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Rigor in Grounded Theory Research: An Interpretive Perspective on Generating Theory from Qualitative Field Studies

Rigor in Grounded Theory Research: An Interpretive Perspective on Generating Theory from Qualitative Field Studies
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Author(s): Susan Gasson (Drexel University, USA)
Copyright: 2004
Pages: 24
Source title: The Handbook of Information Systems Research
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Michael Whitman (Kennesaw State University, USA) and Amy Woszczynski (Kennesaw State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-144-5.ch006

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Abstract

This chapter presents a set of principles for the use of Grounded Theory techniques in qualitative field studies. Some issues and controversies relating to rigor in Grounded Theory generation are discussed. These include: inductive theory generation and emergence, how theoretical saturation may be judged, the extent to which coding schemes should be formalized, the objectivist-subjectivist debate, and the assessment of quality and rigor in interpretive research. It is argued that Grounded Theory is often criticized for a lack of rigor because we apply positivist evaluations of rigor to research that derives from an interpretive worldview. Alternative assessments of rigor are suggested, that emphasize reflexivity in the inductive-deductive cycle of substantive theory generation.

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