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Conversations About Group Concept Mapping

Conversations About Group Concept Mapping
Applications, Examples, and Enhancements

November 2017 | 312 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Conversations About Group Concept Mapping: Applications, Examples, and Enhancements takes a concise, practice-based approach to group concept mapping. After defining the method, demonstrating how to design a project, and providing guidelines to analyze the results, this book then dives into real research exemplars.  Conversations with the researchers are based on in depth interviews that connected method, practice and results.

The conversations are from a wide variety of research settings, that include mapping the needs of at-risk African American youth, creating dialogue within a local business community, considering learning needs in the 21st century, and identifying the best ways to support teens receiving Supplemental Social Security Income. The authors reflect on the commonalities between the cases and draw out insights into the overall group concept mapping method from each case.

About the Authors
Chapter 1. Simple Rules for Constructing Group Knowledge: The What and How of GCM
By the Book: The Textbook Definition of GCM

A “Group Wisdom” Definition

GCM’s Simple Rules: The Participant as Knowledge Holder

How GCM is Used

Where GCM is Used

Chapter 2. GCM in Action: Capturing Knowledge, Valuing Participation
GCM’s Simple Rules: What We Ask of the Participant

The Researcher’s Roles in GCM

Designing and Conducting GCM: The Project Process Model

Orientation to the Model: Roles in GCM

The GCM Process: An Exemplar

Idea Generation

Data Development and Phase II Planning


A Sample of a Sorting and Rating

Chapter 3. GCM in Action: Analyzing for Results, Producing the Map

Looking at the Maps

Ratings Comparisons


Glossary: Commonly Used Terms in Group Concept Mapping

Chapter 4. Conversations on Group Concept Mapping With Guest Researchers: Introduction
Chapter 5. A Conversation on Needs of At-Risk African American Youth in Chicago
Design Decisions and Technical Innovations

Chapter 6. A Conversation on Regional Economic Development and Cultural Entrepreneurship
Design Decisions and Technical Innovations

Chapter 7. A Conversation on the Future of Learning: New Ways to Learn New Skills for Future Jobs
Design Decisions and Technical Innovations

Chapter 8. A Conversation on Promoting Readiness for Living, Learning, and Working for Youth Who Have Disabilities Who Receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Design Decisions and Technical Innovations

Chapter 9. Synthesis: What We’ve Learned

Representation and Visualization


Integrated, Mixed-Method Approach


Chapter 10. Forward
A. Bibliography

B. GCM Project Workbook

C. Technology for Managing and Conducting GCM

D. Guest Researchers’ Biographies



Student Resource Site
Visit the companion website for more information and resources about the GCM software as well as using SPSS for Group Concept Mapping.

Key features


  • The Group Concept Mapping Process Model is the result of over 20 years of GCM practice with step-by-step application to guide the new or experienced user.
  • The Group Concept Mapping Workbook provides a planning document that readers can use to conduct a complete GCM project in a short time, offering them the support of a proven, easy-to-use structure in their work.
  • The Applications Summary provides a strong “research to practice” frame for students and offers support to researchers and faculty to expand their own work.
  • Interviewed researchers offer "how to do it" information not found in other social research volumes by describing their decisions and actions taken to complete unique projects with GCM.
  • A Synthesis chapter places GCM squarely in the context of mixed methods methodology, enabling research in many social environments.

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Research Methods, the ultimate digital methods library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.