Modelling Grounded Theory as a Method for Good Research Practice

Event details


May 24, 2017
from 02:00 PM to 03:30 PM


Attenborough Lecture Theatre 3

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Speaker: Professor Gregory Hadley, University of Niigata

Since its inception fifty year ago (Glaser & Strauss 1967/1999), Grounded Theory has grown to become one of the most popular research methodologies in the world today. Researchers ranging from fields as wide as nursing to organizational studies have successfully used the method to uncover social processes shaping human interactions (Denzin & Lincoln 1998; Titsher et al. 2000; Mills, Bonner & Francis 2006; Hadley 2015). However, especially among graduate student researchers, misconceptions and methodological malpractice have been pervasive. Dissertation and thesis supervisors, who themselves are often unfamiliar with the philosophical assumptions, practices, and practical outcomes of the methodology, struggle with advising students on how to carry out the methodology. Coupled with disappointing experiences had with earlier students claiming to have taken a Grounded Theory approach, many have come to the conclusion that Grounded Theory requires ‘a whole lot of effort for very little gain’ (Silva 2005, p. 4) and steer their students towards more familiar, ‘low maintenance’ forms of quantitative inquiry. The emphasis on these forms of knowledge production, however, contributes overall to an impoverishment of academic insight in the social sciences, health and educational research (Mende 2005).

This seminar will explain the background and methodological practices of Ground Theory, explain its strengths and weaknesses, and to demonstrate how it can be successfully applied to a graduate research project. Time is provided at the end for forthright questions and candid discussion.

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