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The Rationale for the Use of Classic GT

Author(s): Ólavur Christiansen, Ph.D.

Journal: Grounded Theory Review : an International Journal
ISSN 1556-1542

Volume: 7;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: grounded theory | classic grounded theory | qualitative methodology

Two “hallmarks” explain why and how Glaser’s GT method is one of a kind and meaningless for research that is conventionally pre-framed: (I) The finding of the core variable is the first stage of the research and it is accomplished by the systematic treatment of the data. The core variable sums up and explains the main concern (and its recurrent solution) of those being studied, and most of the variation in the data. The study is then delimited to concepts related to the core variable. This is equivalent to the finding of the research problem. (II) During the data work, the researcher suspends his/her preconceptions and prior knowledge about the area of research, and trusts in emergence of concepts from the data. Its purpose is avoidance of preconceived academic interest concerns with, instead, sole focus on the participant’s substantive interest concerns and their solutions, and the triggering of intuitive insights during states of not knowing. One way to transcend preconceptions is to study unrelated literature in order to identify latent behavior patterns and to increase the researcher’s familiarity with the full range of possible theoretical codes.
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