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The important aspect of grounded theory research is that the theory must emerge from the collected data, and that the researchers must be sure to follow the complete process in order to insure validity and reliability of the generated theory.
BY WHAT CRITERIA IS GROUNDED THEORY RESEARCH EVALUATED?
Strauss and Corbin (1998) outline the characteristics of a grounded theorist and emphasize that these skills do not need to be developed prior to engaging in grounded theory research:
Following the grounded theory research design, the data--which yielded over 500 pages of transcribed interviews, observations, and field notes--were analyzed in stages corresponding to initial, focused, and theoretical coding processes.
In a second study using a rigorous grounded theory research design, Amatea and Clark (2005) examined public school administrators' conceptions of the primary roles of school counselors in their school communities across various school levels.
While my grounded theory research has only enabled substantive grounded theories (Daveson, O'Callaghan, & Grocke, 2008; O'Callaghan & Magill, in press), and has mostly encompassed textual data, I can imagine how more formal grounded theory development can encompass findings grounded in diverse understandings, including positivist, about a specific phenomenon.
Students of grounded theory research as well as those interested in the psychosocial aspects of physical illness will profit by reading this book.