Grounded Theory is most accurately described as a research method in which the theory is developed from the data, rather than the other way around. That makes this is an inductive approach, meaning that it moves from the specific to the more general. The method of study is essentially based on three elements: concepts, categories and propositions, or what was originally called “hypotheses”. However, concepts are the key elements of analysis since the theory is developed from the conceptualization of data, rather than the actual data.
Strauss & Corbin, authors of “Basics of Qualitative research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques” are two of the model’s greatest advocates, and define it as follows: "The grounded theory approach is a qualitative research method that uses a systematic set of procedures to develop an inductively derived grounded theory about a phenomenon”. The primary objective of grounded theory, then, is to expand upon an explanation of a phenomenon by identifying the key elements of that phenomenon, and then categorizing the relationships of those elements to the context and process of the experiment. In other words, the goal is to go from the general to the specific without losing sight of what makes the subject of a study unique.