Alexander McKelvie

Chair, Department of Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises
Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship

(315) 443-7252
Room: 508

PhD, Jonkoping International Business School, Sweden

Alex McKelvie is the Department Chair and an Associate Professor in the Department of Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises at the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. After growing up in Canada, Alex lived in Sweden for eight years before moving to Syracuse in 2007. Alex has taught a broad array of courses dealing with different aspects of entrepreneurship, including strategic planning, growth, family business, and corporate entrepreneurship. At Syracuse, Alex has taken a leading role in developing and teaching world-class programs, including designing new courses and training programs for Syracuse University’s Institute for Veteran and Military Families. Alex has received teaching awards from Syracuse University, the Whitman School of Management, the EEE Department, and from his former university in Sweden. He has worked with many entrepreneurial startups during this time as well. His scholarly work deals with questions regarding two main areas: how and why do firms grow, and how do entrepreneurs make decisions about opportunities. Alex’s research has received a number of major international awards, including best doctoral dissertation in Entrepreneurship from the National Federation of Independent Businesses and multiple awards at the leading Entrepreneurship conferences. Alex has published his work in many of the most important Entrepreneurship journals and is on the editorial boards of multiple journals. His research has also been profiled in Forbes, BloombergBusinessWeek, and Inc. magazine, among other outlets.

Research Topics

  • New firm growth
  • Innovation
  • Corporate entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurial decision making
  • Strategic management of new firms
  • Family business

Professor McKelvie’s research concerns how and why new firms grow, and how entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial firms pursue opportunities. His work has involved studying different types and patterns of growth, entrepreneurial orientation, the acquisition and use of new knowledge in new firms, the strategic behaviors of entrepreneurs, and how entrepreneurs deal with uncertainty. He teaches courses in entrepreneurship, strategic growth, family business management, and corporate entrepreneurship and is also interested in strategic management of new firms. 

Selected Publications
  • "Variable risk preferences in new venture growth and survival", Journal of Business Venturing, Forthcoming, (with K. Wennberg, F. Delmar)
  • "The strategic management of high-growth firms: A review and theoretical conceptualization", Long Range Planning, Forthcoming, (Demir, R., & Wennberg, K)
  • "Making it personal: Opportunity individuation and the shaping of opportunity beliefs", Journal of Business Venturing, 29, 252-272, 2014, (with Wood, M. and Haynie, J.M.)
  • "Habitual entrepreneurs: Possible cases of entrepreneurship addiction?", Journal of Business Venturing, 29, 651-667, 2014, (with Spivack, A., and Haynie, J.M.)
  • "Making sense of entrepreneurial exit strategies: A typology and test", Journal of Business Venturing, Forthcoming, (with DeTienne, D. and Chandler, G.)
  • "Opportunity evaluation as future-focused cognition: Identifying conceptual themes and empirical trends", International Journal of Management Reviews, forthcoming, (with Wood, M.S.)
  • "The role of organizational size in the heterogeneous nature of corporate entrepreneurship", Small Business Economics, forthcoming, (with Nason, R. and Lumpkin, G.T.)
  • "Centralization and delegation practices in family versus non-family SMEs: A Rasch analysis", Small Business Economics, forthcoming, (Martin, W.; Lumpkin, G.T.)
  • "What is entrepreneurial failure? Implications for future research", International Small Business Journal, forthcoming, (with Jenkins, A.)
  • "Untangling the relationships among growth, profitability and survival in new firms", Technovation, 33, 276-291, 2013, (with Delmar, F. and Wennberg, K.)
  • "Corporate entrepreneurship in family businesses: Past contributions and future opportunities", Sage Handbook of Family Business, 340-363, 2014, (with McKenny, A., Lumpkin, G.T., and Short, J.C.)
  • "What matters, matters differently: A conjoint analysis of the decision policies of angel and venture capital investors", Venture Capital: An International Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, 16, 1-25, 2014, (with Hsu, D.; Haynie, J.M.; Simmons, S.)
  • "What about new entry? Examining the theorized role of new entry in entrepreneurial orientation research ", International Small Business Journal , Forthcoming , (with Wales, W.J., and Wiklund, J.)
  • "Political institutional structure influences on innovative activity", Journal of Business Research, 66(12): 2574-2580, 2013, (with Broberg, C., Short, J., Ketchen, D., and Wan, W.)
  • "Is strategy different for very small and new firms?", Journal of Small Business Strategy, 21(2):1-26, 2012, (with Lumpkin, G.T., Gras, D. and Nason, R.)
  • "The Organizational Pervasiveness of Entrepreneurial Orientation", Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 35(5): 895-923, 2011, (with Wales, W.J., and Monsen, E. )
  • "Causation and Effectuation Processes: A Validation Study", Journal of Business Venturing, 26(3): 375-390, 2011, (with Chandler, G.N., DeTienne, D. and Mumford, T.)
  • "Unpacking the Uncertainty Construct: Implications for Entrepreneurial Action", Journal of Business Venturing, 26(3): 273-292, 2011, (with Haynie, J.M. and Gustafsson, V. )
  • "Advancing Firm Growth Research: A Focus on Growth Mode Instead of Growth Rate", Entrepreneurship Theory & Practice, 34(2): 261-288, 2010
  • "Firm and Industry Effects on Firm Performance: A Generalization and Extension for New Ventures", Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 3(1): 47-65, 2009, (with Short J., Ketchen D., and Chandler G.N.)
  • "Asset Specificity and Behavioral Uncertainty as Moderators of the Sales Growth – Employment Growth Relationship in Emerging Ventures", Journal of Business Venturing, 24(4): 373-387, 2009, (with Chandler, G.N., and Davidsson, P. )
  • "From Resource Base to Dynamic Capabilities: An Investigation of New Firms", British Journal of Management, Special Issue, 20(S1): 63-80, 2009, (with Davidsson, P.)
  • "Understanding Innovation in New and Young Media Firms", Strategic Management in the Media Industry: Reflections on Innovation, 2008, (with Wiklund, J.)
  • "The Growth and Development of New and Young Media Firms", Journal of Media Business Studies , 5(1): 1-8, 2008, (with Picard, R.)
  • "The New Venture Innovation Process: Examining the Role of Absorptive Capacity", Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence, and Growth, Vol. 10, 2007, ( with Wiklund, J., and Short, J.)
  • "A Resource-Based View of Organic and Acquired Growth", Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence, and Growth, Vol. 9. Entrepreneurship: Frameworks and Empirical Investigations from Forthcoming Leaders in European Research (p. 179-199), 2006, (with Wiklund, J. and Davidsson, P.)
  • "How Knowledge Affects Opportunity Discovery and Exploitation Among New Ventures in Dynamic Markets", Research in Entrepreneurship and Management, vol. 4: Opportunity Identification and Entrepreneurial Behavior (p. 219-240)., 2004, (with Wiklund, J.)


  • Winner, Whitman Research Award 2014
  • Journal of Business Venturing, 2014. Certificate of Reviewer Excellence.
  • Syracuse University, 2012. (university-wide award) Meredith Teaching Recognition Award
  • Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, 2012. Winner of Stevens Institute/Wesley J. Howe best paper award in Corporate Entrepreneurship
  • Family Business Review, 2012. Excellent Reviewer Award
  • Whitman School of Management, 2010-12. Guttag Junior Faculty award
  • Whitman School of Management, 2011. Outstanding Entrepreneurship Educator
  • Whitman School of Management, 2011. Finalist, Teaching Innovation award.
  • Journal of Business Venturing, 2010. Outstanding Reviewer
  • Winner of Research Promise Award from Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management IDEA Awards Program, 2009.
  • National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), 2008. Best doctoral dissertation
  • Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management IDEA Awards Program, 2008. Winner of Research Promise Award
  • Journal of Management Studies - - Editorial board member
  • Journal of Management - - Editorial board member
  • Journal of Business Venturing - - Editorial board member
  • Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal - - Editorial board member
  • Family Business Review - - Editorial board member
  • International Small Business Journal - - Editorial board member
  • International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research - - Editorial board member
  • Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference - - Editorial board member