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Laura J. Burton, Ph.D. - University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT, US

Laura J. Burton, Ph.D.

Department Head, Educational Leadership | University of Connecticut


Professor focused on management in sports organizations and how gender stereotypes affect women working in athletics.


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.

Areas of Expertise (6)

Gender Stereotypes

Access and Success in Leadership

Sport Management

Gender Issues in Sport

Leadership in Sport Organizations


Education (3)

University of Connecticut: Ph.D., Social Science of Sport, Sport Management 2002

Illinois State University: M.S., Physical Education, Athletic Training Concentration 1995

Fairfield University: B.S., Biology 1992

Affiliations (3)

  • Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, Editor in Chief
  • Journal of Sport Management, Editorial Board Member
  • Women in Sport and Physical Activity, Editorial Board Member

Accomplishments (3)

Research Methods Track: Best Paper (professional)

Eastern Academy of Management International. Authors: Gilson, L.G., Burton, L.J., Lowe, K., & Goldberg, C.

Outstanding Perspectives Manuscript Award (professional)

National Athletic Training Association / Athletic Training Journal. Authors: Burton, L.J. & Mazerolle, S.

2011 Outstanding Perspectives Manuscript Runner-Up Award (professional)

National Athletic Training Association / Athletic Training Journal. Authors: Burton, L.J. & Mazerolle, S.




Laura J. Burton, Ph.D. Publication



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Media Appearances (1)

The war on women coaches

The Conversation  online


During the past women’s college basketball season, two prominent head coaches, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill’s Sylvia Hatchell and Georgia Tech’s MaChelle Joseph, were fired.

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Event Appearances (3)

Unpacking Gender Bias in Sport Leadership: Identification to Analysis to Change

2019 Women’s Frozen Four; Women’s Coaches Symposium  Quinnipiac University


Women in Leadership: Stereotypes and Gender Roles

University of Connecticut Women’s Advancement Conference  University of Connecticut


Evaluation of the influence of intercollegiate athletic participation on perceptions of leadership potential

Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management Research Seminar  University of Massachusetts


Articles (5)

Gender role expectations and the prevalence of women as assistant coaches

Women in Sport Leadership: Research and Practice for Change

Journal for the Study of Sports and Athletes in Education

2017 While the percentage of women head coaches of collegiate teams has consistently declined since 1972, the number of women assistant coaches continues to rise and currently represents the largest group of women employed in college athletics. Because the positions of head coach and assistant coach place similar demands on the women in these roles, the differing trends for these positions are perplexing.

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Servant leadership in sport for development and peace: A way forward


Jon Welty Peachey, Laura Burton

2017 The field of sport for development and peace (SDP) has been growing exponentially, with many organizations and academics embracing the possible contribution that sport can make to development. To date, leadership in sport for development and peace has not been conceptualized.

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Pervasively offside: An examination of sexism, stereotypes, and sportscaster credibility

Communication & Sport

Michael Mudrick, Laura Burton, Carolyn A Lin

2016 Women remain underrepresented in sport media despite increased opportunities in other facets of sport and journalism. Further, women who have held positions in sport media are often perceived as being less credible than men in the field. In an effort to understand why these perceptions exist, the present study examined the influence of gender-role stereotyping and sexism on perceived sportscaster credibility.

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The double bind for women: Exploring the gendered nature of turnaround leadership in a principal preparation program

Harvard Educational Review

Jennie Miles Weiner, Laura J Burton

2016 In this study of nine participants in a turnaround principal preparation program, Jennie Miles Weiner and Laura J. Burton explore how gender role identity shaped participants' views of effective principal leadership and their place within it. The authors find that although female and male participants initially framed effective leadership similarly, their conceptualizations of themselves as leaders, the feedback they felt they received regarding their skills, and their access to employment were sharply divided based on gender and had real implications for how women viewed their leadership capabilities and potential success as school leaders.

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The underrepresentation of women in sport leadership: A review of research

Sport Management Review

2015 Despite increased participation opportunities for girls and women in sport, they are underrepresented in leadership positions at all levels of sport. The objective of this review is to provide a multilevel examination of available scholarship that contributes to understanding why there are so few women in leadership positions within sport. From a macro-level perspective, scholarship regarding the institutionalized practices of gender in sport is examined. The meso-level review includes stereotyping of leaders, issues of discrimination, and gendered organizational cultures. Finally research reviewed at the micro-level explores women's expectations in leadership positions, occupational turnover intentions, and the influence of symbolic interactionism on women's career advancement. In addition, the author identifies new research areas and additional recommendations for how best to increase the number of women in leadership positions in sport.

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