Navigating austerity: balancing ‘desirability with viability’ in a third sector disability sports organisation

Catherine M. Walker, John Hayton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
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Research Question: Adopting a case study approach, this article draws upon resource dependence theory (RDT) to examine the impact of austerity upon a third sector sport organisation (TSSO) that specialises in delivering disability sport provision in Liverpool, England.

Research Methods: In-depth qualitative data were collected from 15 semi-structured interviews with senior officials belonging to the TSSO. Data were thematically analysed to explore stakeholders’ perspectives of how the wider fiscal environment has affected the organisation and how such impacts have been managed.

Results and Findings: The findings illustrate the financial challenges faced by the TSSO as a consequence of reductions in available funding. The article then demonstrates how the TSSO manages resources to weather such financial challenges and attempt to grow its delivery capability through partnership and network development.

Implications: This article identifies the implications imposed upon the TSSO in a time of austerity and explores, using an RDT lens, the management and growth strategies employed by the organisation to navigate these complex circumstances without compromising a steadfast commitment to its mission values.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-116
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Sport Management Quarterly
Issue number1
Early online date23 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


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