The basic approach of a semi-structured interview attempts to give a voice to those that might not otherwise be heard, it has its roots in Grounded Theory which sees itself as a theory generating method rather than simply a way of proving a hypothesis (Bartlett and Payne , Strauss and Corbin 1998). It was helpful in conducting the research that I was no longer part of the leadership of the Church, but my story plays a part in how I see and interpret things. I interviewed volunteers from a Facebook page limited to Ministers that excluded senior Church leadership from the forum. I had noticed over a number of months in the discussions a strong sense that people did not feel listened to and so I simply invited those interested to contact me to take part in a piece of research on MDR. The numbers involved in the interviews were not sufficient to attempt to get an overview of opinions of Ministers in general, but offered insight into the kind of areas that might be explored later.
|IJ||Staff Discipleship and Ministries||2011||Female||White|
|OP||Presbyter (Supernumerary Ex Chair)||1998||Female||White|
Before I adopted a particular schedule for the interviews I held one conversation with a colleague who had expressed an interest in the area, and agreed to my exploring questions I might use. In total 12 interviews were transcribed with a balance of men and women, longer term and shorter term service, with 11 Presbyters and 1 Deacon. I also conducted a face-to-face interview with one of the Connexional Staff involved in the development and implementation of the MDR policy that helped give me a personal perspective on the whole process. The schedule of questions was based, with permission, on the previous work, mentioned above, concerning Methodist Ministers and Management (Guerrier 2012, Guerrier and Bond 2013, Guerrier and Bond 2014). The adaptations were shaped partly by the first interview with a colleague who agreed to help me, and partly through the choice of the specific focus of this project; an interest in how MDR was viewed within the wider context of how Methodist presbyters conceive their management skills.