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Grounded Theory: A Guide for Exploratory Studies in Management Research

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Neely, Andy 


Grounded theory was first introduced more than fifty years ago, but researchers are often still uncertain about how to implement it. This is not surprising, considering that even the two pioneers of this qualitative design, Glaser and Strauss, have different views about its approach, and these are just two of multiple variations found in the literature. While studies using grounded theory in management research are becoming more popular, these are often mixed with the case study approach, or they provide contradictory guidelines on how to use it. The aim of this paper is to provide a clear guide for researchers who wish to use grounded theory in exploratory studies in management research. To support this goal, the methodology’s different terms and variations, as found in the literature, are also discussed. This study can support researchers using this methodology, but it is also useful for reviewers and examiners who wish to understand more about it and the different ways in which researchers have implemented it.



Glaserian GT, grounded theory, methods in qualitative inquiry, interpretive phenomenology, secondary data analysis

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International Journal of Qualitative Methods

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University of Alberta
EPSRC (1497970)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council