On Utilizing Grounded Theory in Business Doctoral Research: Guidance on the Research Design, Procedures, and Challenges

Mark Boadu, Mohamed Karim Sorour
International Journal of Doctoral Studies  •  Volume 10  •  2015  •  pp. 143-166
Grounded theory is a powerful and rigorous theory building methodology that has attracted considerable interest in business research; however, it is a challenging endeavour especially for novice researchers and in particular at the doctoral level. Although several researchers have attempted to clarify the cannons of various grounded theory approaches, still there is a shortage in guidance for doctoral students who wish to apply grounded theory for their studies. Using an example from a grounded theory business doctoral thesis, this paper provides a guide on the research design and utilisation of the Straussian grounded theory at doctoral level. In doing so, the paper discusses the rationale, features, and benefits of grounded theory. Using an example from corporate governance research, the paper illustrates how the procedures of data analysis (coding), theoretical memoing, and theoretical sampling are applied to systematically generate a grounded theory. Finally, the paper discusses major challenges to utilising grounded theory and how these can be addressed by doctoral researchers. This paper provides a clear and pragmatic exposition that can be useful to guide doctoral researchers who are interested in utilizing the Straussian approach of grounded theory in their studies.
Research methodology, Qualitative Research, Grounded Theory, corporate governance, Doctoral research
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