Contributions Welcome

The Grounded Theorist blog is a repository for resources for anyone interested in using Grounded Theory in their research.

Established in May 2017, the blog is in its early stages of development, with new resources added as my understanding and knowledge of grounded theory grows.

If you know of a resource that could usefully be added to the blog, or would like to write a post, get in touch with Maria at m.j.grant@2016.ljmu.ac.uk




Birks, M., & Mills, J. (2015). Grounded theory: a practical guide (2nd ed.). London: Sage.

An accessible user-friendly guide to grounded theory. Particularly suited to the novice Grounded Theorist, the book compares and contrasts the different interpretations of grounded theory and covers the whole research process from planning through to evaluation, dissemination and maximising impact.

Charmaz, K. (2014). Constructing grounded theory (2nd ed.). London: Sage.

Constructivist grounded theory in which theory is co-constructed.

Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. L. (2015). Basics of qualitative research: techniques and procedures for devleoping grounded theory. London: Sage.

Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: strategies for qualitative research. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Company.

Classical grounded theory in which theory is discovered.


Combining Approaches to Research

Johnson, L. (2014). Adapting and combining constructivist grounded theory and discourse analysis: a practice guide for research. International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 8(1), 110-116.

Provides a worked example of the process of using constructivist grounded theory and discourse analysis within a research project.

Ontology and Epistemology

Ralph, N., Birks, M., Chapman, Y. (2015). The methodological dynamism of grounded theory. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 1-6.

Accessible paper that illustrates the process of how new interpretations of grounded theory came to prominence. Noting how philosophical positioning defines how grounded theory methods are used, the authors advocate Grounded Theorists develop a strong ontological awareness, adopting an epistemological perspective appropriate to their data.

Weed, M. (2017). Capturing the essence of Grounded Theory: the importance of understanding commonalities and variants, Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 9(1), 149-156.

Explores the implications of ontological and epistemological variants of Grounded Theory (Glaser – realist positivist; Strauss & Corbin – realist interpretivist; Charmaz – constructivist interpretivist) across eight core Grounded Theory elements: iterative approach; theoretical sampling; theoretical sensitivity; codes, memos and concepts; constant comparison; theoretical saturation; fit, work, relevance & modifiability; and substantive theory. Concludes by discussing the implications for claims of truth & constructions to knowledge in relation to realist versus constructivist ontologies.

Sample Size

Thomson, S. B. (2011). Sample size and grounded theory. Journal of Administration & Governance, 5(1), 45-52.

Thomson undertook a content analysis of 100 articles that employed grounded theory using interviews for a data collection. Thomson indicates an average sample size of 10-30 participants. Thomson acknowledges limitations in his study, not least the lack of scrutiny of what authors defined as a grounded theory study. Notwithstanding, a useful starting point: http://joaag.com/uploads/5_1__Research_Note_1_Thomson.pdf

Sampling Techniques

Coyne, I. T. (1997). Sampling in qualitative research. Purposeful and theoretical sampling; merging or clear boundaries? Journal of Advanced Nursing, 26, 623-630.

Discussion Forums

Grounded Theory: Facebook

A public Facebook group established in June 2011 and hosted by Barry Gibson, Queens University of Belfast – https://www.facebook.com/groups/123133504438755/

Grounded Theory Australia: Facebook

A closed Facebook group. Based in Australia, membership is open to all nationalities, topics and type of Grounded Theory – https://www.facebook.com/groups/GTAustralia/

Grounded Theory Institute

Discussion list hosted by the Grounded Theory Institute, home of the Barney Glaser school of Grounded Theory. Free to access via a username and password – http://www.groundedtheory.com/ *** Inactive ***


A qualitative research discussion list with occasional postings on Grounded Theory. Free to access via a username and password – https://listserv.uga.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=QUALRS-L

Ethical Review of Grounded Theory Proposals

Most universities now require ethical review of research studies which involve human subjects; and even if your university does not require it, considering matters ethical can improve your study. Completing the forms required for ethical review however, can be confusing: forms designed to be appropriate for one research design may not be an exact match for another research design. Where the Grounded Theory research method is being used, it is often difficult for the applicant to work out how to answer the questions, and difficult for reviewers to assess the review application or proposal.

Dr. Odis Simmons of Fielding Graduate University, prepared some guidelines for reviewers at his university on how to assess a Grounded Theory Institutional Review Board (IRB) proposal.




  • 11-15 June 2018, Lithuania – International Summer School on Grounded Theory 2018 (ISSGT 2018). Hosted by The Institute of Education, Vytautas Magnus University and The School of Social Researcher in collaboration with the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction (SSSI) – https://gtsummerschool.vdu.lt/
  • 2-3 July 2018, Grounded Theory Two-Day Workshop facilitated by Kathy Charmaz, University of Lancaster, UK – http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/sssi2018/registration/