Building on practice, action research, and theory, the purpose of this paper is to present a 10-step method for applying the Constant Comparative Method (CCM) of grounded theory when multiple researchers perform data analysis and meaning making. CCM is a core qualitative analysis approach for grounded theory research. Literature suggests approaches for increasing the credibility of CCM using multiple researchers and inter-coder reliability (ICR), but documentation of methods for collaboration on CCM data analysis is sparse. The context for developing the10-step CCM approach was a qualitative study conducted to understand the impact of webcams on a virtual team. To develop a methodology for the study, the researchers reviewed grounded theory literature to synthesize an approach for conducting CCM with multiple researchers. Applying action research, an integration of literature and practical experience conducting the qualitative study resulted in a model for using CCM with multiple researchers performing data analysis. The method presented in this paper provides practical guidance for applying CCM collaboratively and shares the researchers’ perspectives on the value of ICR.


Grounded Theory, Constant Comparative Method, Inter-Coder Reliability, Researcher Collaboration, Action Research

Author Bio(s)

Joel D. Olson, PhD., has extensive experience in nonprofit leadership and consultation, education, and instructional design. He has published papers on virtual team performance, webcams, trust and technology acceptance. His current research continues in the area of technology and virtual teams, as well as online leadership education. Most recently, he has served the Reformed Church in America and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church as a consultant for churches in crisis. Currently he serves as the Leadership and Management Academic Department Chair for the School of Business and Management in Kaplan University. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Joel D. Olson at, jolson@kaplan.edu.

Chad McAllister, PhD., is lead faculty at Walden University in the DBA program. His research interests involve issues in new product development and innovation. He serves as VP of Education for the Rocky Mountain Product Development and Management Association and advices the Association of International Product Marketers and Managers on innovation topics and professional certification. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Chad McAllister at, chad.mcallister@waldenu.edu.

Lynn Grinnell, PhD., has published on sustainability management, educational measurement, and teams. Her research examines the ethical influence of individuals and teams and measurement of learning.

Kimberly Gehrke Walters, PhD., is a Professor of Human Resources at Kaplan University. She has extensive experience in global organizational development, assessment and measurement, and human-computer interaction. Her research examines trust and effectiveness in virtual teams, and the influence of technology in teams.

Frank Appunn, PhD., has published papers on technology, information security, and teams. His research considers the confluence of technology, people, and organizations, while information assurance forms another interest area. He teaches at multiple institutions, heads security, IT and project management content areas. He is a faculty evaluator and dissertation chair mentor.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.