Grounded Theory in Software Engineering Research: A Critical Review and Guidelines

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dc.contributor.author Stol, K en
dc.contributor.author Ralph, David Paul en
dc.contributor.author FitzGerald, B en
dc.coverage.spatial Austin, Texas en
dc.date.accessioned 2016-06-19T22:31:33Z en
dc.date.issued 2016 en
dc.identifier.citation Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Software Engineering, 2016, pp. 120 - 131 en
dc.identifier.isbn 978-1-4503-3900-1 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/29124 en
dc.description.abstract Grounded Theory (GT) has proved an extremely useful research approach in several fields including medical sociology, nursing, education and management theory. However, GT is a complex method based on an inductive paradigm that is fundamentally different from the traditional hypothetico-deductive research model. As there are at least three variants of GT, some ostensibly GT research suffers from method slurring, where researchers adopt an arbitrary subset of GT practices that are not recognizable as GT. In this paper, we describe the variants of GT and identify the core set of GT practices. We then analyze the use of grounded theory in software engineering. We carefully and systematically selected 98 articles that mention GT, of which 52 explicitly claim to use GT, with the other 46 using GT techniques only. Only 16 articles provide detailed accounts of their research procedures. We offer guidelines to improve the quality of both conducting and reporting GT studies. The latter is an important extension since current GT guidelines in software engineering do not cover the reporting process, despite good reporting being necessary for evaluating a study and informing subsequent research. en
dc.relation.ispartof International Conference on Software Engineering en
dc.relation.ispartofseries Proceedings of the 38th International Conference on Software Engineering en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title Grounded Theory in Software Engineering Research: A Critical Review and Guidelines en
dc.type Conference Item en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1145/2884781.2884833 en
pubs.begin-page 120 en
pubs.end-page 131 en
pubs.finish-date 2016-05-22 en
pubs.start-date 2016-05-14 en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/RestrictedAccess en
pubs.subtype Proceedings en
pubs.elements-id 522848 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2016-02-16 en


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