Adding Theoretical Grounding to Grounded Theory: Toward Multi-Grounded Theory

  • Göran Goldkuhl Linkoping university
  • Stefan Cronholm Linkoping university


The purpose of this paper is to challenge some of the cornerstones of the grounded theory approach and propose an extended and alternative approach for data analysis and theory development, which the authors call multi-grounded theory (MGT). A multi-grounded theory is not only empirically grounded; it is also grounded in other ways. Three different grounding processes are acknowledged: theoretical, empirical, and internal grounding. The authors go beyond the pure inductivist approach in GT and add the explicit use of external theories. A working procedure of theory development in MGT is presented, which can be seen as an extension of the grounded theory approach.

Author Biography

Göran Goldkuhl, Linkoping university
Professor, Ph D Dep of Management & Engineering (information systems)