Ronald Stuart Burt

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Ronald Stuart Burt
NationalityUnited States
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materJohns Hopkins University (B.A., 1971)
University at Albany, SUNY (M.S., 1973)
University of Chicago (Ph.D., 1977)
Known forStructural holes, network models of social capital
AwardsDistinguished Scholar of Organizations and Management Theory, Academy of Management (2007)
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1993)
Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (1984)
Scientific career
FieldsMathematical sociology, social networks
InstitutionsUniversity of Chicago (1993– )
Columbia University (1982–1993)
University of California, Berkeley (1976–1983)[1]
Doctoral advisorJames Samuel Coleman

Ronald Stuart Burt (born 1949) is an American sociologist and the Charles M. Harper Leadership Professor of Sociology and Strategy at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is most notable for his research and writing on social networks and social capital, particularly the concept of structural holes in a social network.


Originally a pre-medical major, Burt earned his B.A. in social and behavioral sciences from Johns Hopkins University in 1971 with a focus on social psychology. He earned a M.A. in Sociology from The State University of New York at Albany in 1973 working with Nan Lin. He moved to the University of Chicago to work with mathematical sociology professor James Samuel Coleman and earned his Ph.D. in Sociology in 1977.[2] His dissertation committee also included the social network analyst Edward Laumann.

Prior to joining the University of Chicago in 1993, he was a professor of sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University. He is also the former Shell Professor of Human Resources at INSEAD and has held various organizational development positions at Raytheon.

He currently resides in the Chicago metropolitan area.


He is the author of several books on sociology, organization behavior and network analysis, including Structural Holes: The Social Structure of Competition (Harvard University Press, 1992) and Brokerage and Closure: An Introduction to Social Capital (Oxford University Press, 2005) His research has been published in numerous academic journals, including Administrative Science Quarterly, American Journal of Sociology, Journal of Organization Behavior, Organization Science, Social Networks, Sociological Inquiry, and others.



  • Burt, Ronald S. (2010). Neighbor Networks: Competitive Advantages Local and Personal. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199691913.
  • Burt, Ronald S. (2005). Brokerage and Closure: An Introduction to Social Capital. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0199249152.
  • Burt, Ronald S. (1992). Structural holes: the social structure of competition. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-84371-4.
  • Burt, Ronald S.; Minor, Michael J., eds. (1983). Applied Network Analysis: A Methodological Introduction. Sage Publications. ISBN 978-0803919075.
  • Burt, Ronald S. (1982). Toward a Structural Theory of Action: Network Models of Social Structure, Perception, and Action. Academic Press. ISBN 978-0121471507.

Highly-cited articles[edit]


  1. ^ "Curricula Vitae" (PDF). University of Chicago. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 September 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  2. ^ "Ronald S. Burt". The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Retrieved 2 September 2013.

External links[edit]