Laura J. Burton

Professor and Department Head

Expertise: Gender Issues in Sport; Leadership in Sport Organizations

Educational Leadership



Academic Degrees:

Ph.D. Social Science of Sport, Sport Management, University of Connecticut, 2002
M.S. Physical Education, Athletic Training Concentration, Illinois State University, 1995
B.S. Biology, Fairfield University, 1992


Her research interests include understanding leadership in organizations (particularly sport organizations) and exploring development, access and success in leadership. In her work, Laura focuses on issues of gender in leadership contexts and specifically how stereotypes and discrimination impact women in sport leadership.

Selected Publications:

Taylor, E., Sveinson, K., & Burton, L. J. (2024). “If this is what working in sports is, I want absolutely no part of it”: An exploration of women’s experiences with harassment in sport organizations. Journal of Sport Management.

Keaton, A.N., Burton, L.J., & McGarry, J. (2023). The Institutional Entrepreneurship of Black Women Diversity Leaders in College Sport. Journal of Issues in Intercollegiate Sport, 16, 220-242.

Sveinson, K., Taylor, E., Newton, A., Burton, L.J., Pegoraro, A., & Tofoletti, K. (2022). Addressing Gender Inequity in Sport through Women’s Invisible Labor. Journal of Sport Management.

Damon, Z., Leberman, S., Wells, J., Burton, L.J., Ferkins, L., Welty Peachy, J., & Weese, J. (2022). Privileging Practice in Sport Leadership: Applying Relational Reflexivity. Journal of Sport Management.

Burton, L.J., Cyr, D. & Weiner, J.M. (2020). “Unbroken, but Bent”: Gendered Racism in School Leadership. Frontiers,

Burton, L.J., Kane, G., & Borland, J. (Eds.) (2019)  Sport Leadership in the 21st Century (2ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Barlett.

Burton, L.J., & Leberman, S. (Eds.) (2017). Women in Sport Leadership: Research and Practice for Change. Oxon, UK: Routledge.

Welty Peachey, J., Burton, L.J., Wells, J., & Chung, M. R. (2018) Exploring servant leadership, needs satisfaction, and organizational effectiveness in the sport for development and peace context. Journal of Sport Management, 32, 96-108.

MacIntosh, E. & Burton, L.J. (2018). Organizational Behavior in Sport. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Mudrick, M., Burton, L.J., & Lin, C. (2017). Pervasively Offside: An examination of sexism, stereotypes and sportscaster credibility. Communication and Sport, 5(6), 669–688. doi: 10.1177/2167479516670642

Burton, L.J., Welty Peachey, J., & Wells, J.E. (2017). The role of servant leadership in developing an ethical climate in sport organizations. Journal of Sport Management, 31, 229-240

Welty Peachey, J. & Burton, L.J. (2017). Servant leadership in sport for development and peace: A way forward. Quest. 69,1, 125-139.

Weiner, J. & Burton, L.J. (2016). The double bind for women: Exploring the gendered nature of turnaround leadership in a principal preparation program. Harvard Education Review. 86, 339-365.

Burton, L.J. & Weiner, J. (2016, February). “They were really looking for a male leader for the building”: Gender, identity and leadership development in a principal preparation program.” Frontiers, Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00141

Welty-Peachey, J., Damon, J., Zhou, Y., & Burton, L.J. (2015). Forty years of leadership research in sport management: A review and synthesis. Journal of Sport Management. 29, 570 – 587.

Burton, L.J. (2015). The underrepresentation of women in sport leadership: A review of research. Sport Management Review. 18, 155-165. DOI: 10.1016/j.smr.2014.02.004

Grappendorf, H., & Burton, L.J. (2014). Examining the influence of athletic participation in evaluation of entry-level positions in financial services: An application of role congruity theory. Journal for the Study of Sport and Athletes in Education, 8(1),19-32.

Burton, L.J., & Welty Peachey, J. (2014) Ethical leadership in intercollegiate sport: challenges, opportunities, future directions. Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, 7(1) 1-10

Fink, J.S., Burton, L.J., Farrell, A., & Parker, H. (2012). Playing it Out: Female intercollegiate athletes’ experiences in revealing their sexual identities. Journal for the Study of Sport and Athletes in Education, 6, 83-106.

Welty Peachey, J., & Burton, L.J. (2011) Male or female? Exploring leader effectiveness and female leadership advantage with athletic directors. Sex Roles, 64, 416-425.

Burton, L.J., Grappendorf, H., & Henderson, A., (2011) Perceptions of Gender in Athletic Administration: Utilizing Role Congruity to Examine (Potential) Prejudice Against Women. Journal of Sport Management, 25, 36-45.

Burton, L.J., Barr, C., Fink, J.S., & Bruening, J.E. (2009) “Think Athletic Director, Think Masculine?”: Examination of the Gender Typing of Managerial Subroles within Athletic Administration Positions” Sex Roles, 61,416-426.

Professional Service:

Journal of Sport Management, Associate Editor

Women in Sport and Physical Activity, Editorial Board


Outstanding Doctoral Student Researcher, University of Connecticut, 2002

In the News:

Shared ownership of inclusion policy is the surest path to safer sports workplaces

The War on Women Coaches

LGBT Issues in Sport 101

Where are the Women?

In Harvard’s Athletics Department, A Stark Wage Gap


Contact Information
Phone860 486 3095
File LAURA-J-BURTON-April-2024
Mailing AddressUnit 3093
Office LocationGentry 233