Understanding which dimensions of organisational capacity support the vertical integration of disability football clubs

Paul James Kitchin, Aaron Crossin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)
50 Downloads (Pure)


Disabled people continue to face exclusion from full participation in community sports. Efforts to include disabled people in sports organisations have favoured structural solutions to make sport accessible. Our purpose was to understand which dimensions of a football club’s organisational capacity assisted the vertical integration of disability football clubs. A theoretical framework combining organisational capacity and acculturation informed an exploratory and qualitative research design using semi-structured interviews. Findings indicate that the brand and the size of the organisation assisted the generation of integrative capacity. Following the acquisition of integrative capacity, two types of integration – assimilation and accommodation appeared. This study contributes to the extant literature on the vertical integration of disability sport and the management and organisation of disability football. Recommendations for policy makers and practitioners seeking to implement the vertical integration process as this study provides a theoretical and empirical perspective on how mergers can create inclusive organisations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalManaging Sport and Leisure
Publication statusPublished - 2018



  • vertical integration
  • inclusion
  • disability sport
  • organisational capacity
  • community sport

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