Generalising from Qualitative Research (GQR): a new old approach

John Guenther, Ian Falk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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In this paper, the authors debunk a long-held myth that generalisation is primarily the domain of quantitative research. Based on a review of modern and historical approaches to generalisation, they argue that generalisation from qualitative research (GQR) can be achieved, not through a process of self-justification, but through defensible and rigorous research design and methods. The authors go on to consider examples from their own qualitative research work spanning the last 20 years. From these examples they offer mechanisms that qualitative researchers can employ to generalise from their findings. They suggest that generalisation is achieved through a process of generalisation cycles (GCs) which produce normative truth statements (NTSs), which in turn can be contested or confirmed with theory and empirical evidence. Keywords: Generalising from Qualitative Research, Generalisation, Qualitative Research, Normative Truth Statements, Evidence and Theory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)1012-1033
Number of pages22
JournalThe Qualitative Report
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.


  • generalisation
  • qualitative research
  • normative truth


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