Grounded Theory: the FAQs

Birks, Melanie, Hoare, Karen, and Mills, Jane (2019) Grounded Theory: the FAQs. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 18. pp. 1-7.

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Since being developed as a research methodology in the 1960s, grounded theory (GT) has grown in popularity. In spite of its prevalence, considerable confusion surrounds GT, particularly in respect of the essential methods that characterize this approach to research. Misinformation is evident in the literature around issues such as the various approaches to GT, how long the process takes, the role of literature and preconceptions, generating and using data and strategies to produce theory. This article examines the most frequently asked questions about GT in an effort to demystify its purpose and use. Understanding the fundamental concepts of GT is critical to the correct use and application of GT methods and the ultimate production of theory that is grounded in data. More significantly, this understanding can prevent researchers encountering common pitfalls that can impede the process and impact the products of research.

Item ID: 61081
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1609-4069
Keywords: grounded theory, qualitative methods, theoretical coding, theoretical sampling, theory
Copyright Information: Creative Commons Non Commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permissionprovided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2019 07:40
FoR Codes: 50 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 5003 Philosophy > 500399 Philosophy not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970111 Expanding Knowledge in the Medical and Health Sciences @ 100%
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