Article

In search of theory development in grounded investigations: Doctors' experiences of managing as an example of fitted and prospective theorizing

Details

Citation

Hallier J & Forbes T (2004) In search of theory development in grounded investigations: Doctors' experiences of managing as an example of fitted and prospective theorizing. Journal of Management Studies, 41 (8), pp. 1379-1410. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2004.00479.x

Abstract
This article draws on a study of doctors' experiences of clinical managing to highlight research conventions that limit the development and use of middle range theories in grounded studies. Using sensemaking and the psychological contract as example frameworks, we illustrate how customary deductive evaluations of middle range theories turn grounded researchers away from theory building. As a correction to these conventions, we offer an inductive approach to building existing theory in grounded investigations that does not depend solely on working with frameworks under different empirical conditions. We suggest that forward theorizing is most likely to progress from a synthesis of fitted explanation and prospective thinking that presses at the limits of the data's usefulness. To illustrate this approach, trialled thinking about novel theoretical juxtapositions and alternative sources was used in conjunction with our clinical director data. The value of this approach was supported in two ways. First, a number of fitted and prospective conjectures are offered about how social identity articulates with psychological contracts and sensemaking in role change situations. Second, new light is shed on the process by which particular social conditions differentially modify employees' social categorizations, and how these inform employee responses to the evolving experience of role change. The article concludes with some tentative proposals for promoting more discussion of theory building in grounded investigations.

Journal
Journal of Management Studies: Volume 41, Issue 8

StatusPublished
Publication date31/12/2004
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/10933
PublisherBlackwell Publishing for the Society for the Advancement of Management Studies
ISSN0022-2380

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People

Dr Tom Forbes

Dr Tom Forbes

Senior Lecturer, Management, Work and Organisation