sampling for qualitative research with the data is extreamly large?

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    Saleh Ali

    My research objective is to build a theory that explains the way hotels’ managers interact with customer in the social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. I am using grounded theory as a method of analysis.

    Now, the question is: the sampling strategy in this case should be theoretical sampling which means that the data collection and analysis are conducted simultaneously until reaching the point of saturation. However, this will not be acceptable in my research proposal! It is not possible to achieve either! If I determine the saturation point to end the data collection and analysis using GT, it perhaps need another PhD! There are plenty of them out there and grounded theory does take long time?

    My question is: how to sample?

    Katie Metzler

    Hi Saleh Ali,

    I’m wondering why you have chosen grounded theory as a method, if you’re saying it’s not appropriate for your question. Start with your research question, and then think about what methods and tools will help you to answer your research question.

    What are you trying to do? To develop a theory that explains the way hotels’ managers interact with customers in social media ?Perhaps you’d be better off doing a netnographic study of online communities in your field? Rob Kozinet’s book is excellent as an introduction to the method.

    You can also find some video tutorials on YouTube from the author.



    Dave Collingridge

    Good advice from Katie. If you feel that grounded theory is the best method for answering your research question, remember that it tends to take a long time given its iterative nature. If you are working on a project to fulfill an educational requirement, it might be a good idea to choose a smaller project that could be used to do a larger GT study. GT is usually built on a foundation of several methods like ethnography, case study, and phenomenology.  

    Saleh Ali

    Thanx a lot Katie and Dave

    Indeed, online observation or as Kozinets likes to call “netneography” is part of my methodology. I do observe what is happening online and collect data. However, when it comes to the analysis, I find that GT has lots to offer. They just van go together.I personally have seen some people doing netnography and still use GT as well.

    Indeed, what I am thinking of is borrowing some criteria from case study approach and using two phases.

    I will first choose what I think “rich cases”. I decide what rich case study is based on the level of interaction. For example, some conpanies do not bother respond, while others are very active and many other in between. So, will focus on rich ones based on the level of interactoin. 

    Second, collect data that go maximum six months ago, because there is on point building a theory on outdated data!

    Once I reach the saturation point, I will compare my categories against other cases. NOT seeking for VALIDITY but RIGOR !

    How does this look like?

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