The issue of the literature review remains a conundrum and a controversy within the discourse on grounded theory methodology. Grounded theory researchers are expected to minimize preconceptions to ensure the concept of interest is grounded in data, yet at the same time are required to evaluate existing literature to support institutional ethics and scientific review of the research proposal. In addressing this dilemma, we espouse that literature review in grounded theory should comprise a multistage nonlinear approach to the literature and introduce a framework for novice grounded theory researchers. This framework offers a reflexive, dynamic and integrative process for conducting a literature review that allows researchers to minimize preconceptions while maintaining the original intent of grounded theory methodology.


Grounded Theory, Literature Review, Research Methodology

Author Bio(s)

Mohamed El Hussein is an Associate Professor of Nursing. He received his doctorate from the University of Calgary. His research interests include research methods, teaching strategies, care of older adults with delirium, and patients’ experience of health challenges with a particular emphasis on spirituality as it relates to the healing role. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: melhussein@mtroyal.ca

Andrea Kennedy is an Associate Professor of Nursing. She received her doctorate from the University of Calgary. Her research interests include child health, indigenous health and family-centered care.

Brent Oliver is an Assistant Professor of Social Work. He received his doctorate from the University of Calgary. His research interests include Community-Based Research, GLBTQ Health, Labour force participation for people living with HIV.

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