The aim of this paper is to provide a discussion that is broad in both depth and breadth, about the concept of data saturation in Grounded Theory. It is expected that this knowledge will provide a helpful resource for (a) the novice researcher using a Grounded Theory approach, or for (b) graduate students currently enrolled in a qualitative research course, and for (c) instructors who teach or supervise qualitative research projects. The following topics are discussed in this paper: (1) definition of data saturation in Grounded Theory (GT); (2) factors pertaining to data saturation; (3) factors that hinder data saturation; (4) the relationship between theoretical sampling and data saturation; (5) the relationship between constant comparative and data saturation; and (6) illustrative examples of strategies used during data collection to maximize the components of rigor that Yonge and Stewin (1988) described as Credibility, Transferability or Fittingness, Dependability or Auditability, and Confirmability.


Grounded Theory, Novice Researchers, Strategies or Achieving Data / Theoretical Saturation, Indicators

Author Bio(s)

Khaldoun M. Aldiabat RN, MSN, Ph.D, in an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Nursing, University of New Brunswick (Moncton Site), 55 Lutz Street, Moncton, NB, E1C 0L2, Canada. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: kaldiaba@unb.ca.

Carole-Lynne Le Navenec RN, Ph.D, is an Associate Professor Emerita in the Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4 Canada. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: cllenave@ucalgary.ca.

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