Grounded Practical Theory

Investigating Communication Problems (First Edition)
Robert T. Craig and Karen Tracy
©2021, 238 pages

Paperback list price: $ 49.95

Cognella Direct Ebook: $39.95

You save $10 (20%)

Learn about all formats available for adoption

Bookstore Managers: contact to place an order

Customize Grounded Practical Theory

* Required Fields

Your Customization
Grounded Practical Theory

In stock


    Grounded Practical Theory: Investigating Communication Problems provides readers with an introduction to grounded practical theory (GPT), a framework for doing research about the problems people encounter when they engage in particular communicative practices, techniques for managing those problems, and normative ideas for how to communicate wisely in situations that involve tensions and dilemmas.

    Readers learn about the philosophy behind GPT and how its application can strengthen and improve existing communication practices. They review a detailed road map and practical examples for conducting GPT research, including how to analyze discourse. They also learn how past researchers have creatively adapted GPT to study and reconstruct a variety of communicative practices. The text compares GPT with other qualitative approaches and offers guidance for how to choose among different methods. The book concludes with considerations of how GPT may be used in the future.

    Grounded Practical Theory is an ideal book for graduate-level courses in qualitative methods or communication theory and an excellent resource for practicing communication scholars and researchers.

    Robert T. Craig (Ph.D., Michigan State University) is Professor Emeritus of Communication at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association and a fellow and past president of the International Communication Association. He writes about communication theory and philosophy, discourse, and argumentation.
    Karen Tracy (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin) is Professor Emeritus of Communication at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association and a fellow in the International Communication Association. She is the author of Challenges of Ordinary Democracy: A Case Study in Deliberation and Everyday Talk: Building and Reflecting Identities.
    Formats and Bulk Order Pricing for Confirmed Adoptions

    Publisher Direct Versions — Available through the Cognella Student Store for confirmed adoptions

    Best Value!
    Publisher Direct Ebook Publisher Direct ebooks are available in your Cognella account immediately after purchase and provide access for 180 days. Our ebooks run on RedShelf and VitalSource with annual/perpetual options available.
    Ships Free!
    Publisher Direct Paperback These special, discounted paperback editions are sold exclusively through the Cognella Student Store ( for confirmed adoptions. They are not available through other retailers. The books are printed on demand, do not have an ISBN, and are not intended for resale, which results in savings we pass along to students. Most Publisher Direct Paperbacks also come with free, immediate access to the first 30% of the ebook and FREE shipping.

    Bookstore Pricing (MSRP) — These suggested retail prices include a total projected mark-up of 25%

    Best Value!
    Inclusive Access Ebook
    We partner with both RedShelf and VitalSource to provide day-one access to students through campus bookstores. Bookstores and these vendors share in the total projected mark-up. Learn more about Inclusive Access at
    Binder Ready/Loose Leaf
    Talk to a rep for ISBN details
    Binder Ready versions have pages that are loose leaf, three-hole punched, and fit into any standard three-ring binder (not included). They are fully typeset, include front and back covers, and are available at a discount compared to standard paperbacks. Contact us for course adoptions; not available for individual purchase.
    $49.95 Paperback
    Standard paperback version. Contact us for course adoptions; also available for individual purchase through national wholesalers and retailers — and from our website directly — see Purchase button above.
    See more options
    $44.95 Ebook
    Ebooks are available for individual purchase (180-day access) through either RedShelf or VitalSource. Bookstores and these vendors share in the total projected mark-up.
    $79.95 Hardcover
    Great for libraries and rental programs. Contact us for course adoptions; also available for individual purchase through national wholesalers and retailers.
    $49.45 Other Formats
    Talk to a rep for details
    Other formats (spiral bind, perforated, etc.) may be available. Contact us for course adoptions; specialty formats are not available for individual purchase.
    “Grounded Practical Theory provides an up-to-date, practical method that is specific to the communication discipline, yet draws from many theories and methods that students may already be familiar with. […] The text elucidates a communication-focused method and theoretical approach that engages practical problems, promotes reflection, builds theory, and encourages normative change. Along the way, it provides useful reviews of past literature, and shows how grounded practical theory is distinct yet pulls from other influential methodological and theoretical approaches such as grounded theory and ethnography. The book is a perfect complement to advanced qualitative research methods and theory courses and could be the focal text for a module on grounded practical theory. In writing this book, the authors provide a gift and legacy to the communication discipline.”
    Sarah J. Tracy, Ph.D., Full Professor, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University

    “The writing is at once smart, approachable, and consistent throughout the book. It is as if the authors are explaining these ideas to me directly. I can hear their voices. […] Students will appreciate the concrete advice for doing this work. The strong grounding in communication research exemplars and the metatheoretical review make clear the rich foundations of GPT as an approach distinctive to the communication discipline—a source of pride. Being a practical discipline is inspiring!”
    Joshua B. Barbour, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Moody College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin

    “Grounded Practical Theory synthesizes theory and method and offers an accessible and useful textbook for students and faculty. […] The book is clearly written, provides excellent ‘behind the scenes’ examples, and the content shows both how to use the method and how the method is connected to theoretical traditions.”
    Laura W. Black, Ph.D., Associate Professor, School of Communication Studies, Ohio University

    “Craig and Tracy’s Grounded Practical Theory integrates theory, method, and analysis into a sophisticated meta-theoretical framework. Through empirical examples, they explain the basic tenants of GPT, illustrate how these tenants have been applied in studies of diverse settings and topics, and suggest future directions for growth. Throughout, they explain how GPT is a flexible approach for cultivating practices useful for real-world applications. This is a unique volume.”
    Christopher J. Koenig, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Studies, San Francisco State University

    “This book provides an in-depth overview of GPT and of qualitative research methods more generally especially as they relate to studying discursive practices. The historical and contextual history for the different qualitative methods makes this work a concise, treasure-trove for qualitative researchers in communication.”
    Theresa Castor, Ph.D., Professor of Communication, University of Wisconsin-Parkside