June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Over the past 40 years, grounded theory (GT) has slowly emerged as a prominent methodology for studying dynamic and unexplored phenomena. While this methodology provides researchers with systematic, yet flexible guidelines that promote and streamline theory development, it is this same open-ended and loosely-structured characteristic that convolutes the practice of GT research. Therefore, it can be particularly difficult for novice researchers to recognize and employ the multiple versions of this methodology in practice. To provide these individuals with a starting point for conducting grounded theory research, we organize this paper into three overarching sections: 1) introduction to the methodology; 2) a comparison between two types of grounded theory traditions; and 3) strategies for implementation. First, we establish an initial understanding of this methodology by providing a brief introduction of the GT methodology. Second, we compare and contrast two approaches of GT: traditional GT developed by Glaser and Strauss, and constructivist GT developed by Charmaz. Lastly, we provide strategies for methodological implementation as situated within a current GT study exploring professional identity formation in undergraduate civil engineering students. Strategies for data collection, organization, and analysis, model development, and theory abstraction are discussed.
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