The current research combined a critical realist (CR) ontology with elements of constructivist grounded theory (GT). CR is a philosophical framework of science situated between relativism and positivism. 1 In contrast to relativism, CR acknowledges the existence of a reality independent of the observer’s mind (Sayer, 1992: 5). Unlike positivism, CR recognises that human knowledge is fallible, and only captures a small part of it (ibid.). Some aspects of the reality, however, are more accessible to human knowledge than others. This knowledge may be achieved as ‘theories, which may be more or less truth like’ (Danermark et al., 2002: 10). These theories have an explanatory character, namely they help us identify causal mechanisms behind social phenomena, activities and events, using rational judgment. Thus, the researcher’s active role in the construction of knowledge is explicitly recognised.