Constructing Grounded Theory with Mixed Methods: Creative Ways to Produce an Explanatory Framework that Impacts Practice

A theoretical or conceptual framework can be enhanced by incorporating multiple sources of data in creative ways. This interactive course has the practical intent of providing the scaffolding to think theoretically about a research project. A mixed methods approach to grounded theory provides the tools to explain what outcomes are achieved, and how and why they come to be. Highly adaptable to academic, evaluation and intervention research, this approach sets the stage for further qualitative and quantitative research and informs the work of scholars in dynamic practice-oriented fields – such as education, nursing, health, business, human development, and information systems.

Shaped by more than two decades of teaching graduate level courses in mixed methods and grounded theory, this course highlights some of the ways that a mixed methods approach can be embedded in core steps in the development of a grounded theory, including through theoretical sampling, coding, analytical memoing, and visualizations. We will consider strategies that can be employed to delve into the implications of early results that point to dissonance between the findings from different sources of data. Through a series of inter-related activities, participants will experiment with sketching a preliminary theoretical framework.

Session Goals include:

  1. Provide an overview of the benefits researchers realize when they combine qualitative and quantitative data to develop and refine theory.
  2. Discuss important steps that researchers can take to develop a theoretical grounded theory model.
  3. Introduce procedures that are uniquely adaptable to integrating qualitative and quantitative data through theoretical memos and theoretical coding.

Creamer is the author of the 2018 SAGE textbook, An Introduction to Fully Integrated Mixed Methods Research. Material for the course comes from an in-progress textbook to be published by Routledge, Advancing Grounded Theory with Mixed Methods.