Recently developed and growing in popularity in Europe, Multi-Grounded Theory is seldom used in the United States today. In order to promote the research method, this article traces the academic origins of Multi-Grounded Theory and, via a personal reflection, provides an example of successful employment of this approach. Multi-Grounded Theory is recommended to strong, organized doctoral candidates and other researchers who are able to navigate the combination of qualitative and quantitative data encouraged by this approach.


Grounded Theory, Multi-Grounded Theory, Doctoral Dissertations, Qualitative Research

Author Bio(s)

Sydney Freeman, Jr., Ph.D., is an associate professor of Adult, Organizational Learning and Leadership at the University of Idaho. He is a former National Holmes Scholar, a certified faculty developer through the Learning Resources Network and an affiliate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Minority Serving Institutions. His research investigates the challenges facing higher education administration programs, specifically, higher education as a field of study and the university presidency. Freeman has published numerous journal articles and is the lead editor (with Linda Serra Hagedorn, Lester F. Goodchild, and Dianne A. Wright) of Advancing Higher Education as a Field of Study: In Quest of Doctoral Degree Guidelines (Stylus Publishing, 2014), which received the 2015 Auburn University Graduate School "Book of the Year" Award. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the American Association of University Administrators and was honored with the “2015 Emergent Leader of the Year” award by the same professional society. He serves on multiple academic journal editorial and review boards, including serving as managing editor of the Journal of HBCU Research + Culture. He also is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Journal for the Study of Postsecondary and Tertiary Education. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: sfreemanjr@uidaho.edu.


I would like to express special thanks to Stephen Bird, who helped formulate and organize interview questions that ultimately shaped the narrative portion of this article. I would also like to thank Gracie Forthun for her assistance in drafting, revising, and providing feedback.

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





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