Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics Theses

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Submitted to the Program of Organizational Dynamics, College of Liberal and Professional Studies in the School of Arts and Sciences in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Masters of Science in Organizational Dynamics at the University of Pennsylvania

Advisor: Alan M. Barstow


The purpose of this capstone is to explore the connection between competing in endurance sports and leadership in the workplace. Is there a link between the two and if so, are the skillsets transferable? The research is examined through a multidisciplinary approach of literature, survey results of 63 endurance athletes and first hand experience as an endurance athlete and workplace leader.

The primary focus of the survey was on age group participants that competed in a wide range of endurance sports (e.g. half marathon, duathlon, full ironman, etc.) and had careers separate from the sport that ranged from being an individual contributor to a CEO.

Much of the research points to a correlation between the leadership traits that are required to compete in endurance sports and those that are critical to higher level success in the workplace. Essentially, the research suggests that there is a transfer of skills from the race course that endurance athletes train and compete on to the work setting they manage and lead from. Furthermore, the preparation that goes into training for endurance events provides valuable lessons that can be applied beyond business to many other areas of life.





Date Posted: 05 February 2021