Grounded Theory – Meaning and Objective

Grounded Theory – Meaning and Objective


Grounded theory refers to “the purpose of generation of theory which is based on collection of data from multiple sources”. It is the only method of qualitative research which also uses quantitative data when required. The grounded theory approach aims to collect data and interpret the data from the textual base (field notes or video recording).

After the process of interpreting, the data base is categorised into different variables and then the interrelationship between these variables are analysed and studied. The approach of grounded theory was developed by Glaser and Struss in 1960’s. Grounded theory provides a direction to the researcher and directs them to generate new theories or modify the existing ones.

In the words of Glaser, “Grounded theory is multivariate. It happens sequentially, subsequently, simultaneously, serendipitously and scheduled”.

Objective of Grounded Theory

The basic objective of the grounded theory are

  • Since the approach consists of a series of systematic steps and the data is collected from more than one source, it assures to provide a ‘good theory’ as the output.
  • The grounded theory approach emphasises on the process by which the theory is evaluated. This determines the quality of the theory.
  • The grounded theory approach also emphasise on enhancing the theoretical sensitivity.
  • One goal of a grounded theory is to formulate hypothesis based on conceptual ideas.
  • On the basis of the questions asked the researcher tries to discover the participants’ main concern and how they continually try to resolve it.
  • It also aims to generate those concepts which explain people’s actions regardless of time and place. The descriptive parts of a grounded theory are there mainly to illustrate the concepts.

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