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IBM Cambridge Research Center

  Technical Report: Grounded Theory Method in HCI and CSCW

Grounded Theory Method in HCI and CSCW

Technical Report #:10-09
Author(s): Michael J Muller, Sandra Kogan


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Grounded Theory Methods (GTM) are a set of thoughtprocesses and procedures for qualitative data analysis that can help a researcher pursue a highly disciplined exploration of a new area, or of a domain without a dominant theory. The thought-processes and procedures are focused on the data, and always return to the data – i.e., the “grounding” in GTM is grounding in the data. In GTM, there is no hypothesis to be tested. Rather, research is guided by open-ended questions, and by a set of rigorous strategies that guide data collection, the choice of which data to sample, and the method for developing and testing insights into the data. The result is a rich, deeply interwoven description of the phenomena, and a set of new open-ended questions for further work. In this chapter, we provide an account of the multiple forms of grounded theory, and a synthesis of the multiple views of method for use in HCI and CSCW.

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