Fundamentals of Grounded Theory

This practical, interactive course introduces informed approaches to generating a grounded theory. For the purposes of designing a qualitative research project and analyzing the often-puzzling findings that emerge, we introduce constructivist approaches to grounded theory as a means to provide the scaffolding to think theoretically about your work. We will discuss strategies for collecting and analyzing data as grounded theorists. A series of in-class activities will help participants develop and/or refine a theoretical framework that is tailored to a local context. We present grounded theory as a process that sets the stage for further qualitative and quantitative research and that informs the work of scholars in dynamic practice-oriented fields—such as education, nursing, health, business, human development, and information systems.

Topics addressed in the course include:

  1. Using an emergent theoretical framework to design a grounded theory research project.
  2. Grounded theory approaches to data collection.
  3. Coding and memo writing practices in grounded theory.
  4. Theoretical sampling and saturation.
  5. Inter-weaving qualitative and quantitative data throughout the process.
  6. Using a theoretical framework to create a coherent storyline to explain a variety of outcomes, including those that are unanticipated.
  7. Incorporating the literature and existing theories.

Participants are invited to bring a study idea and/or a preliminary sketch of a conceptual framework to explore during the workshop. Material for the course comes from an in-progress textbook to be published by Routledge in 2021, Advancing Grounded Theory with Mixed Methods, and refer to two publications on mixed method approaches to grounded theory by the course instructor.