When and How to Use Extant Literature in Classic Grounded Theory

Alvita Nathaniel 1 *

AM J QUALITATIVE RES, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp. 45-59

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Glaser and Strauss (1967) sprinkled suggestions about the use of the literature throughout their seminal work as did Glaser in subsequent years. They, however, did not lay out a clear and structured overview of how to use the literature. The aim of this paper is to weave together the recommendations from classic grounded theory originators and to describe how, why, and when to review the literature and which literature to review. The paper includes a section debunking the no literature myth followed by descriptions of the three phases of the classic grounded theory literature review—the introduction phase, the integration phase, and the disposition phase. The three phases work together to substantiate, confirm, and enhance an emerging grounded theory and situate it within the existing body of knowledge.

Keywords: literature review, extant literature, grounded theory, classic grounded theory.