The role and place of knowledge and literature in grounded theory
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The role and place of knowledge and literature in grounded theory

Paula Walls PhD student, School of Nursing, University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK
Kader Parahoo Director, Institute of Nursing Research, University of Ulster, Coleraine, UK
Paul Fleming Pro vice chancellor, College of Science, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Paula Walls, Kader Parahoo and Paul Fleming discuss how novice researchers can justify the use of grounded theory while avoiding breaking any of its tenets

Grounded theory has existed for more than 40 years and has proved a successful and rigorous general inductive research method. However, it is apparent in the literature that novice researchers, or those new to interpretative studies, struggle to understand and defend the use of existing knowledge and the literature in a grounded theory study. While the engagement with and the role of the literature in grounded theory are documented in many texts, there are apparently contradictory perspectives. In addition, for the novice researcher undertaking grounded theory in an era of evidence-based practice, it can be a considerable challenge to understand and defend the role of the literature, substantive knowledge of the area and the place of a theoretical framework in grounded theory. The purpose of this paper is to consider these issues using salient arguments in the literature to guide novice researchers in considering their theoretical and philosophical positions.

Nurse Researcher. 17, 4, 8-17. doi: 10.7748/nr2010.

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