Table 1

Distinguishing features of qualitative methodologies

MethodologyFeatures
Grounded theory9 10Used where very little is known about the topic
Theory is developed inductively through the data
Hypotheses are generated and tested through further data collection
Relies on iterative process of data collection and analysis
Ethnography11 12Focuses on understanding cultural rules
Observation is a central data collection method
Observer role includes some degree of participation
Phenomenology13 14Focus on exploring a phenomenon in depth
May include the participants’ “lived experience”
  • Adapted from Cooper and Endacott.1