Grounded Theory Research: Increasing Accountability and Credibility through the Use of the ‘Worked Example’

By Bruce Morrison and Liz Hamp-Lyons.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In this paper, we show how the tools and techniques of Grounded Theory can be used to provide accountability and credibility to applied linguistic research within the qualitative paradigm. We argue for the use of worked examples as an element in an audit trail that can not only help to bring to life the actual steps taken by the researcher to discover theory from the data but also, through so doing, provide the audience with concrete examples upon which they are better able to judge the credibility of the researcher’s conclusions.Using the audit trail concept and applying it by following the data from a single research participant in a worked example, we can enhance the building of a credible argument for interpretations of other data within the same study and for the connections made between clusters of data. Using one worked example, we show that over the course of a study, sufficient rigour and transparency can be provided to ensure that readers, and external evaluators such as funding agencies, can more easily accept the trustworthiness of claims about a specific relationship between phenomena that are not empirically quantifiable.

Keywords: Grounded Theory, Qualitative Research Methodology, Applied Linguistic Research

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.413-424. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.321MB).

Dr. Bruce Morrison

Head, English Language Centre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Prof. Liz Hamp-Lyons

University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong


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