Just a short note following up on my comment about seeing the literature review as a kind of grounded theory in reverse. I’ve found a study that expands on this idea. Wolfswinkel, Furtmueller and Wilderom (2013) use the latter version of grounded theory, the one that allows ‘forcing’ (Charmaz, 2006), i.e. there can be some investigator effect on the selection of themes during coding, that signalled the split between Strauss (and later Strauss and Corbin) from Glaser who insisted that themes must ’emerge’ from the coding (Corbin & Strauss, 1990), a position that I find epistemologically challenging.
The figure on page 49 (Wolfswinkel et al., 2013) reveals the iterative nature of both grounded theory and of literature reviewing. The aptness of using grounded theory here is supported.
Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. London: Sage.
Corbin, J. M., & Strauss, A. (1990). Grounded theory research: Procedures, canons, and evaluative criteria. Qualitative Sociology, 13(1), 3–21. http://doi.org/10.1007/BF00988593
Wolfswinkel, J. F., Furtmueller, E., & Wilderom, C. P. M. (2013). Using grounded theory as a method for rigorously reviewing literature. European Journal of Information Systems, 22, 45–55. http://doi.org/10.1057/ejis.2011.51