Writing Grounded Theory Thesis

Writing Grounded Theory Thesis-75
For students, these are key issues, not only at the start of their research project, but at the end stage when defending their grounded theory thesis at final examination.Drawing from personal experiences of two Ph D graduates who used classic grounded theory in two universities, one UK (Queen’s University, Belfast) and one Irish (Trinity College Dublin), this paper highlights key lessons learned that may help students who are setting out to use grounded theory method.Although Elliott’s research proposal involved a critical analysis of the decision-making literature and theory, it was not used to inform data gathering or to formulate the interview questions.

For students, these are key issues, not only at the start of their research project, but at the end stage when defending their grounded theory thesis at final examination.Drawing from personal experiences of two Ph D graduates who used classic grounded theory in two universities, one UK (Queen’s University, Belfast) and one Irish (Trinity College Dublin), this paper highlights key lessons learned that may help students who are setting out to use grounded theory method.Although Elliott’s research proposal involved a critical analysis of the decision-making literature and theory, it was not used to inform data gathering or to formulate the interview questions.

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Using Glaser’s questions provided a means of assuring an inductive approach to the research, and a means of surfacing the participants’ main concerns and not those emanating from the extant literature.

The potential risk that the review of the clinical decision-making literature could colour data analysis was recognised.

Many of the tensions between grounded theory and traditional research stem from differences that are rooted in the differences between inductive and deductive enquiry.

A key feature of grounded theory is it provides for inductive enquiry, a means of generating new theory and new understandings, and requires researchers to identify the research problem from the research participants’ perspectives.

In keeping with the academic requirement that doctoral candidates generate new knowledge through their dissertation, Elliott (2007) carried out a scoping exercise of the literature on her area of interest, which was clinical decision-making and advanced nursing practice.

In order to provide a justification for the research proposal, a requirement for registration, a systematic analysis of the decision-making literature was carried out to determine what was already known and what was not known.

By contrast, traditional research provides for deductive enquiry, a means of proving or disproving existing theory and requires researchers to identify the research problem from the extant literature.

The traditional research process begins with a literature review, which is used to inform the research question and theoretical framework that ultimately guides data collection and analysis.

At doctoral level, this is critical, as generating new knowledge is a criterion for the award of a Ph D (e.g.

National Framework of Qualifications, undated; Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, 2008).

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