Adopting a constructivist approach to grounded theory: implications for research design

Int J Nurs Pract. 2006 Feb;12(1):8-13. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-172X.2006.00543.x.


Grounded theory is a popular research methodology that is evolving to account for a range of ontological and epistemological underpinnings. Constructivist grounded theory has its foundations in relativism and an appreciation of the multiple truths and realities of subjectivism. Undertaking a constructivist enquiry requires the adoption of a position of mutuality between researcher and participant in the research process, which necessitates a rethinking of the grounded theorist's traditional role of objective observer. Key issues for constructivist grounded theorists to consider in designing their research studies are discussed in relation to developing a partnership with participants that enables a mutual construction of meaning during interviews and a meaningful reconstruction of their stories into a grounded theory model.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abstracting and Indexing
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Data Collection
  • Ethical Relativism
  • Feminism
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Knowledge
  • Narration
  • Nursing Methodology Research / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Theory*
  • Philosophy, Nursing*
  • Postmodernism
  • Power, Psychological
  • Prejudice
  • Qualitative Research
  • Research Design*
  • Research Personnel / psychology
  • Researcher-Subject Relations / psychology*
  • Self-Assessment
  • Thinking
  • Writing