Talk:Grounded theory

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I Hans Thulesius have the copyright to the article on Grounded theory previously posted on The article is a slightly edited version of the chapter on grounded theory from my thesis from 2003 and it is OK to publish it on Wikpedia.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 06:00, January 9, 2005


Great editing by Edward who guarded copyright as a knight and in the middle of the (k)night improved the look of the article


POV warning and academic discussion (dispute)[edit]

Hi, good that there is an article about Grounded Theory now here. There is only one problem, and that is the reason I put the POV wrarning sticker on in: the article only deals with Glasers version of Grounded Theory and dismisses Strauss & Corbins version as "just standard QDA". I work with the Strauss & Corbin version of Grounded Theory and would argue that Strauss/Corbin is the true continuation of a systematic paradigma to create theory from data, whereas Glaser is only a pop science school (sorry to say that), labelling creativity and intuition without any systematic or quality standard as scientific method. On the other hand, I don't see a good way to improve this article without rewriting it completly. Maybe we should have a short Grounded Theory article with the history and "The Discovery of Grounded Theory" and move this one to Grounded theory (Glaser), and write another one about Grounded Theory (Strauss). -- till we | Talk 20:43, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

academic discussion part two[edit]

Nice to get a reaction to the article and fun with some academic discussion! I have rewritten my contribution a little to make it more neutral.

Background and why am I a Glaser disciple?

1. Barney Glaser came to my Swedish town (Växjö) in 2000 lecturing when I had to get the qualitative data for my thesis straight. Eventually his books and coaching helped me a great deal.

2. I had three years earlier started with the Strauss & Corbin book which promised a lot but I got stuck on the 14 rules of how to write memos and the axial coding which confused me so I gave up GT.

3. The book Doing Grounded Theory - Issues and Discussions (1998) was a gold mine. I learned that memoing was totally free and creativity exploded. Thereafter the sorting and rewriting stages put my data into a theory that fit and worked to explain what was going on in end-of-life cancer care - the balancing between cure and comfort care and the balancing of words when disclosing bad news, and a lot of other balancing acitivitites. I used the GT for my PhD cover story as a model, and my thesis was eventually selected Family Medicine Dissertation of the year 2003 in Sweden. The main argument was that it was methodologically sound.

Now I can assure you that If you follow a Glaserian GT you will see a complete system of careful methodological steps but without detailing these steps in order to:

1. respect each individuals personal recipe (see Doing GT chptr 4) with optimal creativity, and 2. staying open to the serendipity and circular sequencing of the method allowing concepts to emerge instead of forcing received concepts onto the data.

This makes the method difficult for researchers trained in a deductive tradition (which most of us are) and it takes time to learn it. And dr Glaser admits that GT is not for everyone. And for sure many researchers in the scientific literature claiming to have used GT havent followed many of the steps from open coding to memoing to selective coding to sorting back to memoing and eventually to writing and rewriting etc. Most have just generated a few concepts, a few but not many have found a core variable, and a minority have an integrated theory around a core that explains the behavior of participants in a certain field of interest. If your view on Glaser GT comes from reading claimed GTs that used the buzz label to justify their (mediocre) QDA work then I can understand you.

Glaser's critique of Strauss version of "the constant comparitive method" (what GT was called from the beginning) is that Strauss narrows down and forces the use of a standardized set of theoretical codes. Also Strauss doesnt really mind using preformed models for analysis. Thus the openness of the method is lost. This doesnt necessarily make it bad but it derails heavily from what was outlined in the Discovery book from 1967 and also in Theoretical Sensitivity (1978). The rigor of GT is about staying open as much as possible. This means that preformed hypotheses are forbidden while Strauss & Corbin leaves a door open and actually suggest the use of only a few theoretical models while there exist several hundred. Strauss' method is not classic GT, and Glaser calls it "full conceptual description". But it sure can produce good qualitative data analysis, Glaser doesnt argue with that and me neither.

Finally, Glaser is alive and still develops the method in continous teaching all over the world and in five methodology books since Discovery. He is at the moment writing a sixth GT method book on theoretical coding of which I have read a few chapters that surely makes some central GT issues clearer.

I have done grounded theory for some years. Teaching and translating the Doing book into Swedish and working on my third theory and yet I'm still fascinated with how much more I have to learn. And I learn more every day. And as long as dr Glaser is around I will be happy to get GT directly from the horses mouth which is great fun and inspiring.


Removed following vandalism[edit]

the theroy of grouned is goin to your bed room for the night with no super!!!!!!so your grouned for being on this site!!!!GO TO YOUR ROOM!!

Ruchiraw 07:40, 23 September 2006 (UTC) gfcjh yrury ryuruyrtuy yuryuruyry ryuryr yyturyry ghjfgyj gdhd ghjdfhg dh —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:01, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

Straight out definition[edit]

Could someone please add just a straight out definition to the start of this article. I mean, I found what I wanted to find over here, but the problem is that I had to go through all the preamble and historical accounts to get to it. 04:53, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree, I would like to see a more clear defintion of what grounded theory is.

Jpalme 16:35, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I suggest you go to Grounded Theory (Glaser) where you'll find a detailed explanation. An easy definition is: GT is about naming patterns of behavior. These patterns are conceptualized and the concepts should be explanatory and predictive of what is going on in a particular area of human behavior. (thulesius no logged on at the moment) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:08, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Changes and merger proposal[edit]

I made some changes to the intro paragraph in an attempt to clarify what grounded theory is. I also am recommending that the Glaser, Strauss, and Institute pages be merged onto this page until such time when the complexity, coverage, and/or notability of the topic requires spinning off subpages. As it stands now, there is information essential to understanding grounded theory that is only available on the Glaser page, while the other two are largely stubby and abandoned, and this page is largely historic rather than descriptive. Madcoverboy 04:07, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

Merge them pages! Hackser (talk) 23:28, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

further changes[edit]

I made further clarifications to the article. As of now, in my view it lacks mainly a simple explanation on how GT is concucted. Already too much of the article goes to the split between the founders, while the information on what GT researchers really do is somewhat underrepresented. Any volunteers? Pundit|utter 14:26, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I changed the intro to give a fairly stripped back description that describes the elements that both founders agree upon. I'd say I'm against the merge. Apart from the GT institute, the other pages have enough info to merit their own existence. --rakkar (talk) 11:42, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Would be good to edit the article with the following: data = plural; datum = singular. The verbs need to be corrected as follows, "data are..." — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:04, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Criticism section[edit]

This sentence does not give the reasons for its criticisms: "With its quasi-scientific procedures, grounded theory seems to be aping the methods of the natural sciences and making claims to explanation and prediction that are unwarrantable in social science. These criticisms are summed up e.g. by Thomas and James (2006)." e.g. Why is it quasi-scientific? Why is it unwarrantable?

This entire section, actually, is pure opinion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:39, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

Could someone who has read the reference edit this paragraph for clarity? Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:42, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

The Discovery of Grounded Theory-book[edit]

In referring to the book from 1967, Barney Glaser (in Maines (ed), 1991, pp. 15-16) writes "Anselm [Strauss] taught me two cardinal rules of taking credit when writing is finished. First, one wrote the whole book and both wrote the whole book togheter. This is the concept of jointly and severally. Thus it is impossible to pin credit on one and not the other for anything in the book. Also each one is responsible for everything in the book. Second, it follows that there is no significance to whose name is first on the book. The simple reality is that one name has to come before the other". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tvever (talkcontribs) 15:37, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

POV Strauss VS Glasser[edit]

It is important to note that the Strauss vs Glasser methods debate is considerable. The methods of the two do diverge, and most of what has been published by Strauss and Corbin is not mentioned here. I am interested in the Strauss and Corbin method, and this article is not very useful for that.

A reason that there may be some lack of Strauss and Corbin method information is that Glasser's Grounded Theory Institute has more resources (even though many of their publications are focused on disputing the publications of Strauss and Corbin, rather than on refining the Glasser Method) than Corbin does.

I think the pages should be split again, due to the fact that while they come from the same beginnings, it could be compared to having Christianity and Judaism on the same page... (talk) 04:41, 7 December 2010 (UTC)Katy RN

Maybe you can improve the current article by adding information on Strauss/Corbin!? If not, the merger proposal suggested that the "pages be merged onto this page until such time when the complexity, coverage, and/or notability of the topic requires spinning off subpages". If you are willing to expand the rather short article on Grounded theory (Strauss) into something that is worth having as a separate article, there shouldn't be much opposition to a split. Rl (talk) 11:08, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Constructivist Grounded Theory[edit]

This whole paragraph comes straight out of Thornberg (fn 19). Jfredmenard (talk) 09:23, 15 October 2013 (UTC)

A more balanced POV[edit]

To adopt a balanced point of view, this article is going to have to recognize that grounded theory is, I assert, not accepted by most scientists. The "positivist tradition" (i.e, science) allows for something like grounded theory in observational steps of scientific method. Patterns are observed in data that may represented relations among variables (categories of data). The problem is, we can't assume the relations are real based only on the data. Science says we need a test (involving prediction and other data) to lend credibility to apparent relations. The procedure of grounded theory does not include such a test, because that would be the positivist tradition (having a question to test in advance). Moreover, scientific theories are explanations, and grounded theory tries to explain based on one sample of data, a very dubious idea. Any explanation would only apply to the data examined, it would not be generalizable (i.e, the inductive inferences is not compelling.). This article includes many words, likely in the hope that more words lend validity. They don't. (talk) 15:25, 26 September 2015 (UTC)