Using unique archival evidence on the evolution of the Paralympic movement from the mid-1940s to 1989, this paper advances our understanding of how new organisational forms emerge. Our historical narrative identifies a shift from the Games born out of a medically based and rehabilitative cultural ethos to a sport-performance centred, corporate model embodied in the establishment of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) in 1989. We show how the interactions between boundary and practice work enabled and, at times, ‘dis-abled’ the creation of the IPC. Heeding calls to refocus on how institutional change affects, or is affected by, power and inequality, we contribute to business history mainly by unveiling the collective struggle that led to the demise of a normative system of disability sport built upon the legitimacy of medical values and knowledge, and how evolving norms underpinning the way disabled people are viewed within society have influenced this process of change.

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