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Alexander McKelvie

Alexander McKelvie

Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Master’s Education
Professor of Entrepreneurship

315-443-7252
Room: 415A
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Ph D, Jönköping International Business School (Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration)

Alex McKelvie is associate dean for undergraduate and master’s education and professor of entrepreneurship. Associate dean since 2018, he has led Whitman's efforts to create new partnerships with other schools across Syracuse University campus, offer innovative and impactful learning experiences for students, diversify the student body and grow new programs.

Prior to his role as associate dean, he was the department chair of the Department of Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises (EEE). Since his arrival at Syracuse in 2007, McKelvie has taught a broad array of courses dealing with different aspects of entrepreneurship, including strategic planning, growth, new venture development, family business and corporate entrepreneurship. He has also taken a leading role in developing and teaching in world-class programs, including designing new courses and training programs for Syracuse University’s Institute for Veteran and Military Families.

McKelvie has received teaching awards from Syracuse University, the Whitman School of Management, the EEE department and from his former university in Sweden. In 2020, he was named a Justin Longenecker Fellow from USASBE, the highest honor they provide for contributions to support SME's. He has worked with many entrepreneurial startups across the US, in Sweden, and other places around the world.

His research deals with questions regarding two main areas: how and why do firms grow and how do entrepreneurs make decisions with an emphasis on factors such as opportunities, dealing with uncertainty, effectuation, failure, and addiction. McKelvie’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 leading entrepreneurship conferences. McKelvie has published his work in the most influential entrepreneurship journals and he is on the editorial review boards of multiple journals such as Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal and Family Business Review. His work has also been profiled in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek and Inc. Magazine, among other outlets. He is a Fortune Insider and on the CNBC Disruptor Advisory Council.

Research Topics

  • New firm growth
  • Innovation
  • Corporate entrepreneurship
  • Entrepreneurial decision making
  • Strategic management of new firms
  • Family business
  • Uncertainty
  • Effectuation
  • Failure
  • Addiction
McKelvie's research deals with questions regarding two main areas: how and why do firms grow and how do entrepreneurs make decisions with an emphasis on factors such as opportunities, dealing with uncertainty, effectuation, failure, and addiction. McKelvie’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 leading entrepreneurship conferences. McKelvie has published his work in the most influential entrepreneurship journals and he is on the editorial review boards of multiple journals such as Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Management, Journal of Management Studies, Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal and Family Business Review. His work has also been profiled in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek and Inc. Magazine, among other outlets.

Selected Publications
  • "Path dependence in new ventures’ capital structures", Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 45(2), 2021 (with Söderblom, A., Samuelsson, M.)
  • "Enablers of exit through trade sale: The case of early-stage research based spin-offs", Small Business Economics, 2021 (with Mathiesen, M., Shankar, R., Widding, O., Rasmussen, E.)
  • "Measuring addiction to entrepreneurship", Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 15(June), 2021 (with Spivack)
  • "Social support and its effects on self-efficacy among entrepreneurs with disabilities", Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 2021 (with Tihic, M., Hadzic, M.)
  • "What do they think and feel about growth? Examining small business managers’ attitudes towards growth in the United States", Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 15, 2021 (with Brattström, A., Dennis Jr, W.)
  • "Metacognition and entrepreneurial action: The mediating role of a strategic mindset on promoting effort and innovative behavior in frugal entrepreneurs", Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 16, 2021 (with Michaelis, T., Pollack, J., Hu, X., Carr, J.)
  • "A dynamic model of entrepreneurial opportunity: Integrating Kirzner’s and Mises’s approaches to entrepreneurial action", , 23(3-4), 499-541, 2020 (with Wiklund, J., McMullen, J., Palubinskas, A.)
  • "The measurement of effectuation: Highlighting research tensions and opportunities for the future", Small Business Economics, 54, 689-720, 2020 (with Chandler, G., DeTienne, D., Johansson, A.)
  • "Orchestrating boundaries: The effect of R&D boundary permeability on new venture growth", Journal of Business Venturing, 34(1), 63-79, 2019 (with Nason, R., Wiklund, J., Hitt, M., Yu, W.)
  • "Orchestrating boundaries: The effect of R&D boundary permeability on new venture growth", Journal of Business Venturing, 34(1), 63-79, 2019 (with Nason, R., Wiklund, J., Hitt, M., Yu, W.)
  • "Signaling for more money: The roles of founders’ human capital and investor prominence in resource acquisition across different stages of firm development", Journal of Business Venturing, 33(4), 438-454, 2018 (with Ko, E.)
  • "Whom do growing firms hire? A longitudinal examination of new ventures across growth rates and phases", Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 2018 (with Daunfeldt, S., Westerberg, H.)
  • "Externally acquired or internally generated? Knowledge development and perceived environmental dynamism in new venture innovation", Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 42(1), 24-46, 2018 (with Wiklund, J., Brattstrom, A.)
  • "Entrepreneurship addiction: Shedding light on the manifestation of the 'dark side' in work behavior patterns", ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT PERSPECTIVES, 32(3), 358-378, 2018 (with Spivack, A.)
  • "Is this the end? Investigating firm and individual level outcomes post-failure", Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 8, 138-143, 2017 (with Jenkins, A.)
  • "Young firm growth: Reconciling growth orientation and innovative activities", Small Business Economics, 49(2), 273-293, 2017 (with Brattstrom, A., Wennberg, K.)
  • "Financial literacy, role models and micro-enterprise performance in the informal economy", International Small Business Journal, 35(7), 855-875, 2017 (with Engstrom, P.)
  • "Blame you, blame me: Understanding attribution differences and impact in family and non-family firms", Family Business Review, 30(3), 284-308, 2017 (with Jayamohan, P., Moss, T.)
  • "The strategic management of high-growth firms: A review and theoretical conceptualization", Long Range Planning, 50(4), 431-456, 2017 (with Demir, R., Wennberg, K.)
  • "Exits and the role of entrepreneurial recycling", Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 2017 (with DeTienne, D., Robb, A.)
  • "Variable risk preferences in new venture growth and survival", Journal of Business Venturing, 31(4), 408-427, 2016 (with Wennberg, K., Delmar, F.)
  • "Explaining the co-existence of effectuation and causation", Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 2016 (with Johansson, A., Ellonen, H.)
  • "What is entrepreneurial failure? Implications for future research", International Small Business Journal, 34(2), 176-188, 2016 (with Jenkins, A.)
  • "Centralization and delegation practices in family versus non-family SMEs: A Rasch analysis", Small Business Economics, 47(3), 755-769, 2016 (with Martin, W., Lumpkin, G.)
  • "The influence of different types of legitimacy across resource acquisition stages in entrepreneurial firms", Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 2016 (with Ko, E.)
  • "Explaining the co-existence of effectuation and causation", Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 2016 (with Johansson, A., Ellonen, H., Tarkianen, A.)
  • "Making sense of entrepreneurial exit strategies: A typology and test", Journal of Business Venturing, 30(2), 255-272, 2015 (with DeTienne, D., Chandler, G.)
  • "Opportunity evaluation as future-focused cognition: Identifying conceptual themes and empirical trend", International Journal of Management Reviews, 2015 (with Wood, M.)
  • "The role of organizational size in the heterogeneous nature of corporate entrepreneurship", Small Business Economics, 2015 (with Nason, R., Lumpkin, G.)
  • "The effect of managerial attribution of corporate entrepreneurship", Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 2015 (with Jayamohan, P., Moss, T.)
  • "Habitual entrepreneurs: Possible cases of entrepreneurship addiction?", Journal of Business Venturing, 2015 (with Spivack, A., Haynie, M.)
  • "What about new entry? Examining the theorized role of new entry in entrepreneurial orientation research. ", International Small Business Journal, 2015 (with Wiklund, J., Wales, W.)
  • "What matters, matters differently: a conjoint analysis of the decision policies of angel and venture capital investors", Venture Capital, 16(1), 1-25, 2014 (with Hsu, D., Haynie, J., Simmons, S.)
  • "Making it personal: Opportunity individuation and the shaping of opportunity beliefs", Journal of Business Venturing, 2014 (with Wood, M., Haynie, J.)
  • "Political institutional structure influences on innovative activity", Journal of Business Research, 66(12), 2574-2580, 2013 (with Broberg, J., Short, J., Ketchen, D., Wan, W.)
  • "What Matters, Matters Differently: A Con joint Analysis of the Decision Policies of Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists", Venture Capital, 2013 (with Haynie, M., Hsu, D., Simmons, S.)
  • "Untangling the relationships among growth, profitability and survival in new firms", Technovation, 33(8-9), 276-291, 2013 (with Delmar, F., Wennberg, K.)
  • "What is the appropriate dependent variable in effectuation research?", Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 2013
  • "Unpacking the antecedents of effectuation and causation in a corporate context", Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, 2012
  • "Entrepreneurial Action: Exploitation Decisions Under Conditions of Uncertainty", Journal of Business Venturing, 2011
  • "Is Strategy Different for Very Small and New Firms?", Journal of Small Business Strategy, 21(2), 1-26, 2011 (with Nason, R., Lumpkin, G., Gras, D.)
  • "Causation and effectuation processes: A validation study", Journal of Business Venturing, 26(3), 375-390, 2011 (with Chandler, G., DeTienne, D., Mumford, T.)
  • "The organizational pervasiveness of entrepreneurial orientation", Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, 35(5), 895-923, 2011 (with Wales, W., Monsen, E.)
  • "Unpacking the uncertainty construct: Implications for entrepreneurial action", Journal of Business Venturing, 26(3), 273-292, 2011 (with Haynie, J., Gustavsson, V.)
  • "Advancing Firm Growth Research: A Focus on Growth Mode Instead of GrowthRate", Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 34(2), 261-288, 2010 (with Wiklund, J.)
  • "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, Jr., D., Chandler, G.)
  • "From resource base to dynamic capabilities: An investigation of new firms", British Journal of Management, 20(SUPP. 1), S63-S80, 2009 (with Davidsson, P.)
  • "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., Davidsson, P.)
  • "The New Venture Innovation Process: Examining the Role of Absorptive Capacity", Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence and Growth, 10, 159-185, 2007 (with Wiklund, J., Short, J.)
  • "A Resource-Based View on Organic and Acquired Growth", Advances in Entrepreneurship, Firm Emergence and Growth, 9, 175-194, 2006 (with Wiklund, J., Davidsson, P.)
  • "Don’t tell me I can’t do it – watch me! Spitefulness in motivating entrepreneurial action", Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research (with Michaelis, T., Carr, J., Spivack, A.)
  • "Entrepreneurial mindset in corporate entrepreneurship: Forms, impediments and actions for research", Journal of Small Business Management (with Kuratko, D., Hornsby, J.)
  • "The influence of managerial attributions on corporate entrepreneurship", (with Jayamohan, P., Moss, T., Hyman, M.)

Awards and Honors

  • CNBC Disruptor Advisory Council - CNBC (2022)
  • George R. Burman Award for Entrepreneurial Leadership - Department of Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises (2022)
  • CNBC Disruptor Advisory Council - CNBC (2021)
  • CNBC Disruptor Advisory Council - CNBC (2020)
  • Named Justin G. Longenecker Fellow - USASBE (2020)
  • Top reviewer award - Journal of Small Business Management (2020)
  • CNBC Disruptor Advisory Council - CNBC (2019)
  • CNBC Disruptor Advisory Council - CNBC (2018)
  • CNBC Disruptor Advisory Council - CNBC (2017)
  • CNBC Disruptor Advisory Council - CNBC (2016)
  • Finalist - Meredith Teaching Award (university-wide) - Syracuse University (2016)
  • Fortune Insider - Fortune Magazine (2016)
  • Certificate of Reviewing Excellence - Journal of Business Venturing (2014)
  • Whitman Faculty Research Award - Whitman (2014)
  • Excellent Reviewer Award - Family Business Review (2012)
  • Recipient of Meredith Teaching Recognition Award (2012)
  • Winner of the Stevens Institute/Wesley J. Howe best paper award in Corporate Entrepreneurship - Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference (2012)
  • Named Outstanding Entrepreneurship Educator - Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University (2011)
  • Top Reviewer Award - Journal of Business Venturing (2011)
  • Winner of Guttag Junior Faculty Award - Whitman School of Management (2010)
  • Winner of Research Promise Award - Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management IDEA Awards Program (2009)
  • Best doctoral dissertation award winner - National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) (2008)
  • Winner of Research Promise Award - Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management IDEA Awards Program (2008)
  • Pedagogical Prize - Jönköping International Business School (2003)