First online: 03 February 2015.
Quality & Quantity - March 2016, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 619-636
In this article we propose that researchers can undertake a grounded preliminary literature review (GPLR) to acquire and develop their theoretical sensitivity as soon as possible in order to progress their research to the theory development stage. We utilize principles and philosophies within the grounded theory method as it is known for its ability to develop rigorous theory through the application of systematic procedures. A GPLR helps the researcher to build up a repertoire of theoretical codes for use in the later stages of a grounded research based study. Unlike the traditional literature review, the GPLR does not extend to covering the substantive topic area of research. By conducting a GPLR, researchers (in particular graduate students) can both satisfy mandatory university requirements to conduct a substantial literature review prior to beginning formal research and also meet generally accepted standards in the grounded theory method to delay reading in the substantive topic area until after the core category emerges from the data analysis. The article advocates and demonstrates a seven step method for developing a GPLR. A case is also made for the use of computer aided analytical tools. Further benefits, implications and areas of future research are discussed.
Thistoll, T., Hooper, V. & Pauleen, D.J. (2015). Acquiring and developing theoretical sensitivity through undertaking a grounded preliminary literature review.