Sampling Strategies

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The qualitative research plan is a planning of study that is efficient, convenient and flexible to reassure skeptics. It is mostly used to develop the hypothesis for further testing and a qualitative questionnaire, generate ideas improvement and uncover potential strategic direction for communication programs. The sampling strategy utilized in a qualitative research plan depends mostly on expense, time and accessibility while sampling size is always relatively small due to the quality needed. There are different types of sampling strategies that are categorized into two, probability strategies and nonprobability strategies. Probability strategies include random sampling, stratified random sampling, systematic sampling, and rational sub-grouping while nonprobability strategy includes convenience sampling and purposeful sampling.

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Probability sampling strategy involves random selection while nonprobability sample strategy does not involve random selection, therefore, in qualitative research plan nonprobability research plan is better off as compared to probabilistic sampling approach. Nonprobability samples are not representative of the population but are focused on cases that are rich due to their unusual nature that lead to rare circumstances or great outcome that provide a clear understanding typically or averagely on cases. In nonprobability, the research is based on convenience, judgment and theoretical models that have been collected before. The researcher can use theoretical sampling that involves the use of the data or theories collected before and only look if there is an additional data apart from that one that exists. In the nonprobability strategy, the researcher is also the one that decides and concludes that the research has reached its saturation point when there is no any new additional data of information and only recurrent of the obtainable information. (Walther, 2014)

Purposive sampling being one of the types of nonprobability sampling strategy mainly focuses on the purpose of the research. On which, when considering sampling sizes it often aims at the criteria of the point in data collection and when any incoming new data no longer bring additional information to the researcher question. It allows capturing of information that surrounds the central research question hence generalizing of findings. It also allows capturing of a great deal of information and variation based on different large samples provided. It has the capability of working where resources are limited and also confined to one single location. It also can identify information-loaded cases from a well situated group. There are also cases where it takes common cases as units of analysis to get the picture of the typical program.

Convenience sampling is also a nonprobability sampling strategy that is suitable and inexpensive used in data collection. It is readily available since the researcher is always targeting a specific group of people or things that are located in the same place like schools, hospitals or streets. The researcher only needs to present him or herself at the place and then approach the required people to get the information. Convenience sampling is inexpensive since the people of items required for the data are always in a single location, and the researcher does not move from one place to another which also makes it less exhausting. The strategy is typically used teachers at school or the collection of peoples opinions on a national matter by the communication houses on the streets. Convenient sampling is a good strategy for qualitative research plan since there is no specific number of people required and only the researcher knows when enough data is gathered. (Emmel, Kenney, 2013)

When it comes to selecting sample size in nonprobability sampling strategy units that are selected are the easiest to access. This is so different in probability sampling techniques where a selection of units is done randomly. The sample size can also depend on the decision of the researcher and to what he or she wants, one can decide to choose information-rich sample to obtain the most relevant information according to the program. Since quality is the focus of the qualitative research plan, the sample size is typically small, and the researcher is the one that determines when enough data has been collected. Convenience and purpose also make it easier to the sample size since there is always a distinct group needed depending on the purpose of the collection.

Although nonprobability sampling strategy is recommended for the qualitative research plan, it does not eliminate sample probability strategy as a data collection method, and it is therefore recommended for the quantitative research project. The nonprobability sampling strategy gives the precised sample size required for the qualitative research project that also enables convenience and intense satisfaction. The fact that it is convenient and inexpensive makes it a better option as compared to probability sampling strategy. The researcher also has the privilege to judge when the data has reached its saturation in case there is no new information coming in or depending on his or her target. Where qualitative research plan is required, it is better to go for nonprobability sample strategy that is way efficient and affordable in obtaining the necessary data. (Neergaard, Ulhoi, 2007)


Walther, M. (2014). Repatriation to France and Germany: A Comparative study based on Bourdieu's theory of practice.

Emmel, N., In Seaman, J., & Kenney, F. (2013). Sampling and choosing cases in qualitative research: A realist approach.

Neergaard, H., & Ulhoi, J. P. (2007). Handbook of qualitative research methods in entrepreneurship. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

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