmatic theory of action and with some methodological guidelines.
This approach was written down and systematized in the 1960s by Anselm Strauss (himself a student of Herbert Blumer) and Barney Glaser (a student of Paul Lazarsfeld), while working together in studying the sociology of illness at the University of California, San Francisco. For and with their studies, they developed a methodology, which was then made explicit and became the foundation stone for an important branch of qualitative sociology.
Important concepts of grounded theory method are categories, codes and codings. The research principle behind grounded theory method is neither inductive nor deductive, but combines both in a way of abductive reasoning (coming from the works of Charles Sanders Peirce). This leads to a research practice where data sampling, data analysis and theory development are not seen as distinct and disjunct, but as different steps to be repeated until one can describe and explain the phenomenon that is to be researched. This stopping point is reached when new data does not change the emerging theory anymore.
In an interview that was conducted shortly before Strauss' death (1994), he named three basic elements every grounded theory approach should include (Legewie/Schervier-Legewie (2004)). These three elements are:
- Theoretical sensitive coding, that is, generating theoretical strong concepts from the data to explain the phenomenon researched;
- theoretical sampling, that is, deciding whom to interview or what to observe next according to the state of theory generation, and that implies starting data analysis with the first interview, and writing down memos and hypotheses early;
- the need to compare between phenomena and contexts to make the theory strong.
Grounded theory method according to Glaser emphasizes induction or emergence, and the individual researcher's creativity within a clear frame of stages, while Strauss is more interested in validation criteria and a systematic approach.
Constructivist Grounded Theory
A later version of GT called constructivist GT, which was rooted in pragmatism and relativist epistemology, assumes that neither data nor theories are discovered, but are constructed by the researcher as a result of his or her interactions with the field and its participants. Data are co-constructed by researcher and participants, and colored by the researcher’s perspectives, values, privileges, positions, interactions, and geographical locations. This position takes a middle ground between the realist and postmodernist positions by assuming an “obdurate reality” at the same time as it assumes multiple realities and multiple perspectives on these realities. Within this approach, Thornberg has discussed the problems of delaying literature review until the end of the research process, and has highlighted how to use literature in a constructive and data-sensitive way without forcing it on data.
Critiques of grounded theory have focused on
- Its misunderstood status as theory (is what is produced really 'theory'?),
- The notion of 'ground' (why is an idea of 'grounding' one's findings important in qualitative inquiry—what are they 'grounded' in?) and
- The claim to use and develop inductive knowledge.
These criticisms are summed up by Thomas and James. These authors also suggest that it is impossible to free oneself of preconceptions in the collection and analysis of data in the way that Glaser and Strauss say is necessary. They also point to the formulaic nature of grounded theory method and the lack of congruence of this with open and creative interpretation - which ought to be the hallmark of qualitative inquiry. They suggest that the one element of grounded theory worth keeping is constant comparative method.
Grounded theory method was developed in a period when other qualitative methods were often considered unscientific. It achieved wide acceptance of its academic rigor. Thus, especially in American academia, qualitative research is often equated to grounded theory method. This equation is sometimes criticized by qualitative researchers[who?] using other methodologies (for example, traditional ethnography, narratology, and storytelling).
One alternative to grounded theory is engaged theory. It puts an equal emphasis on doing on-the-ground work linked to analytical processes of empirical generalization. However, unlike grounded theory, engaged theory is in the critical theory tradition, locating those processes within a larger theoretical framework that specifies different levels of abstraction at which one can make claims about the world.
- Data mining
- Engaged theory
- Explorative data analysis (EDA)
- Formal concept analysis
- Grounded Practical Theory
- Relevance paradox
- Science 2.0
- Social research
- Social science
- Patricia Yancey Martin & Barry A. Turner, "Grounded Theory and Organizational Research," The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, vol. 22, no. 2 (1986), 141..
- Faggiolani, C. (2011). "Perceived Identity: applying Grounded Theory in Libraries". JLIS.it (University of Florence) 2 (1). doi:10.4403/jlis.it-4592. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
- G. Allan, "A critique of using grounded theory as a research method," Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods, vol. 2, no. 1 (2003) pp. 1-10.
- See Glaser & Strauss, The Discovery of Grounded Theory, 1967.
- Fletcher-Watson, B. (2013). "Toward a Grounded Dramaturgy: Using Grounded Theory to Interrogate Performance Practices in Theatre for Early Years", Youth Theatre Journal, 27(2), p.134.
- Glaser & Strauss 1967
- Ralph, N.; Birks, M.; Chapman, Y. (29 September 2014). "Contextual Positioning: Using Documents as Extant Data in Grounded Theory Research". SAGE Open 4 (3). doi:10.1177/2158244014552425.
- Savin-Baden, M. and Major, C. (2013). Qualitative Research: The Essential Guide to Theory and Practice. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-67478-2.
- Kelle, U. (2005). "Emergence" vs. "Forcing" of Empirical Data? A Crucial Problem of "Grounded Theory" Reconsidered. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 6(2), Art. 27, paragraphs 49 & 50. 
- --~~~~Glaser, B. (1965). The Constant Comparative Method of Qualitative Analysis. Social Problems, 12(4), 445, 436.
- Strauss, 1993, p. 12
- Bryant, A. (2002). Re-grounding grounded theory. Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application, 4, 25–42.
- Charmaz, K. (2000). Grounded theory: Objectivist and constructivist methods. In N.K. Denzin & Y.S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (2nd ed., pp. 509–535). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory. London: Sage.
- Charmaz, K. (2008). Constructionism and the grounded theory method. In J.A. Holstein & J.F. Gubrium (Eds.), Handbook of constructionist research (pp. 397–412). New York: The Guilford Press.
- Charmaz, K. (2009). Shifting the grounds: Constructivist grounded theory methods. In J.M. Morse, P.N. Stern, J. Corbin, B. Bowers, K. Charmaz, & A.E. Clarke (Eds.), Developing grounded theory: The second generation (pp. 127–154). Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.
- Mills, J., Bonner, A., & Francis, K. (2006). Adopting a constructivist approach to grounded theory: Implications for research design. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 12, 8–13.
- Mills, J., Bonner, A., & Francis, K. (2006). The development of constructivist grounded theory. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 5, 25–35.
- Thornberg, R., & Charmaz, K. (2012). Grounded theory. In S. D. Lapan, M. Quartaroli, & F. Reimer (Eds.), Qualitative research: An introduction to methods and designs (pp. 41-67). San Francisco, CA: John Wiley/Jossey-Bass.
- Thornberg, R. (2012). Informed grounded theory. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 56, 243-259.
- Thomas, G. and James, D. (2006). Reinventing grounded theory: some questions about theory, ground and discovery, British Educational Research Journal, 32, 6, 767–795.
- See P. James, Globalism, Nationalism, Tribalism: Bringing theory Back In, Sage Publications, London, 2006; and P. James, Y. Nadarajah, K. Haive, and V. Stead, Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Development: Other Paths for Papua New Guinea, Honolulu, University of Hawaii Press, 2012
- Bryant, A. & Charmaz, K. (Eds.) (2007) The SAGE Handbook of Grounded Theory. Los Angeles: Sage.
- Charmaz, K. (2000). Constructing Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide Through Qualitative Analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- Clarke, A. (2005). Situational Analysis: Grounded Theory After the Postmodern Turn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
- Glaser, B. (1992). Basics of grounded theory analysis. Mill Valley, CA: Sociology Press.
- Goulding, C. (2002). Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide for Management, Business and Market Researchers. London: Sage.
- Kelle, Udo (2005). "Emergence" vs. "Forcing" of Empirical Data? A Crucial Problem of "Grounded Theory" Reconsidered. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research [On-line Journal], 6(2), Art. 27, paragraphs 49 & 50. 
- Morse, J. M., Stern, P. N., Corbin, J., Bowers, B., Charmaz, K. & Clarke, A. E. (Eds.) (2009). Developing Grounded Theory: The Second Generation. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.
- Mey, G. & Mruck, K. (Eds.) (2007). Grounded Theory Reader. Historical Social Research, Suppl. 19. 337 pages.
- Oktay, J. S. (2012) Grounded Theory. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
- Stebbins, Robert A. (2001) Exploratory Research in the Social Sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Strauss, A. (1987). Qualitative analysis for social scientists. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
- Thomas, G. & James, D. (2006). Re-inventing grounded theory: some questions about theory, ground and discovery. British Educational Research Journal, 32 (6), 767–795.
- Glaser BG, The Constant Comparative Method of Qualitative Analysis. Social Problems, 12(4), 445, 1965.
- Glaser BG, Strauss A. Discovery of Grounded Theory. Strategies for Qualitative Research. Sociology Press, 1967
- Glaser BG. Theoretical Sensitivity: Advances in the methodology of Grounded Theory. Sociology Press, 1978.
- Glaser BG (ed). More Grounded Theory Methodology: A Reader. Sociology Press, 1994.
- Glaser BG (ed). Grounded Theory 1984-1994. A Reader (two volumes). Sociology Press, 1995.
- Glaser BG (ed). Gerund Grounded Theory: The Basic Social Process Dissertation. Sociology Press, 1996.
- Glaser BG. Doing Grounded Theory - Issues and Discussions. Sociology Press, 1998.
- Glaser BG. The Grounded Theory Perspective I: Conceptualization Contrasted with Description. Sociology Press, 2001.
- Glaser BG. The Grounded Theory Perspective II: Description's Remodeling of Grounded Theory. Sociology Press, 2003.
- Glaser BG. The Grounded Theory Perspective III: Theoretical coding. Sociology Press, 2005.
- Strauss & Corbin
- Anselm L. Strauss; Leonard Schatzman; Rue Bucher; Danuta Ehrlich & Melvin Sabshin: Psychiatric ideologies and institutions (1964)
- Barney G. Glaser; Anselm L. Strauss: The Discovery of Grounded Theory. Strategies for Qualitative Research (1967)
- Anselm L. Strauss: Qualitative Analysis for Social Scientists (1987)
- Anselm L. Strauss; Juliet Corbin: Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques, Sage (1990)
- Anselm L. Strauss; Juliet Corbin: "Grounded Theory Research: Procedures, Canons and Evaluative Criteria", in: Zeitschrift für Soziologie, 19. Jg, S. 418 ff. (1990)
- Anselm L. Strauss: Continual Permutations of Action (1993)
- Anselm L. Strauss; Juliet Corbin: "Grounded Theory in Practice", Sage (1997)
- Anselm L. Strauss; Juliet Corbin: "Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques". 2nd edition. Sage, 1998.
- Juliet Corbin; Anselm L. Strauss: "Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques". 3rd edition. Sage, 2008.
- Constructivist Grounded Theory
- Bryant, Antony (2002) ‘Re-grounding grounded theory’, Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application, 4(1): 25-42.
- Bryant, Antony and Charmaz, Kathy (2007) ‘Grounded theory in historical perspective: An epistemological account’, in Bryant, A. and Charmaz, K. (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Grounded Theory. Los Angeles: Sage. pp. 31–57.
- Charmaz, Kathy (2000) ‘Grounded theory: Objectivist and constructivist methods’, in Denzin, N.K. and Lincoln, Y.S. (eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research. 2nd edn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. pp. 509–535.
- Charmaz, Kathy (2003) ‘Grounded theory’, in Smith, J.A. (ed.), Qualitative Psychology: A Practical Guide to Research Methods. London: Sage. pp. 81–110.
- Charmaz, Kathy (2006) Constructing Grounded Theory. London: Sage.
- Charmaz, Kathy (2008) ‘Constructionism and the grounded theory method’, in Holstein, J.A. and Gubrium, J.F. (eds.), Handbook of Constructionist Research. New York: The Guilford Press. pp. 397–412.
- Charmaz, Kathy (2009) ‘Shifting the grounds: Constructivist grounded theory methods’, in J. M. Morse, P. N. Stern, J. Corbin, B. Bowers, K. Charmaz and A. E. Clarke (eds.), Developing Grounded Theory: The Second Generation. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press. pp. 127–154.
- Charmaz, Kathy (forthcoming) Constructing Grounded Theory 2nd ed. London: Sage.
- Mills, Jane, Bonner, Ann, & Francis, Karen (2006) ‘Adopting a constructivist approach to grounded theory: Implications for research design’ International Journal of Nursing Practice, 12(1): 8-13.
- Mills, Jane, Bonner, Ann, & Francis, Karen (2006) ‘The development of constructivist grounded theory’, International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 5(1): 25-35.
- Thornberg, Robert (2012) 'Informed grounded theory', Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 56: 243-259.
- Thornberg, Robert and Charmaz, Kathy (2011) ‘Grounded theory’, in Lapan, S.D., Quartaroli M.T. and Reimer F.J. (eds.), Qualitative Research: An Introduction to Methods and Designs. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley/Jossey-Bass. pp. 41–67.
- Thornberg, Robert & Charmaz, K. (forthcoming) 'Grounded theory and theoretical coding', in Flick, U. (ed.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative analysis. London: Sage.
- The Grounded Theory Institute (Glaser tradition)
- Grounded Theory Online (Supporting (Glaserian) GT researchers)
- Grounded Theory Review
- Sociology Press
- An Introduction to GT by the Action Research Unit, Southern Cross University Management School