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Does Culture Matter? An Exploratory Study of Culture in the Implementation of an Adaptive Sports Program

Hannah Wells, Lauren Duffy, Maddie Nance, Lauren Fleming, Garrett A. Stone, Jasmine Townsend, Samantha L. Stevenson


There is limited research surrounding the effectiveness of program implementation, and the research that does exist often considers culture as a minor contributing factor. In this study, culture is re-framed as a major contributing factor of program implementation using an international adaptive sports program as an example. The program was planned and implemented by a team of U.S. facilitators for a group of Thai students and professors in Thailand. The purpose of this study was to understand the cultural processes that influence program implementation in the context of adaptive sport. The research team conducted observations of the program delivery and semi-structured interviews with the U.S. program facilitators. Guided by Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions, the findings consider how culture influenced program implementation. Building from existing program implementation models, this study proposes a modified model of program implementation in which culture is positioned as a factor influencing all aspects of program implementation.

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Cross-cultural adaptive sports programming; culture; Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions; program implementation; therapeutic recreation

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