In Part I of the book, "Generation Theory by Comparative Analysis," the authors present a strategy whereby sociologists can facilitate the discovery of grounded theory, both substantive and formal. This strategy involves the systematic choice and study of several comparison groups. In Part II, The Flexible Use of Data," the generation of theory from qualitative, especially documentary, and quantitative data Is considered. In Part III, "Implications of Grounded Theory," Glaser and Strauss examine the credibility of grounded theory.
The Discovery of Grounded Theory is directed toward improving social scientists' capacity for generating theory that will be relevant to their research. While aimed primarily at sociologists, it will be useful to anyone Interested In studying social phenomena—political, educational, economic, industrial— especially If their studies are based on qualitative data.
In an extensive introduction, the editor explains the several purposes of the book and describes in detail the process of comparative analysis through which sociological theory on organizational careers can be generated. Organized around general themes such as recruitment, motivation, commitment, mobility, and succession, the writings of prominent sociologists--including Riesman, Caplow, Hughes, Becker, and Wilensky--form the content of the book and systematically cover every important facet of organizational careers. The editor's introductions to each section of the book alert the reader to the general phenomena--such as processes, conditions, categories, hypotheses, and properties--that crosscut and are generally relevant to all organizational careers and are, therefore, the raw material of theory. These introductions also suggest questions and problems for further analysis and research.
This book as a whole stands as a demonstration of the contributors' method of how the sociologist, working from the data of research, can generate grounded, formal theory on this or any social phenomenon. This book also presents a vital body of data on organizational careers and a guide to further research that will be of great use both to occupational sociologists and to all those involved in the study of organizations.
Barney G. Glaser is the founder of the Grounded Theory Institute in Mill Valley, California, and has also been a research sociologist at the University of California Medical Center, San Francisco. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including The Grounded Theory Perspective II, Experts versus Laymen, Time for Dying, and The Discovery of Grounded Theory.