Grounded Theory

Grounded theory aims to discover problems in a given business environment and how parties involve handle these problems. Grounded theory aims to formulate, test and reformulate prepositions until a theory is developed. This approach refers to theory that is “grounded in or developed inductively from a set of data”[1]

Grounded theory works in opposite way to traditional research and it may even appear to contradict scientific method.  An inductive methodology, grounded theory methodology comprises the following four stages:

  1. Codes. Anchors are identified to collect the key points of data
  2. Concepts. Codes of similar content are collected to be able to group the data
  3. Categories. Broad groups of similar concepts are formed to generate a theory
  4. Theory. A collection of explanations are generated that explain the subject of the research (hypothesis)

If you decide to apply grounded theory methodology in your dissertation, you have to decide how to select cases for your research. During the process of data analysis, the categories being developed will point to the new cases to be chosen for further data collection. Accordingly, in this type of research the purpose of sampling is to continue theoretical inquiry until theoretical saturation is reached, rather than to ensure representativeness of samples.  Theoretical saturation is reached when data collection can no longer find new properties relevant to a category.

Advantages of Grounded Theory Methodology

  1. Grounded theory is helpful to develop an understanding phenomena that cannot be explained with existing theories and paradigms. Appropriate application of this methodology in your dissertation is most likely to gain you high marks
  2. This methodology offers a systematic and rigorous process of data collection and data analysis. Therefore, research problem can be studied in a great level of depth.
  3. Application of this methodology in practice fosters creativity and critical thinking


Disadvantages of Grounded Theory Methodology

  1. Grounded theory methodology is time consuming and difficult to conduct.
  2. There is a great room for researcher-induced bias
  3. Presentation of research findings in grounded theory is not straightforward


Grounded TheoryMy e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Dissertation in Business Studies: a step by step assistance offers practical assistance to complete a dissertation with minimum or no stress. The e-book covers all stages of writing a dissertation starting from the selection to the research area to submitting the completed version of the work within the deadline. John Dudovskiy






[1] Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2012) “Research Methods for Business Students” 6th edition, Pearson Education Limited.