David Hsu

David Hsu
  • Richard A. Sapp Professor
  • Professor of Management

Contact Information

  • office Address:

    2028 SH-DH
    3620 Locust Walk
    Philadelphia, PA 19104

Research Interests: intellectual property rights, start-up innovation, strategies for commercializing technological innovation, venture capital

Links: CV, Personal Website


David Hsu is the Richard A. Sapp Professor of Management at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He graduated from Stanford University with undergraduate majors in economics and political science. After a few years working in industry, he received his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University, followed by his Ph.D. in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Hsu’s research interests are in entrepreneurial innovation and management. Within that domain, he has investigated topics such as intellectual property management, start-up innovation, technology commercialization strategy, and venture capital. His research has appeared in leading journals such as Management Science, Journal of Finance, Strategic Management Journal, and Research Policy. He is past department and associate editor of Management Science. In 2008, Hsu was awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Industry Studies Fellowship. At Wharton, he teaches two MBA electives, Entrepreneurship and Technology Strategy. At Penn, Hsu is Associate Faculty Director of the Weiss Tech House, which encourages and supports students in the creation, development, and commercialization of innovative technologies.

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  • Andrea Contigiani, David Hsu, Iwan Barankay (2018), Trade Secrets and Innovation: Evidence from the ‘Inevitable Disclosure’ Doctrine, Strategic Management Journal, forthcoming.

  • J. T. Fox, C. Yang, David Hsu (Forthcoming), Unobserved Heterogeneity in Matching Games.

  • O. Bengtsson and David Hsu (2015), Ethnic Matching in the U.S. Venture Capital Market, Journal of Business Venturing, 30 (2), pp. 338-354.

  • M. Marx and David Hsu (2015), Strategic ‘Switchbacks’: Dynamic Commercialization Strategies for Technology Entrepreneurs, Research Policy, 44, pp. 1815-1826.

  • Rebecca Hayward, Michelle Eckert, Justin Thomas, Mickey Whitzer, Saikat Chaudhuri, Tom Fitzsimons, David Hsu, Mark Yim, Vijay Kumar (2014), The Y-Prize Competition: An Inverted X-Prize Competition for Commercializing University Research, ASME Proceedings.

  • V. Aggarwal and David Hsu (2014), Entrepreneurial Exits and Innovation, Management Science, 60 (4), pp. 867-887.

  • David Hsu and K. Lim (2014), Knowledge Brokering and Organizational Innovation: Founder Imprinting Effects, Organization Science, 25 (4), pp. 1134-1153.

  • C. Eesley, David Hsu, E. B. Roberts (2014), The Contingent Effects of Top Management Teams on Venture Performance: Aligning Founding Team Composition with Innovation Strategy and Commercialization Environment, Strategic Management Journal, 35 (12), pp. 1798-1817.

  • M. Marx, J. Gans, David Hsu (2014), Dynamic Commercialization Strategies for Disruptive Technologies: Evidence from the Speech Recognition Industry, Management Science, 60 (12), pp. 3103-3123.

  • Alessandro Marino and David Hsu (Working), Organizational Routines Development and Venture Performance.


Past Courses

  • MGMT611 - Managing Established Enterprises

    The management of large, established enterprises creates a range of multi-facet challenges for the general manager. A general manager needs to understand the internal workings of a firm, how to assess and create a strategy, and how to take into account increasing, globalization. While these issues are distinct, they are very much intertwined. As a result, this course will provide you with an integrated view of these challenges and show you that effective of an established enterprise requires a combination of insights drawn from economics, sociology, psychology and political economy.

  • MGMT612 - Management of Emerging Enterprises

    Emerging enterprises, the focus in this course, are small, new, fast-growing organizations. Their founders and managers face multifaceted challenges: how to assess the competitive position of their business model and develop a strategy; how to develop the internal organizational structure, culture, and policies for selecting and managing employees; and how to pursue global opportunities. We cover these challenges in separate modules on strategy, human and social capital, and global issues. The human and social capital module covers classic management challenges of aligning interests of the individual and the organization; managing individual psychological needs and social influences; and developing employee capabilities that provide competitive advantage. Also covered are unique challenges that yound organizations face, i.e. building an effective culture; recruiting, selecting, and retaining talent; building systematic approaches to motivating employees; coping with the stresses of rapid growth; and leveraging the benefits (and avoiding the liabilities) of the founder's powerful imprint. ,The strategy module covers fundamental issues central to the competitiveness of the enterprise. Because the strategy field is broad, MGMT 612 emphasizes topics and frameworks that are most relevant for younger firms, such as innovation, disruption, managing resource constraints, and building capabilities. However, a key insight of the module is the importance of seeing the playing field from the perspective of the competition. Thus, by the end of this section, students will have a robust grounding in strategy that will allow them to succeed, whether their career path leads to a Fortune 100 firm or a garage start up. ,The global module covers the emerging firm's decision about when (and whether) to internationalize. This decision must address which foreign markets to enter; the mode of entry; the sequence of moves to develop capabilities; what organizational form to choose; where to establish HQ; and how to adapt to the unique economic and institutional features of different markets. In all these issues, the emphasis is on how young, resource-constrained firms can position themselves profitably in globally competitive markets. For the final project, student teams provide integrated analysis across the modules for an emerging enterprise of their choice.

  • MGMT731 - Technology Strategy

    The course is designed to meet the needs of future managers, entrepreneurs, consultants and investors who must analyze and develop business strategies in technology-based industries. The emphasis is on learning conceptual models and frameworks to help navigate the complexity and dynamism in such industries. This is not a course in new product development or in using information technology to improve business processes and offerings. We will take a perspective of both established and emerging firms competing through technological innovations, and study the key strategic drivers of value creation and appropriation in the context of business ecosystems. The course uses a combination of cases, simulation and readings. The cases are drawn primarily from technology-based industries. Note, however, that the case disucssions are mainly based on strategic (not technical) issues. Hence, a technical background is not required for fruitful participation.

  • MGMT801 - Entrepreneurship

    MGMT 801 is the foundation coures in the Entrepeurial Management program. The purpose of this course is to explore the many dimensions of new venture creation and growth. While most of the examples in class will be drawn from new venture formation, the principles also apply to entrepreneurship in corporate settings and to non-profit entrepreneurship. We will be concerned with content and process questions as well as with formulation and implementation issues that relate to conceptualizing, developing, and managing successful new ventures. The emphasis in this course is on applying and synthesizing concepts and techniques from functional areas of strategic management, finance, accounting, managerial economics, marketing, operations management, and organizational behavior in the context of new venture development. The class serves as both a stand alone class and as a preparatory course to those interested in writing and venture implementation (the subject of the semester-long course, MGMT 806). ,Format: Lectures and case discussions ,Requirements: Class participation, interim assignments, final project

  • MGMT932 - Proseminar in Management

    Innovation is currently a hot topic. The popular stereotype holds that firms that are not innovating, or that are not at least saying that they are innovating, are backward at best and at risk of extinction at worst. Behind the hype ismore than half a century of theory and research on organizational and managerial innovation, and the seminar will focus on this domain. A useful overview of the domain is available in Fariborz Damanpour "Organizational Innovation" in Oxford Rsearch Encyclopedia on Business and Management Oxford University Press 2018. ,We will examine a number of theoretical and empirical approaches to understanding the phenomenon that have emerged during this period and identify key questions explored, principal contributions to the literature, and remaining questions and areas for future research. At the same time, we will embard on a journey in the sociology of knowledge, to encourange you to understand how the evolution of these approaches is linked to changes in the larger world. ,The seminar is also designed to allow you to pursue an angle on the subject matter that is of particular interest to you, and the deliverables are intended to allow you to investigate a topic that you wish to explore in some depth. Both will be discussed at the beginning of the course and will be fleshed out in subsequent discussions together.

  • MGMT939 - Seminar in Entrepreneural Innovation

    This quarter-length class explores topics in entrepreneurial innovation. While innovation management from the perspective of the industry incumbent is a relatively more established literature, our collective knowledge of entrepreneurial innovation is still emerging. This Ph.D. class draws primarily on the smaller literature focused on entrepreneurial innovation while placing the discussion within the context of the larger literature on incumbent innovation management.

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Latest Research

Andrea Contigiani, David Hsu, Iwan Barankay (2018), Trade Secrets and Innovation: Evidence from the ‘Inevitable Disclosure’ Doctrine, Strategic Management Journal, forthcoming.
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In the News

How Jack Ma Changed the Chinese View of Entrepreneurs

As Jack Ma prepares to leave Alibaba, his career provides several key takeaways for fellow leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs in China.

Knowledge @ Wharton - 2018/09/25
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