Deakin University
Browse

File(s) under permanent embargo

Grounded theory and leadership research: A critical realist perspective

journal contribution
posted on 2011-02-01, 00:00 authored by S Kempster, Kenneth Parry
The methodology of grounded theory has great potential to contribute to our understanding of leadership within particular substantive contexts. However, our notions of good science might constrain these contributions. We argue that for grounded theorists a tension might exist between a desire to create a contextualised theory of leadership and a desire for scientifically justified issues of validity and generalizable theory. We also explore how the outcome of grounded theory research can create a dissonance between theories that resonate with the reality they are designed to explore, and the theories that resonate with a particular yet dominant 'scientific' approach in the field of leadership studies - the philosophy of science commonly known as positivism. We examine the opportunities provided by an alternative philosophy of science, that of critical realism. We explore how conducting grounded theory research informed by critical realism might strengthen researchers' confidence to place emphasis on an understanding and explanation of contextualised leadership as a scientific goal, rather than the scientific goal of generalization through empirical replication. Two published accounts of grounded theory are critiqued candidly to help emphasise our arguments. We conclude by suggesting how critical realism can help shape and enhance grounded theory research into the phenomenon of leadership. © 2010.

History

Journal

Leadership Quarterly

Volume

22

Issue

1

Pagination

106 - 120

Publisher

Elsevier

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

1048-9843

Language

eng

Copyright notice

2011, Elsevier

Usage metrics

    Research Publications

    Categories

    No categories selected

    Exports

    RefWorks
    BibTeX
    Ref. manager
    Endnote
    DataCite
    NLM
    DC