The authors examined the conflicts between grounded theory (GT) requirements and institutional requirements for scientific research such as they were experienced by researchers and students. The overview of how GT was originally conceived served as background to the analysis of the problems GT users often faced when they submitted research projects to academic or granting committees. Three especially contentious aspects that arose from the data were discussed: the circularity of the general research method, the suspension of references to theoretical frameworks, and theoretical sampling. Participants to this study have explored some possibilities to overcome those conflicts.


Methodology, Grounded Theory, Scientific Research, and Conflicts


A first version of this text was presented at the 7th International Conference on Social Science Methodology in the “RC33 – Logic and Methodology in Sociology” section in Italy in 2008. We thank Professor Krzysztof Konecki, organizer of the session Jason Luckerhoff and François Guillemette “Re-discovering grounded theory. Forty Years of the Research Practice: Foundations of GT” and the participants for their comments and questions that helped us improve our manuscript. We also wish to thank Ronald J. Chenail, Sally St. George, Dan Wulff, Maureen Duffy and Laurie L. Charlés, editors of The Qualitative Report, for their generous and useful comments expressed through The Qualitative Report’s Manuscript Development Program (MDP).

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