This paper investigates the potential for Leximancer software to actively support the Grounded Theory (GT) analyst in assessing the “completeness” of their study. The case study takes an existing GT study and retrospectively analyzes the data with Leximancer. The Leximancer output showed encouraging similarities to the main themes emerging from the GT analysis; but not sufficiently at the selective coding level to justifiably claim a definitive cross-check for overall theoretical saturation. Whilst Leximancer is not found to be a substitute for the 'hard labor' of GT coding and theory development, it can provide a very useful, efficient and relatively impartial cross-check of completeness/saturation in the open (and possibly axial) coding stage(s) of a GT study. This automated post-analysis check of GT coding is a novel use of a CAQDAS package.


Grounded Theory, Leximancer, Software, Theoretical Saturation, CAQDAS, Qualitative research

Author Bio(s)

Ian Harwood, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Management. With an industrial background in managing strategic change programs and process improvement projects, his doctoral thesis explored the role of risk in post-merger and acquisition integration. Ian’s continuing research interests are broadly in project management and qualitative research methods (especially Grounded Theory). He has published in the British Journal of Management, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of Risk Research, European Management Journal, International Journal of Project Management and International Small Business Journal amongst others. He may be contacted at Ian A. Harwood at, iah@soton.ac.uk.

Rod Gapp, PhD, is a senior lecturer at Griffith University’s Business School, Australia. He has over 25 years of experience in organizational development and action science focused on enhancing outcomes through individual and group development in areas of innovation, change, quality and sustainable management practices. His research focus is predominately interpretivist with extensive experience in CAQDAS and also in mixed methods. Rod has published in high ranked journals in the above areas. He may be contacted at Rod P. Gapp at, r.gapp@griffith.edu.au.

Heather Stewart holds Honors in management from Griffith University, Australia. After more than 15 years of management experience in both corporate and small business she is currently a PhD student with Griffith University’s Business School, focusing on qualitative research of collaboration, continual learning and sustainable management practices in the SME context. Heather is a researcher working in qualitative data collection and analysis and is establishing a publishing profile in high level CSR and sustainable business journals. She may be contacted at Heather J. Stewart at, h.stewart@griffith.edu.au.

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