The Validity of Divergent Grounded Theory Method

Martin Nils Amsteus

Abstract


The purpose of this article is to assess whether divergence of grounded theory method may be considered valid. A review of literature provides a basis for understanding and evaluating grounded theory. The principles and nature of grounded theory are synthesized along with theoretical and practical implications. It is deduced that for a theory to be truly grounded in empirical data, the method resulting in the theory should be the equivalent of pure induction. Therefore, detailed, specified, stepwise a priori procedures may be seen as unbidden or arbitrary. It is concluded that divergent grounded theory can be considered valid. The author argues that securing methodological transparency through the description of the actual principles and procedures employed, as well as tailoring them to the particular circumstances, is more important than adhering to predetermined stepwise procedures. A theoretical foundation is provided from which diverse theoretical developments and methodological procedures may be developed, judged, and refined based on their own merits.

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