Chapter 7 Week five

The final research methods we are looking at is grounded theory. When I last looked on Google Scholar, the seminal work by Glaser and Straus (The discovery of grounded theory, 1967) had nearly 10,000 citation. So, this is a very important strategy in qualitative research. That said, the ideas from grounded theory around the analysis of qualitative data are perhaps even more important.

Given that, this week we will focus on grounded theory and practice more coding.

First class

Overview

Our first class of the week will focus on (a) bringing you speed on ‘classical’ grounded theory in its many forms.

Class plan

  • Urquhart argues that the choice between “Glaserian or Straussin [grounded theory] — depends on individual researchers and their preferences” (Urquhart, 2017). Explain your preference.

  • How has grounded theory been used in your field?

  • Thinking back to the paper by Smets and his colleagues (Smets et al., 2015), what type of coding do you now think they did?

  • Looking back, what type of coding did you actually do when you first tried thematic analysis of Appendix E (e.g., bottom-up, top-down, middle-range, or thematic)?

  • Regarding your open coding of Appendix E, which of your codes are descriptive and which are analytical?

  • What is your theory of academic work-life balance?

Prep and tasks

  1. Read Chapter 9 of Myers (Qualitative research in business & management, 2013, pp. 209–220) to get an overview on Grounded Theory — 30 minutes.

  2. For the leading two or three journals in your own field, say, entrepreneurship, do a search and see how grounded theory has been used (in the past 5 years and in the past 10 years). Be prepared to report back on your findings — 90 minutes

  3. Visit the SAGE Research methods website: read chapters 1–3 and chapter 5 of Urquhart’s book (Urquhart, 2017) on grounded theory — 210 minutes.

  4. Review the coding by Smets and his colleagues, how would you describe it now (bottom-up, top-down, middle-range, or thematic)? — 30 minutes.

  5. Using whichever QDA tool you feel most comfortable with, go back to Appendix E and try open coding it — 30 minutes.

  6. Return to the ‘discussion’ on StackExchange Academia on work-life balance re teaching and research. Apply the stages of open, selective, and theoretical coding to it? Start with a general research problem. Draw some diagrams and make a few theoretical notes. Generate some research questions based on your theoretical coding? Can you come up with a theory about academics and work-life balance? — 120 minutes.

7.0.1 Post class reflection

With the first class of the week behind you, it is time for you to reflect on what you have learnt and write-up your learning journal (Section 1.3 ‐ 90 minutes). You can then do your review your allocated learning journals of you peers (Section 1.3 ‐ 60 minutes).

Second class

Overview

We now move on to what is often called the Gioia method; a more contemporary expression of many of the ideas of grounded theory. This approach to coding (and reporting results) has become immensely popular of late.

Class plan

  • How is the Gioia method related to grounded theory?

  • To what extent do the exemplars of the Gioia method that you have read, achieve rigour?

  • To what extent do the exemplars of the Gioia method that you have read, achieve transferability?

  • What lessons do you take away about presenting qualitative research, in general?

  • What lessons do you take away about presenting qualitative research, vis-á-vis your work on academic work-life balance? (To be effective, you will need to show your ‘Gioia’ write-up)

Prep and tasks

  1. Read the paper by Gioia and his co-authors on the ‘Gioia method’ (Gioia et al., 2013) — 30 minutes.

  2. Draw a concept map relating the key tenets of the Gioia method to those of grounded theory? — 15 minutes.

  3. Review the article by Gioia and Thomas (1996)—it one of Gioia’s exemplars and was published in one of the leading quantitative journals, which is quite an achievement for a piece of qualitative research. How closely do Gioia and Thomas follow the Gioia method? — 45 minutes.

    If you are not familiar with the idea of sensemaking, there is a nice/short literature review by Brown et al. (Brown, Colville, & Pye, 2015).

  4. The paper by Anand et al. (Anand, Gardner, & Morris, 2007), is also one of the exemplars cited by Gioia et al, (2013). Review the paper and evaluate how close it follows Gioia’s method — 45 minutes.

  5. For the exemplars you have read assess their transferability. Do you agree with the stance taken by Gioia et al (2013)? — 30 minutes.

  6. For a third time, return to the ‘discussion’ on StackExchange Academia on work-life balance re teaching and research (https://academia.stackexchange.com/questions/89362/how-do-academics-with-teaching-responsibilities-etc-find-the-time-to-do-researc), which you should be rather familiar now, and apply the Gioia method. Write-up your results following the advice of Gioia et al. (2013) — 120 minutes.

Post class reflection

With the second class of the week behind you, it is time for you to reflect on what you have learnt and write-up your learning journal (Section 1.3 ‐ 90 minutes). You can then do your review of your allocated peers’ learning (Section 1.3 ‐ 60 minutes).

Given the scheduling, you might choose to do this at the start of the next week.