Diane Burton

Photo of Diane Burton
Diane Burton
Associate Professor, Human Resource Studies
School of Industrial and Labor Relations

M. Diane Burton is a faculty member in the ILR School at Cornell University. Her appointment is in human resource studies with courtesy appointments in organizational behavior and sociology.

Prior to joining the Cornell faculty as a tenured associate professor in 2009, she was a faculty member at the MIT Sloan School of Management. Professor Burton began her academic career at the Harvard Business School teaching leadership and organizational behavior. She earned her Ph.D. in sociology at Stanford University and served as a lecturer and researcher at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Professor Burton studies employment relations and organizational change in entrepreneurial companies. Her primary research is a major study of high-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley including the study of entrepreneurial teams and executive careers. Most recently Professor Burton has been studying top management teams and R&D teams. She recently led an interdisciplinary research team in a 3-year project on the social science of creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Her research has been published in leading scholarly journals including the Academy of Management Journal, American Sociological Review, the American Journal of Sociology, and Organization Science. In addition to her scholarly publications, she is the author of several best-selling HBS cases. Professor Burton has served as a senior editor at Organization Science and associate editor of Management Science. She currently sits on the editorial boards of Administrative Science Quarterly, Journal of Business Venturing, and Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal.

Professor Burton teaches the required management course for Cornell’s undergraduate business minor and elective courses in strategy and entrepreneurship. She focuses her executive education teaching and consulting on innovation, organizational design, HR systems and top management teams in entrepreneurial firms and non-profit arts organizations.

A native of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Professor Burton earned her undergraduate degree at Carnegie Mellon University, and an M.Ed. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Before beginning her career in research and teaching, Professor Burton worked in information technology and educational computing at Carnegie Mellon, Harvard Law School, and Northeastern University and spent several years consulting for the higher education marketing division of Apple Computer.

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