Interviews in GT research

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    Ahmad Salih

    Can interviews be the sole form of data collection in grounded theory studies? 

    bernard smith

    If you treat seriously some of the weaknesses of the interview as discussed by David Silverman, for example, and in particular its resulting data as fundamentally product and artifice of the researcher ( interview responses are in response to the interviewer’s questions but are then presented in decontextualized ways as if the interviewer was simply invisible and irrelevant and could easily be removed from the interaction)  as opposed to something that is “naturally occurring” and presented by the researcher then I would think that there are many , many other ways to collect data: from participant observation, to autoethnography, to collecting online posts and blogs.   

    Glen Gatin

    One of the main strengths of classic grounded theory method is that it allows the researcher to use data from many sources. I interpret “All is data” to mean that I mustn’t  ignore any data sources which will help me discover what is going on in the substantive area. One can certainly start with interview data but then look to other sources as the analysis progress.

    Other forms of qualitative data analysis may be more appropriate if a concern exists about limiting data types. 

    Ahmad Salih

    Many thanks to both of you for the feedback.

    Isabella’s (1990) study on managers’ interpretation of processes of organizational change, which has been described by Suddaby (2006) as  an outstanding exemplar of grounded theory methodology, was based on interviews with 40 participants.

    Charles BERG

    Barney Glaser used to say “All’s data.” Consequently interviews and e-mail interviews are a form of data, but they cannot be the sole form of data collection. I entirely agree with the reference to David Silverman’s critical remarks on the design of Grounded theory studies.



    Agree with “all’s data”. I conducted indepth interviews, FGDs and photovoice to collect my data using GT procedures. Recently published as below:

    “Feeling Unsafe”: A Photovoice Analysis of Factors Influencing Physical Activity Behavior Among Malaysian Adolescents Asia Pac J Public Health 1010539513480229, first published on March 19, 2013 as doi:10.1177/1010539513480229

    Ahmad Salih

    Thanks, Glen. Your closing statement is spot on. Perhaps other forms of qualitative data analysis are more appropriate.

    Glen Gatin

    Thanks for this, Rosalia. Photovoice Analysis is fascinating. 


    Hi Glen. Yes, I enjoyed doing photovoice in my recent research. It is indeed useful especially when our research participants are multiethnic. 

    Glen Gatin

    I am involved with an education research project in Manitoba Canada investigating the vital indicators for success of Aboriginal Youth in rural and remote communities.

     have shared your paper with the group as an exemplar of Photovoice and grounded theory method analysis.

    Do you use any other forms of social media? Would you consider doing a Skype presentation? 




    Hi Glen, your research sounds interesting. You can contact me via facebook – Rosalia Saimon. Good luck to your work.


    Thank You Rosalie for your article!

    Photovoice is very intresting method!

    I’ve used photovoice with my college (Böök, Marja-Leena) researching the whole family; from the point of view children, mothers and fathers.

    This spring our article (Photographing as a research method. Finnish children´s views of everyday life) is gonna be published in an international (e)book: Women, men and children in families: new openings.

    The aim of the chapter is twofold. Firstly, it will discuss the use of cameras and photographs as a research method and asks: what is the usefulness of cameras and photographs as a research method to analyse daily life. Secondly, it will describe everyday family life and emotions involved in it through photographs taken by children. In this respect the chapter asks: What kind of photographs of everyday family life have been taken by children and what kinds of emotions and actions can be seen within the photographs?

    – Johanna Mykkänen

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