Grounded Theory

  • Przemysław Hensel
  • Beata Glinka


Grounded theory is a strategy for conducting qualitative research without having a priori formulated hypotheses, but instead the method requires that researchers continuously compare and contrast pieces of collected empirical material to develop codes and categories that will serve in formulating a theory about the studied phenomenon. This chapter explains the logic of the grounded theory research strategy. The first part of the chapter presents the conceptual roots of the grounded theory approach and differences between deductive and inductive reasoning in theory development. The second part provides a broad description of the consecutive steps in the research process: data gathering, note-making, coding and theory development. Various coding strategies are explained and illustrated with examples. The chapter ends with enumeration of common misunderstandings associated with the grounded theory approach.


Grounded theory Substantive theory Formal theory Mid-range theory Coding 


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Przemysław Hensel
    • 1
  • Beata Glinka
    • 1
  1. 1.University of WarsawWarsawPoland

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