Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sampling in Research


Sampling is the process of selecting units (e.g., people, organizations) from a population of interest so that by studying the sample we may fairly generalize our results back to the population from which they were chosen. When organizations require data they either use data collected by somebody else (secondary data), or collect it themselves (primary data). This is usually done by SAMPLING that is collecting data from a representative SAMPLE of the population they are interested in.


Before an organization conducts primary research it has to be clear which respondents it wishes to interview. A company cannot possibly interview the whole population to get their opinions and views. This simply would be too costly and unfeasible. A sample of the population is taken to help them conduct this research. To select this sample there are again different methods of choosing your respondents, a mathematical approach called 'probability sampling' and a non- mathematical approach, simply called 'non-probability sampling'. Let’s look at these in a little more detail.

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