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Sample size and grounded theory

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grounded theory, sample size, interviews, theoretical saturation

Abstract (summary)

Interviews are one of the most frequently used method of data collection and grounded theory has emerged as one of the most commonly used methodological frameworks. Although interviews are widely accepted, there is little written on an appropriate sample size. To tackle this concern a content analysis of one hundred articles that utilized grounded theory and interviews as a data collection method was performed. The findings indicate the point of theoretical saturation can be affected by the scope of the research question, the sensitivity of the phenomena, and the ability of the researcher. However, the average sample size was twenty-five, but it is recommended to plan for thirty interviews to fully develop patterns, concepts, categories, properties, and dimensions of the given phenomena. By knowing an approximation of the required number of interviews researchers now have starting point which will assist in the design, execution and budgeting of a research project.

Publication Information

Thomson, S. B. "Sample Size and Grounded Theory." Journal of Administration and Governance 5, no. 1, (2010): 45-52.



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