Getting to grips with Grounded theory: A critical reflection

Activity: Academic Talks or PresentationsInvited talkResearch


Background to the method: Grounded theory (GT) has been articulated in a number of diverse ways dependent on differing epistemological viewpoints (Hutchinson et al 2010). Classic GT began in the 1960’s with Glaser and Strauss (1967) before Glaser (1978) further developed GT and Strauss (1987), Strauss and Corbin in the 1990’s and Charmaz and Clarke from 2000, developed the methodology in differing directions. These varied iterations of grounded theory can lead to misunderstandings regarding its utilization and critical challenges in its application. Critical reflection based on personal engagement with GT can lead to improved understanding of its utilization and the challenges posed.
Aims of paper:
•To present the researchers journey and experience using social constructionist grounded theory, consistent with Charmaz (2014).
•To promote critical discussion around the difficulties, challenges and facilitators to using grounded theory.
Methodological discussion: Grounded theory is a structured but flexible methodology. Procedures for collecting data and analysis are explicit, simultaneous and sequential; a cohesive methodological whole is formed, enabling emergence of a conceptual theory (Glaser 2004). A critical reflection will be presented of the researchers journey and experience using grounded theory for her Professional Doctorate thesis. The difficulties and challenges encountered concern: choosing which iteration of grounded theory to use, whether the iterations relate to each other, the simultaneous nature of data and analysis against time constraints and whether a theory will always emerge. These will be critiqued alongside the facilitators to success.
Conclusions: The presentation seeks to illuminate one researchers experience of using a grounded theory approach addressing both the highs and lows. Critical reflection aids self development and can resonate with others also using or considering using a grounded theory approach.
Period6 Apr 2017
Event titleRCN International Nursing Research Conference 2017
Event typeConference
LocationOxford, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational