Adopting a constructivist approach to grounded theory: Implications for research design

Authors

  • Jane Mills PhD (Cand),

    Corresponding author
    1. PhD Candidate, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University, Gippsland Campus, Churchill, Victoria, Australia
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  • Ann Bonner PhD,

    1. Senior Lecturer, School of Nursing Sciences and Midwifery, James Cook University, Cairns Campus, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
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  • Karen Francis PhD

    1. Professor of Rural Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Monash University, Gippsland Campus, Churchill, Victoria, Australia
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Jane Mills, PO Box 450, Smithfield, Qld 4878, Australia. Email: jane.e.mills@bigpond.com

Abstract

Grounded theory is a popular research methodology that is evolving to account for a range of ontological and epistemological underpinnings. Constructivist grounded theory has its foundations in relativism and an appreciation of the multiple truths and realities of subjectivism. Undertaking a constructivist enquiry requires the adoption of a position of mutuality between researcher and participant in the research process, which necessitates a rethinking of the grounded theorist's traditional role of objective observer. Key issues for constructivist grounded theorists to consider in designing their research studies are discussed in relation to developing a partnership with participants that enables a mutual construction of meaning during interviews and a meaningful reconstruction of their stories into a grounded theory model.

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