Edited by Russell W. Belk
Chapter 2: Breaking New Ground: Developing Grounded Theories in Marketing and Consumer Behavior
Eileen Fischer and Cele C. Otnes Across the social science disciplines, there is probably no book more widely cited by those who analyze qualitative data than Glaser and Strauss’s (1967) The Discovery of Grounded Theory. Within the ﬁelds of marketing and consumer behavior, it is featured frequently in the reference sections of articles published in the top journals. However, references to grounded theory in marketing studies often seem casual and rarely explicated. There is limited appreciation of what the actual traditions of grounded theory development are, as they compare and contrast with other traditions of qualitative research. It is the purpose of this chapter to focus on grounded theory development as a distinctive research tradition and to draw attention to important aspects of the origins and evolution of the approach. Grounded theory development can be distinguished from most other approaches to qualitative data analysis in that the constructs and frameworks developed using grounded theory resemble those deployed by scholars who use quantitative data and work within neopositivist traditions. In this chapter, we will brieﬂy highlight the origins of the grounded theory approach. Next, we will consider the kinds of research questions that it can address, and the types of theory it lends itself to developing. We then highlight three key techniques central to this approach that can assist students of marketing and consumer behavior in developing contributions using a grounded theory approach. Origins and assumptions of the grounded theory tradition As Denzin and Lincoln note (2000, p. 14), grounded...
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