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Alexander McKelvie

Alexander McKelvie

Interim Dean
Professor of Entrepreneurship

315-443-7252
Room: 415C
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PhD, Jönköping International Business School (Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration)

Alex McKelvie is Interim Dean at the Whitman School of Management. Prior to that appointment, he was Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Master’s Education for four years. In that role, he led Whitman's efforts to create new partnerships with other schools across the Syracuse University campus, offer innovative and impactful learning experiences for students, diversify the student body and grow new programs. These efforts led to record high rankings for Whitman’s undergraduate and MBA programs, among other positive outcomes.
Prior to his role as associate dean, he was the Chair of the Department of Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises (EEE). During his team as Chair, the EEE program experienced a period of growth and innovation. The program received national and international recognition for excellence in research and educational programming as well.

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 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 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 SMEs. He has worked with many entrepreneurial startups across the US, 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 the 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
  • "Measuring addiction to entrepreneurship", Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 15(June), 2021 (with Spivack)
  • "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.)
  • "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.)
  • "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.)
  • "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.)
  • "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.)
  • "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.)
  • "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.)
  • "Is this the end? Investigating firm and individual level outcomes post-failure", Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 8, 138-143, 2017 (with Jenkins, A.)
  • "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.)
  • "Young firm growth: Reconciling growth orientation and innovative activities", Small Business Economics, 49(2), 273-293, 2017 (with Brattstrom, A., Wennberg, K.)
  • "What is entrepreneurial failure? Implications for future research", International Small Business Journal, 34(2), 176-188, 2016 (with Jenkins, A.)
  • "Variable risk preferences in new venture growth and survival", Journal of Business Venturing, 31(4), 408-427, 2016 (with Wennberg, K., Delmar, F.)
  • "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.)
  • "Opportunity evaluation as future-focused cognition: Identifying conceptual themes and empirical trend", International Journal of Management Reviews, 17(2), 256-277, 2015 (with Wood, M.)
  • "What about new entry? Examining the theorized role of new entry in entrepreneurial orientation research. ", International Small Business Journal, 33(4), 351-373, 2015 (with Wiklund, J., Wales, W.)
  • "The role of organizational size in the heterogeneous nature of corporate entrepreneurship", Small Business Economics, 45, 279-304, 2015 (with Nason, R., Lumpkin, G.)
  • "Habitual entrepreneurs: Possible cases of entrepreneurship addiction?", Journal of Business Venturing, 29, 651-667, 2015 (with Spivack, A., Haynie, M.)
  • "Making sense of entrepreneurial exit strategies: A typology and test", Journal of Business Venturing, 30(2), 255-272, 2015 (with DeTienne, D., Chandler, G.)
  • "Making it personal: Opportunity individuation and the shaping of opportunity beliefs", Journal of Business Venturing, 29, 252-272, 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.)
  • "Causation and effectuation processes: A validation study", Journal of Business Venturing, 26(3), 375-390, 2011 (with Chandler, G., DeTienne, D., Mumford, T.)
  • "Entrepreneurial Action: Exploitation Decisions Under Conditions of Uncertainty", Journal of Business Venturing, 2011
  • "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, M., Gustavsson, V.)
  • "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.)
  • "Advancing Firm Growth Research: A Focus on Growth Mode Instead of GrowthRate", Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 34(2), 261-288, 2010 (with Wiklund, J.)
  • "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.)
  • "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.)
  • "The growth and development of new and young media firms ", Journal of Media Business Studies , 5(1), 1-8, 2008 (with Picard, R.)

Awards and Honors

  • CNBC Disruptor Advisory Council (2016-current) - CNBC
  • George R. Burman Award for Entrepreneurial Leadership - Department of Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises
  • Justin G. Longenecker Fellow - USASBE
  • Top reviewer award - Journal of Small Business Management
  • Fortune Insider - Fortune Magazine
  • Finalist - Meredith Teaching Award (university-wide) - Syracuse University
  • Certificate of Reviewing Excellence - Journal of Business Venturing
  • Whitman Faculty Research Award - Whitman
  • Excellent Reviewer Award - Family Business Review
  • Recipient of Meredith Teaching Recognition Award
  • Winner of the Stevens Institute/Wesley J. Howe best paper award in Corporate Entrepreneurship - Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference
  • Kauffman Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation
  • Named Outstanding Entrepreneurship Educator - Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University
  • Finalist for the Teaching Innovation Award at Whitman School of Management
  • Top Reviewer Award - Journal of Business Venturing
  • Winner of Guttag Junior Faculty Award - Whitman School of Management
  • Winner of Research Promise Award - Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management IDEA Awards Program
  • Best doctoral dissertation award winner - National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB)
  • Winner of Research Promise Award - Entrepreneurship Division of the Academy of Management IDEA Awards Program
  • Outstanding Review (top 40) - Entrepreneurship Division of Academy of Management
  • Pedagogical Prize - Jönköping International Business School

Media Placements

“SUNY Upstate, Syracuse partner to launch joint medical degree, MBA program, Fortune 5.1.22

New college degrees give Liberal Arts students more business courses, Wall Street Journal 9.1.21

SU launches first online JD/MBA degree in the nation , Daily Orange 1.26.20

How we chose the 2019 CNBC Disruptor 50 innovators , CNBC 5.15.19

2019's Best Large Cities to Start a Business , WalletHub.com 5.8.19

How did the Kardashians make their millions? , BBC 4.5.19

How an MBA Can Pay Off for Entrepreneurs , U.S. News & World Report 3.20.19

Alexander McKelvie discussed the philanthropic efforts of the world's richest people , CGTN 3.6.19

How to Choose an MBA for Nonprofit Management , U.S. News & World Report 2.21.19

How to Highlight Military Jobs in MBA Applications , U.S. News & World Report 11.8.18

How Entrepreneurship Addiction Can Possibly Go Wrong , Inc42.com 12.11.17

Syracuse Athletics-Lyft partnership, set to unveil Friday, ‘fruit for both parties’ , Daily Orange 8.31.17

What Uber’s arrival to central New York could mean for local taxi companies , The Daily Orange 6.9.17

Are you a workaholic, Thrive Global (Huffington Post) 2.1.17

Here’s where most entrepreneurs go wrong with money, Fortune 8.1.16

Find the right college to be an entrepreneur, US News 1.1.16

Are entrepreneurs addicted to startups?, Small Business Opportunities 12.1.14

The science is in: Entrepreneurship is addictive!, MLM Business Opportunities Blog 11.1.14

Can you be addicted to starting companies?, Business Week 11.1.14

Can you really be addicted to starting companies?, Bloomberg Business Week 11.1.14

Is entrepreneurship addictive?, Forbes 11.1.14

Is it possible to be addicted to entrepreneurship?, Science Daily 11.1.14

Feel addicted to being an entrepreneur? Researchers say it’s real, Business News Daily 11.1.14

Research Examines Whether It's Possible to Be Addicted to Entrepreneurship, Newswise 11.1.14

Insight, WCNY show 8.1.12

Family focus attracts job-seekers startups can compete for top talent with "feel-good" work atmosphere, Syracuse Post-Standard 6.1.11