Constructivist Grounded Theory Practice in Accountability Research
Keywords:Constructivist grounded theory; accountability; theoretical sampling; induction; deduction; abduction
This article offers the application of constructivist grounded theory in inquiring
dimensions of accountability in education. The classical version of grounded theory,
which was aligned with the positivist epistemology, has been well discussed in
qualitative research. However, the constructivist version of grounded theorizing
concerning education has not been adequately articulated in the existing literature. In
response to this methodological gap, this paper discusses the canons of constructivist
grounded theory in reference to inquiring school actors’ accountability for service
delivery in education. The paper draws empirical evidence from the author’s study
conducted in the context of community schools in Nepal. The paper argues that theory
construction in constructivist grounded theory design is accomplished through the
interaction of both data-indicated and extant theoretical concepts by integrating
inductive, abductive and deductive reasoning during various stages of the inquiry. The
paper also argues that, in constructivist grounded theory, it is not the data saturation as
such but the level of researcher’s satisfaction where the grounded theorizing terminates.
The paper concludes that the constructivist epistemology of grounded theorizing is
useful in addressing the localized understanding of accountability in the decentralized
context of education governance in Nepal.
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