A Developing Grounded Theory Regarding How Footballers Measure Outcomes Following Career Termination and What Influences These Outcomes


  • David Blakelock Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Trust
  • Matt Slater Staffordshire University


Football, Grounded Theory, Career Termination


The current study aimed to examine how footballers measure outcomes following career termination and what influences these outcomes. A qualitative, constructivist, grounded theory methodology was adopted. Eight footballers were interviewed to explore their perceptions of how outcomes are measured and what influences these outcomes. Data collection and analysis were intertwined and through coding, constant comparison and memos, a developing theory was produced. Players identified seven ways to measure outcomes and highlighted six components that influenced these outcomes, namely (i) characteristics of career termination, (ii) individual characteristics, resources, activity, processing and experiences, (iii) social resources, support and activity, (iv) lifespan and developmental constructs, (v) the environment, context, culture and location, and (vi) institutional, organisational and professional support and resources. The present study offers initial evidence that players use a variety of ways to measure outcomes and that such measures vary across players and within players across time. Players also perceived that a range of multi-dimensional constructs influence outcomes following career termination. In addition, the present study offers initial evidence regarding the varying magnitude of influence that components have on outcomes across individuals and time, how constructs may develop or be influenced by other components, and how components may be influenced by or interact with other constructs to influence outcomes. Theoretical implications in terms of future research are offered. Practical implications regarding offering a holistic framework for key stakeholders to understand career termination and consider self-directed actions and organisational provision to enhance outcomes, are also offered.


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