Conducting Grounded Theory Research in the Early Days of the Coronavirus Pandemic: Process Interruptions, Barriers, and Innovative Approaches to Study Design

Patrick G. Corr 1 * , Leslie F. Davidson 1

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp. 149-167

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The COVID-19 pandemic changed the ways by which qualitative research is designed, participants are recruited and engaged, and results are shared regardless of research disciplines or epistemological perspectives. As a result of on-going requirements for social distancing and remote working or learning, researchers have had to redefine effective research methods by reimaging recruitment and data collection, investing in VoIP technology, and developing innovative ways to build trust across digital platforms. This manuscript explores how one Grounded Theory research study evolved in response to the emergence of COVID-19 and presents recommendations for innovative approaches to study design, data collection, and continuous participant interaction. We also briefly discuss ethical considerations that have emerged over the past two years.

Keywords: qualitative research, grounded theory, pandemic, online data collection