In this paper, grounded theory as an inductive method of theory generation in business research is presented and critically evaluated. The historical and epistemological backgrounds of the method are discussed, its research procedures are briefly outlined, and its suitability for sales research assessed. To illustrate the principles of the method, a study of the nature of business-to-business sales relationships is introduced. The results of this study show clearly that grounded theory can yield highly significant findings in areas that deal with phenomena as complex as human relationships, where the construction of theoretical frameworks cannot be achieved at the cost of conceptual density.
Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Dec 1, 2003
Keywords: Research methods; Relationship marketing