Phenomenology and Grounded Theory

Phenomenology and Grounded Theory

Phenomenologyand Grounded Theory

Phenomenologyand Grounded Theory

Phenomenologyand grounded theory are the most regular approaches to qualitativestudy. The two approaches are usually presented together since one isan annex of the other. Besides, they use data collection methodswhich are similar. This short essay seeks to explore the two methodsin terms of differences and similarities.


Phenomenologicaland grounded theory methods both take an intepretivist approach wherethe researcher seeks to investigate real life situations, and requirea high level of relations between the researcher and the situations,individuals or groups being investigated. This is normallyaccomplished through observations or and interviews.

Phenomenologistand grounded theorists all seek to gather and analyze data from theviews of the participant and try as much to avoid their findings frombeing influenced by preconceived notions (VanManen, 2014).This is achieved by ensuring that participants are involved inanalysis of data to enhance trustworthiness of the conclusions. Inessence, phenomenologists and grounded theorists are focused onexploring experiences of people in the milieu of the worlds in whichthey reside.


Phenomenologywas founded from philosophy and was influenced by Martin Heideggerand Edmund Husserl. The approach seeks at describing and exploringexperiences something that can only be attainable by gathering datafrom people who have lived through such experiences (VanManen, 2014).As such, data is usually limited to interviews and findings are adeep description of the personal experiences drawn on characteristicsnoted during analysis of data.

Onthe other hand, grounded theory evolved from sociology and wasinitially described by Anselm Strauss and Barney Glaser as aqualitative methodological approach which was aimed at generating agrounded theory to explain the issue under study (Glaser&amp Strauss, 2009).Unlike with phenomenology which is solely interview based, groundedtheory utilizes all data sources that may influence to theorydevelopment. It includes such things as interviews together withobservation, images, diaries or past literature and studies.Analyzing data from grounded theory can be a difficult task (Glaser&amp Strauss, 2009).


Glaser,B. G., &amp Strauss, A. L. (2009). Thediscovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research.Transaction Publishers.

VanManen, M. (2014). Phenomenologyof practice: Meaning-giving methods in phenomenological research andwriting(Vol. 13). Left Coast Press.