Constructionist Grounded Theory - GT. Conceptual and Methodological Clarifications

Antonio SANDU


In this article we aim to bring a series of epistemological and conceptual clarifications on a particular method of qualitative research entitled Grounded Theory (GT) in its social-constructive approach. The peculiarity of this research method is the exploratory character, the theoretical explanatory construction based on data gathered from the field and not from a series of assumptions taken from the literature, or built from the missing knowledge areas within it. The socio-constructivist dimension emphasizes the context dependence of the obtained results and the generated interpretative model.


Grounded Theory; qualitative research; social constructivism; interpretive model; data encoding.

Full Text:

View PDF


Brod, M., Tesler, L. E., & Christiansen, T. L. (2009). Qualitative research and content validity: Developing best practices based on science and experience. Quality of Life Research, 18(9), 1263-1278. doi:

Caras, A., & Sandu, A. (2014). The Role of Supervision in Professional Development of Social Work Specialists. Journal of Social Work Practice: Psychotherapeutic Approaches in Health, Welfare and the Community, 28(1), 75-94. doi:

Charmaz, K. (2000). Grounded theory: objectivist and constructivist methods. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Charmaz, K. (2002). Constructing Grounded Theory (2nd ed.). London, UK: Sage Publications.

Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide Through Qualitative Analysis (1st ed.). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Cheer, K., MacLaren, D., & Tsey, K. (2015). The use of grounded theory in studies of nurses and midwives' coping processes: a systematic literature search. Contemp Nurse, 51(2-3), 200-219. doi:10.1080/10376178.2016.1157445

Chelcea, S. (2007). Metodologia cercetării sociologice. Metode cantitative şi calitative (3rd ed.). Bucharest, Romania: Editura Economică.

Chen, H., & Boore, J. R. P. (2009). Using a synthesised technique for grounded theory in nursing research. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18(16), 2251-2260. doi:

Cojocaru, D., Damian, R., Damian, S., Gavrilovici, O., Iliescu, L., Macarie, G., . . . Sandu, A. (2001). Stil de viaţă şi comportament în sănătate al persoanelor cu boli cronice (POSDRU/89/1.5/S/61879). Retrieved from

Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2008). Basics of qualitative research. Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Open.

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among Five Approaches (3rd ed.). California, SUA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Curry, L. (Producer). (2015). Fundamentals of Qualitative Research Methods: Data Analysis (Module 5). Retrieved from

Dey, I. (1999). Grounding Grounded Theory: Guidelines for Qualitative Inquiry. UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Frunza, A. (2017). Supervizarea si dezvoltarea profesionala a asistentilor sociali (1st ed.). Iasi, Romania: Editura Lumen.

Frunza, A., & Sandu, A. (2017). Values Grounding the Informed Consent in Medical Practice: Theory and Practice. SAGE OPEN, 7(4). doi:

Gibbs, G. R. (Producer). (2013, Feb 4, 2015). A Discussion with Prof Kathy Charmaz on Grounded Theory. Retrieved from

Glaser, B. G. (1992). Basics of Grounded Theory Analysis. Mill Valley, CA: The Sociology Press.

Glaser, B. G. (2001). The Grounded Theory Perspective: Conceptualization Contrasted with Description. Mill Valley, CA: The Sociology Press.

Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. Piscataway, NJ: Aldine Transaction.

Goulding, C. (2002). Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide for Management, Business, and Market Researchers.

Guba, E. G. (1990). The alternative paradigm dialog. In E. G. Guba (Ed.), The Paradigm Dialog. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (1994). Competing paradigms in qualitative research. In N. K. Denzin; & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Research (pp. 105-117). Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Ilut, P. (1997). Abordarea calitativa a socioumanului. Iasi: Polirom.

Keen, A. (2013). Saturation in Qualitative Research. Distinguishing between Descriptive and Theoretical Saturation. Retrieved from

Kelle, U. (2005). Emergence vs. forcing of empirical data? A crucial problem of grounded theory reconsidered. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 6(2).

Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic Inquiry. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Löfgren, K. (Producer). (2013). Qualitative analysis of interview data: A step-by-step guide. Retrieved from

Manuj, I., & Pohlen, T. L. (2012). A reviewer's guide to the grounded theory methodology in logistics and supply chain management research. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 42(8), 784-803. doi:

Markey, K., Tilki, M., & Taylor, G. (2014). Reflecting on the challenges of choosing and using a grounded theory approach. Nurse Researcher, 22(2), 16-22. doi:

Mucchielli, A. (Ed.) (2002). Dictionar al metodelor calitative in stiintele umane si sociale. Iasi, Romania: Editura Polirom.

Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Leech, N. L., Slate, J. R., Stark, M., Sharma, B., Frels, R., . . . Combs, J. P. (2012). An Exemplar for Teaching and Learning Qualitative Research. The Qualitative Report, 17(1), 16-77.

Rubin, H. J., & Rubin, I. S. (2012). Qualitative interviewing: The art of hearing data (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Sandu, A. (2012). Metode de cercetare in stiinta comunicarii. Iasi, Romania: Editura Lumen.

Sandu, A. (2013). The Social Construction of Autonomy and the Meanings of Autonomy for the Diabetic Patient from Doctor's Perspective. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 93, 2130–2135.

Sandu, A. (2016a). Cadre normativ-institutionale ale constructiei sociale a profesiei de consilier de probatiune in zona de N-E a Romaniei si in Republica Moldova. Sociologie Romaneasca, 14(1), 23-43.

Sandu, A. (2016b). Social Construction of Reality as Communicative Action. UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Sandu, A. (2017). Constructia sociala a profesiei de consilier de probatiune. Iasi, Romania: Editura LUMEN.

Sandu, A., Cojocaru, D., Gavrilovici, C., & Oprea, L. (2013). Trust: an Ethical Dimension of Healthcare in Chronic Disorders. Revista Romana de Bioetica, 11(1), 190-205.

Sandu, A., Necula, R., Frunza, A., Unguru, E., & Damian, S. (2017). A qualitative inquiry in social construction of chronic illness Case study on diabetes mellitus. Doctors perspectives. Archive EuroMedica, 2, 18-23.

Sandu, A., Unguru, E., Ponea, S., & Cojocaru, S. (2010). Analysis of professional competencies in supervision field of social services. Social Research Reports, 17, 3-56.

Sbaraini, A., Carter, S. M., Evans, R. W., & Blinkhorn, A. (2011). How to do a grounded theory study: a worked example of a study of dental practices. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 11(1), 128. doi:

Suddaby, R. (2006). From The Editors: What Grounded Theory Is Not. Academy of Management Journal, 49(4), 633-642.

Trasa, L. (2010). Metode si tehnici de cercetare în psihologie. course synthesis. Universitatea Spiru Haret, Bucuresti.

Urquhart, C., Lehmann, H., & Myers, M. D. (2010). Putting the 'theory' back into grounded theory: Guidelines for grounded theory studies in information systems. Information Systems Journal, 20(4), 357-381. doi:

Xenofontov, I. (2011). Razboiul sovieto-afghan (1979–1989). Studiu de istorie verbala. Perceptii. Documente. Iasi, Romania: Editura LUMEN.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Antonio SANDU

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright © RREM | A LUMEN Peer Reviewed Open Access Journal

Covered in | Web of Sciences (WOS); EBSCO; Google Scholar; Index Copernicus; Ideas RePeC; Econpapers; Socionet; CEEOL; Ulrich ProQuest; Cabell, Journalseek; Scipio; Philpapers; SHERPA/RoMEO repositories; KVK; WorldCat; CrossRef; CrossCheck.