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.

Charmaz, K. (2015). Grounded theory. In: Smith, J.A. (2015) Qualitative psychology: a practical guide to research methods. London: Sage. Chapter 4.https://uk.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/78324_Pages_from_9781446298466_T_reprint.pdf

Sample chapter of this core psychology text, which formed the foundation of Kathy Charmaz’s Constructing Grounded Theory. This chapter provides insight into the history and theoretical background of grounded theory, formulating a research question and designing a grounded theory study, collecting data, data analysis, and writing up. Acknowledges that not all researchers who use grounded theory methods e.g. coding and memo making, conduct theoretical sampling or pursue extensive analysis of their categories. Instead most construct conceptual analysis of particular experience rather than creating substantive or formal theory.

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.

Strauss, A. L., & Corbin, J. (2015). Basics of qualitative research: techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. London: Sage. 2nd ed.

Step-by-step practical and technical advice for researchers in analysing and interpreting their collected data. A user of this blog has suggested that the 2nd edition is the most helpful in doing and writing a grounded theory.



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://roam.macewan.ca/islandora/object/gm%3A1206

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.





  • 27 February 2019, Getting started with MAXQDA and Grounded Theory Analysis (English), Berlin – https://conference.maxqda.com/workshops/get-started-with-maxqda-and-grounded-theory
  • w/c 7 January 2019, Grounded Theory Troubleshooting Seminar with Barney Glaser, California, USA – http://www.groundedtheory.com/seminars.aspx
  • 13-14 December 2018, Grounded Theory Troubleshooting Seminar, Petersfield, UK – http://www.groundedtheoryonline.com/services/seminars/
  • 4 December 2018, Grounded Theory: An Overview, Leeds Beckett University, UK – https://bit.ly/2FPHXuP *** Free of Charge ***
  • 28 November 2018, Grounded Theory twitter chat, 20:00, UK – Follow #JRNTalk
  • 22 November 2018, Grounded Theory Network Symposium, Liverpool John Moores University, UK – http://bit.ly/2nXr0CJ – (GTNetwork18 Programme) *** Free of Charge ***
  • 2-3 July 2018, Grounded Theory Two-Day Workshop facilitated by Kathy Charmaz, University of Lancaster, UK – http://wp.lancs.ac.uk/sssi2018/registration/
  • 25-27 June 2018, Situational Analysis in Theory and Practice, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark – https://bit.ly/2KpIG3D
  • 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/
  • 5 June 2018, Edinburgh – Grounded Theory Workshop with Professor Tony Bryant, University of Edinburgh – https://t.co/z75q1mGY0A
  • 31 May – 1 June 2018 – Indianapolis, USA – Indiana University – http://nursing.iupui.edu/development/conferences-institutes/grounded-theory/index.shtml
  • 24-25 May 2018, Petersfield, UK – Grounded Theory Institute – http://www.groundedtheory.com/seminars.aspx
  • 22 May 2018, – Introduction to Grounded Theory, HERG, University of Oxford *** Withdrawn ***
  • 20 April 2018, Grounded Theory Seminar, University of Salford, UK – http://bit.ly/2sL6EC5
  • 13 March 2018: Mixed Methods Approaches to Grounded Theory: Webinar, University of Alberta, Canada – Presentation: http://bit.ly/2FWZX4W Resources: http://bit.ly/2Ipu03P
  • 28 February 2018: Further Qualitative Research, University of Nottingham, UK – https://training.nottingham.ac.uk/cbs-notts/Guests/GuestCourse.aspx?CourseRef=GSTFQR&dates=
  • 9 February 2018, Grounded Theory Seminar, University of Salford, UK – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/grounded-theory-tickets-39693235536
  • 8-9 December 2017, Grounded Theory Institute, Dublin, Ireland – http://www.groundedtheory.com/
  • 7 December 2017, Grounded Theory Institute, Dublin, Ireland – http://www.groundedtheory.com/
  • 16 November 2017, Grounded Theory Seminar, University of Cumbria, UK – http://bit.ly/2lt22N1 *** Free of Charge ***
  • 20 October 2017, Mills and Birks Grounded Theory Masterclass, La Trobe University, Australia – http://bit.ly/2y5WxGV
  • 16-17 October 2017, 5th Nordic Network Conference of Grounded Theory, Nord University, Norway – https://goo.gl/bXVbmI
  • 21-23 June 2017, California – Grounded Theory Institute – http://www.groundedtheory.com/seminars.aspx
  • 5-9 June 2017, Italy – International Summer School on Grounded Theory & Qualitative Methods *** Annual Event *** https://sssiorg.wordpress.com/2017/03/25/international-summer-school-on-grounded-theory-qualitative-methods-5-9-june-pisa-italy/
  • 1-2 June 2017, Indianapolis – Indiana University – http://nursing.iupui.edu/development/conferences-institutes/grounded-theory/index.shtml
  • 28 April 2017, London – Grounded Theory Institute – http://www.groundedtheory.com/seminars.aspx
  • 25-28 April, Dublin – Qualitative Research Summer School incorporating An Invitation to Grounded Theory and a The Practical Challenges of Grounded Theory Research: A Troubleshooting Seminar *** Annual Event *** https://www.dcu.ie/snhs/QRSS2017.shtml
  • 6-7 April 2017, London – Grounded Theory Institute – http://www.groundedtheory.com/seminars.aspx