A practical example of using theoretical sampling throughout a grounded theory study: a methodological paper
Design/methodology/approach: Theoretical sampling is a well-known method in grounded theory studies to seek additional data based on concepts developed from initial data analysis. This method involves following where the data have led to expand and refine the evolving theory during the analytical process. However, there is a dearth of information detailing the practical steps needed to undertake theoretical sampling.
Findings: The authors used the theoretical sampling method in their study in four ways: asking additional interview questions and/or widening the scope of existing interview questions; recruiting participants with additional diversity of attributes within the same group; and adding a new group of participants and expanding research settings.
Originality/value: Theoretical sampling is a valuable and practical method for the purpose of addressing gaps in the data in qualitative research. When using theoretical sampling, it is essential to consider potential strategies for countering challenges that may arise. Practical recommendations are offered on the use of theoretical sampling during data analysis, for the purpose of achieving theoretical integration.
Publication titleQualitative Research Journal
Department/SchoolSchool of Nursing
PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Rights statement© Emerald Publishing Limited