Alfred Marcus, PhD

Portrait of Alfred Marcus

Alfred Marcus, PhD

TLI Faculty, Technological Leadership Institute


PhD in Government
Harvard University

Masters in Political Science
University of Chicago

Bachelors in Modern European History
University of Chicago


Alfred Marcus is the author of Innovations in Sustainability: Fuel and Food, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press in 2015. He was co-editor of a special 2011 fall issue of the California Management Review on regulatory uncertainty and the natural environment. From 1995-2001, he was chair of the Strategic Management and Organization Department at the Carlson School. He has consulted with numerous major corporations and has received grants from government agencies. Since 2006 he also has taught in the MBA program of the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. His Bachelor's and Master's Degrees are from the University of Chicago and his Ph.D is from Harvard University. In 2005, he won the outstanding teacher of the year award in the Carlson School part-time MBA program. He is a long time teacher in the Technological Leadership Institute. 

Alternate Job Roles

  • Honeywell/Edson W. Spencer Chair in Strategic Management
  • Professor, Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship, Carlson School of Management

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

The main question Professor Marcus is addressing in his current research is when does the market economy open up a space for sustainability. To what extent is sustainability just a niche strategy? To what extent can it become more generic? Factors he considers are the role of government policies and grants, rare performance events, corporate disclosure and transparency, and clean energy investing. His forthcoming book, Innovations in Sustainability, examines how competitive rivalries between firms can stimulate sustainable innovation. The rivalries he analyzes are those between: Khosla Ventures and KPCB and Intel Capital and Google Ventures in the financing of sustainable innovation; First Solar and Suntech and Better Place and Tesla in the development of sustainable business models; Toyota and GM and Vestas and GE in adapting to shifts in the external environment for sustainability; General Mills and Kellogg’s and Pepsi and Coke in finding sustainable customers; and Whole Foods and Wal-Mart and Monsanto and DuPont in competing as mission and non-mission based firms. 


  • Business regulation
  • Competition
  • Corporate responsibility
  • Ethics
  • Corporate strategy
  • Fraud
  • Government industrial policies
  • Strategy
  • Sustainability
  • White-collar crime

3M, General Mills, Corning, IBM, Medtronic, Excel Energy


Currently Teaching Courses
Strategic Management of Technology (MOT 8233)
Vulnerability, Risk, and Threat Assessment and Management (ST 8220)

Selected Publications

Cross-Sector Leadership for the Green Economy: Integrating Research and Practice on Sustainable Enterprise, A. Marcus, P.Shrivastava, S.Sharma, & S. Pogutz (eds.), Palgrave MacMillan, 2011.

Management Strategy: Sustaining Competitive Advantage, A. Marcus (McGraw Hill/Irwin, 2005; 2nd edition 2010).

Strategic Foresight: A New Look at Scenerios, A. Marcus (Palgrave Mac Millan, 2009). Winning Moves: A Casebook, A. Marcus (Marsh Books, 2006).

Managing Beyond Compliance: The Ethical and Public Policy Dimensions of Business, A. Marcus and S. Kaiser (Northcoast Publishers, 2006).

Big Winners and Big Losers: The Four Secrets of Long-Term Business Success and Failure, A. Marcus (Wharton School Press, 2005).

Reinventing Environmental Regulation: Lessons from Project XL, Resources for the Future, A. Marcus, D. Geffen and K. Sexton (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002).

The Adversary Economy, A. Marcus (Quorum, 1984). "Firms, Regulatory Uncertainty, and the Natural Environment," A.Marcus, J.Aragon-Correa, and J. Pinske, California Management Review, (2011).

"Analogical Reasoning and Complexity," A.Marcus and Z. Sheaffer, Z. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, (2009).

"Green Management Matters Regardless," A. Marcus and A. Fremeth, Academy of Management Perspectives (2009).

"Youth Bulges, Busts, and Doing Business in Violence-Prone Nations," A. Marcus, M. Islam, and J. Moloney, Business and Politics (2009).

"The Effects of Administrative Innovation Implementation on Performance: An Organizational Learning Approach," E. Naveh, O. Meilich, and A. Marcus, Strategic Organization (2006).

"A General Dynamic Capability: Does it Propagate Business and Social Competencies in the Retail Food Industry," A. Marcus and M. Anderson, Journal of Management Studies (2006).

"Embeddedness and the Acquisition of Competitive Capabilities," W. McEvily and A. Marcus, Strategic Management Journal (2005).

"Rules Versus Discretion: The Productivity Consequences of Flexible Regulation," S. Majumdar and A. Marcus, Academy of Management Journal (2001).

"On the Edge: Heeding the Warning of Unusual Events," A. Marcus and M. Nichols, Organizational Science (1999).

"The Dialectics of Competency Acquisition: Pollution Prevention in Electric Generation," A. Marcus and D. Geffen, Strategic Management Journal (1998).

"The Causes and Consequences of Management Buyouts," I. Fox and A. Marcus, Academy of Management Review (1992). "Victims and Shareholders," A. Marcus and R. Goodman, Academy of Management Journal (1991).

"The Market Deterrent to Dubious Behavior," A. Marcus and P. Bromiley, Strategic Management Journal (1989).

"Implementing Externally-Induced Innovations: A Comparison of Rule-Bound and Autonomous Approaches," A. Marcus, Academy of Management Journal (1988).

"Responses to Externally-Induced Innovations: Their Effects on Organizational Performance," A. Marcus, Strategic Management Journal (1988).

"Policy Uncertainty and Technological Innovation," A. Marcus, Academy of Management Review (1981).