Question: your book has, how shall we put it, a rather unimaginative cover. Was there anything more original you thought of?

Answer: I am glad you ask that question. One of the authors was more thinking along these lines of abductive analysis. Unfortunately, he was outvoted.


Question: I am writing a grant/dissertation proposal and would like to include abductive analysis in the methods section. Do you have some advice on how to write the method up?

Answer: We do. Here is an example (also an appendix in the book).


Question: I read your book. Aren't you suggesting what many qualitative researchers already are doing?

Answer: That may be the case to some extent. However, these qualitative researchers who already started from a broad theoretical base and worked methodologically with their data did not always have a language to express how they analyzed their observations. At a minimum, abductive analysis provides a consistent methodological framework to express what these researchers were doing. Abductive analysis then brings methodology and practice closer together.


Question: How is your approach different from grounded theory?

Answer: We are obviously deeply indebted to grounded theory and, in fact, marshall some of the traditional methodological heuristics of grounded theory in our approach. Due to strong disagreements between the original founders of grounded theory and an extensive secondary literature on grounded theory, this approach to data analysis has been pulled in many different directions and it is unclear what still travels under the flag of grounded theory. We offer a clean break with grounded theory in our focus on abduction rather than induction. Grounded theory consistently has had an aversion against engaging existing theories in the research process. We contend that researchers cannot contribute to the scientific literature if they are not steeped in existing theories. These seemingly commonsensical steps are anathema to traditional grounded theorists. In our third chapter, we also provide a theoretical rationale for the coding procedures that have been one of the hallmarks of grounded theory.


Question: I am confused by the figure on page 29 in your book.

Answer: That is understandable. The "o" and "s" are reversed in the figure. This is how it should have looked.