Marshall Van Alstyne

Questrom Professor in Management Professor, Information Systems

Professor Van Alstyne is one of the leading experts in network business models. He conducts research on information economics, covering such topics as communications markets, the economics of networks, intellectual property, social effects of technology, and productivity effects of information. As co-developer of the concept of “two-sided networks” he has been a major contributor to the theory of network effects, a set of ideas now taught worldwide. His co-authored article on the subject is a Harvard Business Review top 50 of all time.

Awards include two patents, National Science Foundation IOC, SGER, SBIR, iCorp and Career Awards, and eight best paper awards. Articles or commentary have appeared in Science, Nature, Management Science, Harvard Business Review, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

  • PhD, MIT Sloan School, 1997
  • MS, MIT Sloan School, 1991
  • BA, Yale University, 1984
  • Van Alstyne, M., Parker, G. (2021). "Digital Transformation Changes How Firms Create Value", Harvard Business Review
  • Van Alstyne, M., Petropoulos, G., Parker, G., Martens, B. (2021). "'In situ' data rights", Communications of the ACM, 64 (12), 34-35
  • Van Alstyne, M., Smith, M. (2021). "It's Time to Update Section 230", Harvard Business Review
  • Van Alstyne, M., Sokol, D. (2021). "The Rising Risk of Platform Regulation", MIT Sloan Management Review: MIT's journal of management research and ideas, 62 (2), 6A-10A
  • Van Alstyne, M., Parker, G., Choudary., S. (2020). Pipelines, Platforms and the New Rules of Strategy."Pipelines, Platforms and the New Rules of Strategy",
  • Chintakananda, A., McIntyre, D., Srinivasan, A., Afuah, A., Boudreau, K., Kretschmer, T., Leiponen, A., Van Alstyne, M. (2019). "Managing Multi-Sided Platforms", Academy of Management Proceedings, 2019 (1), 12000-12000
  • Choudary, S., Van Alstyne, M., Parker, G. (2019). "Platforms and Blockchain Will Transform Logistics", Harvard Business Review
  • Van Alstyne, M. (2019). "A response to fake news as a response to Citizens United", Communications of the ACM, 62 26-29
  • Jacobides, M., Sundararajan, A., Van Alstyne, M. (2019). "Platforms and Ecosystems: Enabling the Digital Economy", World Economic Forum 1-32
  • Benzell, S., Hersh, J., Van Alstyne, M., LaGarda, G. (2019). "The Paradox of Openness: Exposure vs. Efficiency of APIs", Boston University Working Paper (August 5, 2019)
  • Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M. (2018). "Innovation, openness, and platform control", Management Science, 64 3015-3032
  • (2017). "Crowd Souring: 4 Mistakes that Kill Crowdsourcing Efforts", Harvard Business Review
  • Tabors, R., Caramanis, M., Ntakou, E., Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M., Centolella, P., Hornby, R. (2017). "Distributed Energy Resources: New Markets and New Products", Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 8
  • Van Alstyne, M., Parker, G. (2017). "Platform Business: From Resources to Relationships", NIM Marketing Intelligence Review, 9 (1), 24-29
  • Wan, X., Cenamor, J., Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M. (2017). "Unraveling Platform Strategies: A Review from an Organizational Ambidexterity Perspective", Sustainability, 9 (5)
  • Van Alstyne, M., Parker, G., Choudary, S. (2016). "Pipelines, Platforms, and the New Rules of Strategy", Harvard Business Review
  • Van Alstyne, M. (2016). "Platform Revolution", W W Norton & Co Inc
  • Schrage, M., Van Alstyne, M. (2015). "Life of IP", Communications of the ACM, 58 (5), 20-23
  • Malhotra, A., Van Alstyne, M. (2014). "The Dark Side of the Sharing Economy ... and How to Lighten It", Communications of the ACM, 57 (11), 24-27
  • Van Alstyne, M. (2014). "Why Bitcoin Has Value", Communications of the ACM, 57 (5), 30-32
  • Van Alstyne, M., Parker, G. (2014). Platform Strategy."The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management", Springer
  • Van Alstyne, M., Parker, G., Shanker, T. (2013). "How to Strengthen Ad Mail by Building a Digital Information Market", Office of Inspector General - Risk Analysis Research Center, USPS, RARC-Working Paper (14)
  • Van Alstyne, M. (2013). "Why Not Immortality?", Communications of the ACM, 56 (11), 29-31
  • Dellarocas, C., Van Alstyne, M. (2013). "Money Models for MOOCs", Communications of the ACM, 56 (8), 25-28
  • Bulkley, N., Van Alstyne, M. (2012). "An Empirical Analysis of Strategies and Efficiencies in Social Networks", Khoj Journal of Indian Management Research and Practices, II (2), 28-45
  • Eisenmann, T., Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M. (2011). "Platform Envelopment", Strategic Management Journal, 32 (12), 1270-1285
  • Aral, S., Van Alstyne, M. (2011). "The Diversity-Bandwidth Trade-off", American Journal of Sociology, 117 (1), 90-171
  • Van Alstyne, M., Eisenmann, T., Parker, G. (2011). Opening Platforms: How, When and Why."Platforms, Markets and Innovation", Edward Elgar Publishing 131-162
  • Benbya, H., Van Alstyne, M. (2011). "How to Find Answers within Your Company", MIT Sloan Management Review, 52 (2), 65-75
  • Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M. (2009). "Six Challenges in Platform Licensing and Open Innovation", Communications & Strategies (74)
  • Van Alstyne, M. (2009). "The State of Network Organization: A Survey in Three Frameworks", Journal of Organizational Computing, 7 (3)
  • Lazer, D., Pentland, A., Adamic, L., Aral, S., Barabasi, A., Brewer, D., Christakis, N., Contractor, N., Fowler, J., Gutmann, M., Jebara, T., King, G., Macy, M., Roy, D., Van Alstyne, M. (2009). "Computational Social Science", Science, 323 (5915), 721-723
  • Gandal, N., King, C., Van Alstyne, M. (2009). "The Social Network within a Management Recruiting Firm: Network Structure and Output", Review of Network Economics, 8 (4), 302-324
  • Benbya, H., Van Alstyne, M. (2008). "Eliciting and Validating Knowledge in Knowledge Management Systems", Proceedings of the 41st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2008)
  • Van Alstyne, M. (2007). "Curing Spam: Rights, Signals & Screens", The Economists' Voice, 4 (2)
  • Clarkson, G., Van Alstyne, M. (2007). "The Social Efficiency of Fairness: An Innovation Economics Approach to Innovation", 2007 40th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS'07)
  • Loder, T., Van Alstyne, M., Wash, R. (2006). "An Economic Response to Unsolicited Communication", Advances in Economic Analysis & Policy, 6 (1)
  • Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M. (2005). "Two-Sided Network Effects: A Theory of Information Product Design", Management Science, 51 (10), 1494-1504
  • Van Alstyne, M., Brynjolfsson, E. (2005). "Global village or cyber-balkans? Modeling and measuring the integration of electronic communities", Management Science, 51 (6), 851-868
  • Van Alstyne, M., Bulkley, N. (2004). "Why Information Influence Should Productivity", Edward Elgar Pub
  • Van Alstyne, M., Brynjolfsson, E., Madnick, S. (1995). "Why Not One Big Database? Principles for Data Ownership", Decision Support Systems, 15 267-284
    Research Presentations
  • Van Alstyne, M. Towards Efficient Information Sharing in Network Markets, Workshop on Information Systems Economics, Houston, TX (virtual), 2021
  • Van Alstyne, M. Technology, Digital Transformation & Platforms, CTO Forum, San Francisco, CA (virtual), 2021
  • Van Alstyne, M. Truth, Trust & Tech, Thinkers 50, London (virtual), 2021
  • Van Alstyne, M. Free Speech, Platforms & The Fake News Problem, NYU Stern Business School & Law School, 2021
  • Van Alstyne, M. Regulatory Approaches to Digital Platforms, Academy of Management, Seattle, WA (virtual), 2021
  • Van Alstyne, M. Free Speech, Platforms & The Fake News Problem, BU Platform Strategy Summit, Boston, MA, 2021
  • Van Alstyne, M. Dealing with Disinformation, EU Commission Communication on Tackling Online Disinformation (SOMA), 2021
  • Van Alstyne, M. Free Speech, Platforms & Fake News, McGill University, Montreal, CA (virtual), 2021
  • Van Alstyne, M. Digital Markets: Big Data, Privacy Protection & AI, Competition & Regulation European Summer School & Conference (CRESSE), Heraklion, Crete (virtual)
    Awards and Honors
  • 2021, Thinkers 50
  • 2021, Best Academic Antitrust Writing, , ,
  • 2020, Research Impact, INFORMS Information Systems Society
  • 2019, Thinkers 50 Digital Thinking, Thinkers 50
  • 2019, Management Science - Best Paper Award, Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
  • 2018, AIS Best Publication Award, Association for Information Systems
  • 2018, Paper of the Year, MIS Quarterly
  • 2018, Harvard Business Review Top 50 Article of All Time, Harvard Business Review
  • 2017, Distinguished Scholar Award, Academy of Management
  • 2016, Best Business Book - Golden Book Award, Taiwanese Publisher
  • 2015, Excellence in Teaching, MBA Students
  • 2014, PhD Mentoring Award, SMG Ph.D. Students
  • 2006, Best Paper, International Conference on Information Systems
  • 2006, Best Paper, Sunbelt Conference
  • 2006, Broderick Award for Excellence in Research, BU School of Management