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.

Evaluating Classic Grounded Theory

After studying this chapter, you will:

  • understand the criteria for evaluating classic grounded theory
  • recognize the quality of a classic grounded theory by applying these criteria

Different approaches to research necessitate different criteria for evaluating the quality of the research outcomes. Establishing such criteria is a somewhat contentious aspect of the shifting nature of research paradigms.


Patton (2002) refers to the traditional dichotomy in research approaches as competing inquiry paradigms: “using quantitative and experimental methods to generate and test hypothetical-deductive generalizations and using qualitative and naturalistic approaches to inductively and holistically understand human experience and constructed meanings in context-specific settings” (p. 69). He acknowledges a range of qualitative research approaches with alternative criteria and concludes that issues of ...

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