Lugano, Switzerland

Conducting a Grounded Theory Study

when 19 August 2024 - 23 August 2024
language English
duration 1 week
fee CHF 700

Workshop contents and objectives

Grounded theory is a methodology used by social scientists to explore, describe, and understand social phenomena from the perspectives of those being studied. This workshop is an introduction to grounded theory methodology with a ‘how-to’ practical focus. The main goal of this workshop is thus to equip students to critically read, design, conduct, and report grounded theory projects.

The students will be introduced to

Different types of grounded theory methodology with a predominant focus on Straussian grounded theory
Common features and terminologies of grounded theory methodology
Research process involved in a basic grounded theory study
Ethical considerations involved in a basic grounded theory study
Collection of semi-structured interview data for a grounded theory study
Data triangulation (e.g.: using observation data) in the context of a grounded theory study
Data analysis using grounded theory-based coding techniques
Rigor and reflexivity in the context of grounded theory methodology
Basics of reporting grounded theory studies

Workshop design

The workshop will include

Theory part
Practical examples and activities
Group work (which the students will conduct in small groups)
Instructions & clarification of queries
The structure of the workshop reflects the grounded theorizing process starting with the generation of a research question, research design, ethical considerations, sampling, data collection, data-analysis, and the writing of a good quality research report.

Students are required to do a small amount of homework before each class (except for the first class, for which there is no homework). This homework includes some small readings, activities etc. Considering that this is a beginners’ workshop, there will not be an overwhelming amount of work outside the course hours. But the students can expect a small to medium workload.

Detailed lecture plan (daily schedule)

Day 1.​
- Introduction to the course
- Introduction to qualitative research
- Introduction to grounded theory, specifically Straussian school
- Literature review
- Research paradigms
- Research functions
- Purpose statement
- Research questions
- Research design
- Activities (individual & group)

Day 2.
- Sampling
- Recruitment
- Ethics
- Interviews – Sensitizing concepts, topic guides, enabling techniques
- Activities (individual & group)

Day 3.
- Transcription
- Triangulation
- Observation
- Field notes & recording
- Starting the data analysis
- Activities (individual & group)

Day 4.
- Open-axial-selective coding of the materials provided by the instructor
- NVivo
- Activities (individual & group)

Day 5.
- Results/findings
- Rigor
- Reflexivity
- Reporting
- Activities (individual & group)

* This is a tentative schedule. Minor changes might occur to the schedule, depending on the learning pace of the students and any unforeseen contingencies.


Qualitative methodologies such as grounded theory have different ontological and epistemological foundations when compared to quantitative methodologies. Hence, the students attending this course should have at least a basic level of familiarity with qualitative research methodologies and their underlying philosophies.

Course leader

Dr Lakshmi Balachandran Nair is an Assistant Professor (Research) at the Department of Business and Management at LUISS Guido Carli University, Italy.

Target group

graduate students, doctoral researchers, early career researchers

Credits info

The Summer School cannot grant credits. We only deliver a Certificate of Participation, i.e. we certify your attendance.

If you consider using Summer School workshops to obtain credits (ECTS), you will have to investigate at your home institution (contact the person/institute responsible for your degree) to find out whether they recognise the Summer School, how many credits can be earned from a workshop/course with roughly 35 hours of teaching, no graded work, and no exams.

Make sure to investigate this matter before registering if this is important to you.

Fee info

CHF 700: Reduced fee: 700 Swiss Francs per weekly workshop for students (requires proof of student status).*

Reduced Fee

To qualify for the reduced fee, you are required to send a copy of an official document that certifies your current student status or a letter from your supervisor stating your actual position as a doctoral or postdoctoral researcher. Send this letter/document by e-mail to

*These fees also include participation in one of the preliminary workshops (a 2/3-day workshop preceding the Summer School). The registration fee for the Preliminary workshop booked on its own is 200 CHF.
CHF 1100: Normal fee: 1100 Swiss Francs per weekly workshop for all others.*

*These fees also include participation in one of the preliminary workshops (a 2/3-day workshop preceding the Summer School). The registration fee for the Preliminary workshop booked on its own is 200 CHF.