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Grounded Theory: A Methodological Spiral from Positivism to Postmodernism


Derivation of knowledge must be elicited from an explicit nature. Presenting what is
authentic and true to the human soul based from what was experienced will ultimately
crystallize the knowledge that is being created and amplified. The exploration of the
Australian rural nurses experiences in mentoring based from the postpositivist paradigm
of grounded theory, metaphorically shifted the methodology into symbolic interactionism
adopting the frame analysis due to unwillingness to dismiss the notion of constructivists
beliefs (Mills, et al, 2006). The article provided us transparency to the methodological
undertakings to decode the correct interpretation of human experiences.
Initially, the researchers grounded their inquiry to Glaser and Strauss traditional
grounded theory (1967) with the faith of creating a theory out of the data that was
collected. The inevitable participation of the researchers to the creation of knowledge
providing meaningful themes to it is an essential function of the latter. This is true to
what Corbin & Strauss cited by Mills, et al (2006) said that the researcher is an author
who reconstructs meaning in the research process. Similarly, Lincoln and Guba (2005)
asserted that a researcher is a passionate participant as facilitator of multi-voice
reconstruction. The constructivistic approach of the researcher to the study clearly
defines the purpose and the relationship created upon the conduct of knowledge inquiry.
However, with the attempt to utilize the situational analysis following the maps, ushered
itself to the Foucauldian discourse analysis. It is at this point that Clarkes grounded
theory move out from constructivism to postmodernism perspective questioning how
discourses are produced and how we are constituted through them.

With the futile result of positional maps by laying out the positions taken and not
taken, in the data vis-a-vis particular axes of difference, concern and controversy around
issues in the situation of inquiry (Clarke as cited by Mills, et al 2006), the researchers
utilizes other means of analyzing the data focusing on how the texts. The framing
analysis, which according to Goffman as cited by Mills, et al (2006), identifies the
structure of experience individuals have at any moment of their social lives aligning itself
to the social values and beliefs in order to promote action and change. Through this, the
researchers were able to box and connect the responses of multiple actors involved in the
study propagating ample detailed interpretation of the mentoring experiences.
To give color in portraying the multistoried world (Munhall, 2012), it is imperative to
use an appropriate brush and skillful strokes. Looking to the appropriateness and
soundness of the methodology used or that will be used in a particular study will
definitely contribute to the acceptance of the truth being presented. Wherein, the study
questions were sufficiently answered due to the method used (Kaplan University, n.d.).
Further, visualizing the possible influences that will affect the perception of the
participants upon recall of the phenomenon being studied, must also be examined and
identified for it will tell to the reader the complete structure of the theory being created.
For the accuracy of data lies on the information gathered, analyzed and presented. The
researchers were able to discern what appropriate methodology to be used in the
interpretation of valuable facts about the experiences of rural nurses. Setting aside what
philosophical belief they have, they were able to value the knowledge they are creating
and their contribution to others enrichment.