Specific published examples that mix qualitative and quantitative data, methods, and techniques help readers troubleshoot challenges with different types of data as they develop their own GT expertise. Test Your Knowledge questions at the end of each chapter allow readers to check their understanding of the chapter’s main elements. Suggestions for further reading make it easy for readers to explore additional literature related to chapter topics. Valuable appendices offer examples of the differences between qualitative description and conceptualization, conceptual elaboration of qualitative data, and mixed methods GT. A comprehensive glossary of key terms, extracts from three studies that used classic GT approaches, examples of coding, and examples of diagrams in the back of the book serve as helpful resources to promote reader comprehension.

Situating Grounded Theory on the Research Landscape

After studying this chapter, you will:

  • understand the origins of grounded theory
  • understand grounded theory as a general research paradigm


Barney Glaser has often commented that grounded theory (GT) was discovered, not invented (Glaser, 1992, p. 7; 1998, p. 21). He explains that after completing their famous awareness of dying study (Glaser & Strauss, 1965a), he and Anselm Strauss were frequently asked to explain how they had developed their theory. Glaser suggested to Strauss that they write up their methodology; the result was the publication of The Discovery of Grounded Theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967).1 Although the book is generally acknowledged as the seminal work on GT, Glaser (1992, 1998) reveals that he had begun ...

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