, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 105-121

A Call for Qualitative Power Analyses

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to emphasize the importance of sampling and sample size considerations in all qualitative research. Such considerations would help qualitative researchers to select sample sizes and sampling designs that are most compatible with their research purposes. First, we discuss the importance of sampling in qualitative research. Next, we outline 24 designs for selecting a sample in qualitative research. We then discuss the importance of selecting a sample size that yields data that have a realistic chance of reaching data saturation, theoretical saturation, or informational redundancy. Based on the literature, we then provide sample size guidelines for several qualitative research designs. As such, we provide a framework for making sampling and sample size considerations in interpretive research.

An earlier version of this article received the 2004 Southwest Educational Research Association (SERA) Outstanding Paper Award.