Grounded theory was coined by both Glaser and Strauss as a reaction to positivism. It was intended to loosen holds on positivism that were placed on an idea that was important to test all theories for applicability. Theories are data driven and they intend to draw on research fields based on oral tradition and explicit qualitative research methods.
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This particular theory is seen as the most applicable method in social science research. It is based on the fact that most information employed in humanity is based on what is collected. This paper explores the grounded theory and its relation to the various methods of sampling, memos and open, axial and selective coding.
Grounded theory is used to explain the manner in which data is analyzed; it is evident that in this method, data is analyzed from the group moving upwards. It implies that researchers start from the data itself and ends up to the theory. Grounded theory asserts that the hypothesis should originate from data itself.
In the case of research on culture, grounded theory allows it to be built from pre-existing ideas that are borrowed from information or data retrieved from research participants. Another approach to this research is that it focuses on ordinary occurrences or every day activities and the experiences encountered by the participants when coming up with the theory.
Grounded theory uses ethnography; a method that seeks to map techniques of observation, note taking and interviewing a whole culture. The theory chooses to be specific on one part of the culture, rather than focusing on it in a wholesome manner.
As far as grounded theory is concerned, sampling is not pre-determined before data is collected in the analysis of an event. The initial procedures of sampling under this method are used to establish whether or not a phenomenon occurs.
As one progressively focuses on data to deal with, the theory is continuously developed and it helps in the attainment of the needed materials for research. In this form, researchers mostly start by conducting literature review in order to have a wide knowledge on the topic before subjecting questionnaires to the target population. After the analysis, the theory is created trough interactive analysis obtained from the interviewees.
Open coding refers to the first step in coding of data. It is mostly the first line by line analysis of data that is collected; also referred to as immersion in data. It is used to achieve grounded theory by taking part in the interactions, actions, experiences and the language used; such as metaphors.
In the case of axial coding, it is concerned with creating some structures to coding. It is achieved by editing and refining the content of all data that is packed. To achieve grounded theory, all data stored should produce some information after being placed in its respective place.
If the codes do not produce any substantive information, the codes are either reviewed or analyzed in order to come up with a different rational combination that can be used in grounded theories of research.
Selective coding ensures that categories compared are not codes; it relates to codes’ concepts to the links between the codes used. To achieve this, all codes are acted on using a coding scheme that plays a central role in establishing the theory.
This is done after the codes are edited and suited data which makes coding process selective is compiled. Using this mode of coding, saturation is achieved when the scheme created from the codes work without interruption from other data.
Memos, on the other hand, are the thoughts throughout the procedures that are equivalent to personal comments made by researchers. They are made on the project files as the project proceeds. The comments act as backup data for the recorded observations in the project. Memos create reflexivity on the researchers as they carry on with the project.
Most of the researchers argue that grounded theory is a positivist instead of social constructionist methods since it does not end with a generalized universal theory.
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In conclusion, grounded theory is not a discrete event and therefore occurs in a continuous process. All methods used in coming up with the theory are interrelated such that none can work without the other. In addition, all the information is subjected to similar reflective analysis regardless of the nature of data collected.