Developing a grounded theory approach: a comparison of Glaser and Strauss

Int J Nurs Stud. 2004 Feb;41(2):141-50. doi: 10.1016/s0020-7489(03)00113-5.


Novice qualitative researchers are often unsure regarding the analysis of their data and, where grounded theory is chosen, they may be uncertain regarding the differences that now exist between the approaches of Glaser and Strauss, who together first described the method. These two approaches are compared in relation to roots and divergences, role of induction, deduction and verification, ways in which data are coded and the format of generated theory. Personal experience of developing as a ground theorist is used to illustrate some of the key differences. A conclusion is drawn that, rather than debate relative merits of the two approaches, suggests that novice researchers need to select the method that best suits their cognitive style and develop analytic skills through doing research.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Existentialism
  • Humans
  • Logic
  • Models, Nursing
  • Models, Psychological
  • Nursing Methodology Research / methods*
  • Nursing Theory*
  • Philosophy, Nursing*
  • Prejudice
  • Qualitative Research*
  • Research Design*
  • Research Personnel / psychology
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Symbolism