To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Grounded theory, ethnography and phenomenology: A comparative analysis of three qualitative strategies for marketing research

Christina Goulding (Department of Marketing and Economics, Wolverhampton Business School, Wolverhampton University, Wolverhampton, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 1 March 2005

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to look at some of the problems commonly associated with qualitative methodologies, suggesting that there is a need for a more rigorous application in order to develop theory and aid effective decision making.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines three qualitative methodologies: grounded theory, ethnography, and phenomenology. It compares and contrasts their approaches to data collection and interpretation and highlights some of the strengths and weaknesses associated with each one.

Findings

The paper suggests that, while qualitative methodologies, as opposed to qualitative methods, are now an accepted feature of consumer research, their application in the truest sense is still in its infancy within the broader field of marketing. It proposes a number of possible contexts that may benefit from in‐depth qualitative enquiry.

Originality/value

The paper should be of interest to marketers considering adopting a qualitative perspective, possibly for the first time, as it offers a snap‐shot of three widely‐used methodologies, their associated procedures and potential pitfalls.

Keywords

Citation

Goulding, C. (2005), "Grounded theory, ethnography and phenomenology: A comparative analysis of three qualitative strategies for marketing research", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 39 No. 3/4, pp. 294-308. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090560510581782

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited