Grounded research: A modified grounded theory for the business setting
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The paper is about the use of grounded theory in the business setting. The paper reflects on Glaser?s extreme and persistent criticism of his grounded theory co-author, Strauss?s diversion from the pure grounded theory principles of emergence and theory generation. Grounded theory is last in line of the great, the grand and the grounded, the great being realist philosophy, the grand being scientism and sociological grand theories and the grounded representing interpretive theory grounded in respondent data. The philosophical antecedents of scientism and rational objectivism can be seen to persist in contemporary organizations. Historically, dualism of physical and metaphysical aspects of the world have allowed investigation of the concrete to flourish at the expense of the more intuitive and intangible. Sociological predicates of structural functionalism carried this into the social arena. The scientific research culture persisted due to intitutionalization. The result is that organizations come equipped with supercategories of meaning embedded in their structures systems and processes. These impact on research more than simply as contextual phenomena. They constrain emergence and produce preconceptions. This is exacerbated by the need in business research to begin with a defined business problem or issue. Whilst it is possible to conduct generative qualitative research, and to fulfil many of the requirements of symbolic interactionism, the claim to grounded theory needs to be made on a case by case basis using researcher judgement. The term grounded research is presented as an alternative to grounded theory.
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