Grounded theory: the missing methodology on the interpretivist agenda

Christina Goulding (Christina Goulding is Senior Lecturer at Wolverhampton Business School, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Publication date: 1 April 1998


There has been considerable discussion in recent years over the application of interpretive methodologies such as phenomenology, hermeneutics, and semiotics within the field of marketing research, particularly consumer behaviour. However, while these approaches have inspired a wealth of publications, scant attention has been paid to the potential of grounded theory. This is attributed largely to misconceptions regarding both the principles of the method and the two distinct approaches associated with the original authors, Glaser and Strauss (1967). The paper outlines the development of the method and explicates the philosophy underpinning its procedures. Finally, it suggests that grounded theory if applied in its true sense has scope and potential for the study of consumer behaviour and consumption experiences given its emphasis on context, theoretical emergence, and the social construction of realities.



Goulding, C. (1998), "Grounded theory: the missing methodology on the interpretivist agenda", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 50-57.

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Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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