Kolb, S. M. (2012).

Grounded Theory and Constant Comparative Method: Valid Research
Strategies for Educators. Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies
(JETERAPS) 2 (1): 83-86
Grounded theory
- Glaser and Strauss
- multiple stages of collecting, refining, and categorizing the data
- making constant comparisons and applying theoretical sampling are necessary strategies used
for developing grounded theory (Creswell, 2007; Locke, 1996; Strauss & Corbin; Taylor &
Bogdan, 1998).
Constant Comparative Method
- to develop concepts from the data by coding and analyzing at the same time (Taylor & Bogdan,
- The constant comparative method “combines systematic data collection, coding, and analysis
with theoretical sampling in order to generate theory that is integrated, close to the data, and
expressed in a form clear enough for further testing” (Conrad, Neumann, Haworth, & Scott,
1993, p. 280).
- four stages: “(1) comparing incidents applicable to each category, (2) integrating categories
and their properties, (3) delimiting the theory, and (4) writing the theory” (Glaser & Strauss,
1967, p. 105).
- Throughout the four stages of the constant comparative method, the researcher continually
sorts through the data collection, analyzes and codes the information, and reinforces theory
generation through the process of theoretical sampling.
Data can be collected from observations, interviews or other research sessions (Bogdan & Biklen,
Document Collecting
- to gain a deeper understanding and description of the participant’s convictions, conduct, and
experiences (Bodgan & Biklen, 2006).
Participant Observing
- a process where the researcher can observe a setting to fully participating in the setting to
collect data (Glesne & Peshkin, 1992).
- is the gain thorough understanding of the research setting and the participants in the study.
- to gain the perspectives of other individuals.
Researchers should continue data collection until the point of data saturation (Glaser & Strauss,
- when the researcher is no longer receiving information that has not previously been noted
(Glaser & Strauss).

is a process that involved selection. .data are pieced together in new ways after open coding allowing connections between categories. . . 1994). selective coding. Data reduction . to gather a complete picture of the information obtained during the data collection process (Strauss & Corbin). 1994).a procedure of selecting additional cases to be studied to gather new insights or expand and refine concepts already gained.is a form of analysis that can be used to combine pieces of information into categories.During this first phase of the coding process the researcher is comparing data and continually asking questions about what is and is not understood. THEORETICAL SAMPLING . . sampling is purposeful and systematic.the process of identifying and choosing the core category. systematically connecting it to other categories. . that need further refinement and development. abstraction and transformation of the raw data (Miles & Huberman. and (c) selective coding.and the final level. and dimensions within and among the data can be accomplished by a variety of techniques that examine parts or the whole document in a systematic manner (Strauss & Corbin). (b) axial coding.The identification of different categories. . selective coding .involves three levels of analyses: (a) open coding.Only after the process of crucial integration of weaving and refining all the major categories into the selection of a core category can the grounded theory emerge (Strauss & Corbin). Open coding . . properties. 2008).ANALYSIS the areas of reducing the data into manageable units and coding information are integral parts of the analysis process (Miles & Huberman. the inductive and deductive thinking process of relating subcategories to a category is the main emphasis of the axial coding (Strauss & Corbin). Theoretical sampling is often used in conjunction with the three levels of coding as describe by Strauss and Corbin (2008).During the first level of open coding. validating those similarities and relationships and then completing categories that. axial coding procedure .the second level of axial coding incorporates sampling in a more structured systematic approach to help validate relationships among the data. specifically seeks a more deliberate agenda of sampling to help test and integrate categorical findings until the point of data saturation (Strauss & Corbin.By the continuation of asking question and making comparisons. Coding . . simplification.

In addition to validity. 1992). Negative case analysis Transferability Generalization in a qualitative study is enhanced by carefully examining the extent to which the development of the grounded theory can be applied to other cases (Bickman & Rog.Trustworthiness and Limitations Establishing trustworthiness and considering study limitations are major factors in accurately reflecting the integrity of the research project (Glesne & Peshkin. and individual perspectives are anticipated (Creswell. Triangulation usually depends on the convergence of data gathered by different methods. researchers may gain valuable insight from the smallest piece of data that may appear insignificant atone moment but prove the contrary in the final analysis (Taylor & Bogdan. Triangulation Triangulation is a technique used to accurately increase fidelity of interpretation of data by using multiple methods of data collection (Glesne & Peshkin. Negative Cases Similar to reflexivity. another measure to strengthen the validity is for the researcher to constantly be reflexive throughout the duration of the study (Bickman & Rog). 2008). 1993). Negative cases refer to data that seems to stand far apart from the other data collected and does not coincide with the emergent theory. 2005). examining and exploring his/her relationship through all stages of the research process (Conrad et al. various strategies have been identified in the literature to improve trustworthiness through triangulation (Kolb & Hanley-Maxwell. 1992). Although it is difficult to prove absolute exactness of research. 1998). Measures that can be taken to promote validity in a study are reflexivity. 2003). Researchers should carefully analyze negative cases to deepen understanding of the people they are studying (Taylor & Bogdan).. By investigative negative cases. Primarily. documentation. examining negative cases provides another strategy from interjecting personal bias in analysis. Reflexivity In being reflexive the researcher must incorporate continuous awareness of reflecting. The chances of replicating the study are more likely when detailed protocols are recorded. negative case analysis and transferability (Denzin & Lincoln. 2007). it can also be achieved using the same method gathered over time. researcher biases are noted. 2008). . Validity It is the researcher’s responsibility to take precautionary measures to confirm areas of validity within his/her research (Strauss & Corbin. theoretical sampling. the goal of obtaining triangulation is the enhancement of validity and trustworthiness (Glesne & Peshkin).