David Hsu

Richard A. Sapp Professor, Professor of Management at The Wharton School


The Wharton School

David Hsu is the Richard A. Sapp Professor and a 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, startup 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.

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

S. Chattopadhyay and David Hsu (2017), Knowledge Distance and Innovation in the Context of Mergers: Bridging Through IntraOrganizational Team Design ,.

Andrea Contigiani, Iwan Barankay, David Hsu (2016), Trade Secrets and Innovation: Evidence from the ‘Inevitable Disclosure’ Doctrine ,.

O. Bengtsson and David Hsu (2015), Ethnic Matching in the U.S. Venture Capital Market , Journal of Business Venturing, 30 (2), pp. 338354.

V. Aggarwal and David Hsu (2014), Entrepreneurial Exits and Innovation , Management Science, 60 (4), pp. 867887.

David Hsu and K. Lim (2014), Knowledge Brokering and Organizational Innovation: Founder Imprinting Effects , Organization Science, 25 (4), pp. 11341153.

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. 17981817.

M. Marx, J. Gans, David Hsu (2014), Dynamic Commercialization Strategies for Disruptive Technologies: Evidence from the Speech Recognition Industry , Management Science, 60 (12), pp. 31033123.

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

Vikas A. Aggarwal, David Hsu, Andy Wu (Under Review), R&D Production Team Organization and FirmLevel Innovation.

Abstract: How should a firm organize the diversity of technological experience contained within its base of inventors when firmlevel innovation output is a key performance consideration? We investigate the innovation implications of alternate firmlevel approaches to organizing such diversity. Building on the knowledgebased view and organization design literatures, we examine the effects of acrossteam and withinteam technical experience diversity on firmlevel innovation output. Our framework suggests these alternate managerial choices involve trading off knowledge recombination benefits and coordination costs. Using a panel dataset of biotechnology startups observed from their founding date onwards, we find that acrossteam diversity results in greater firmlevel innovation benefits as compared to withinteam diversity. We also find evidence that collaborative experience and combinatorial novelty moderate this effect, further supporting our proposed framework.

Current Courses

MGMT611 Managing Est Enterprise

The management of large, established enterprises creates a range of multifacet 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.


Past Courses


The focus of this course is on analysis of the issues and options which must be faced in developing a successful technological venture and on the creation of a winning business plan. Particular attention is directed to the identification of technologybased venture opportunities, evaluation of technical feasibility and commercial potential, and planning for successful commercialization.


The management of large, established enterprises creates a range of multifacet 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.


Emerging enterprises, the focus in this course, are small, new, fastgrowing 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, resourceconstrained 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.


The course is designed to meet the needs of future managers, entrepreneurs, consultants and investors who must analyze and develop business strategies in technologybased 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 technologybased 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.


Management 801 is the foundation course in the Entrepreneurial 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 nonprofit 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 semesterlong course, MGMT806). ,Format: Lectures and case discussions ,Requirements: Class participation, interim assignments, final project

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Awards Sloan Industry Studies Fellowships, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation 02/04/2008 Getting the Right Mix, Nature 06/29/2006 What’s the Best Commercialization Strategy for Startups?, MIT Sloan Management Review 04/24/2002

Knowledge @ Wharton

  • The End of Digital Advertising as We Know It, Knowledge @ Wharton 11/17/2016
  • Why Google’s Pixel Is More About Strategy Than Smartphones, Knowledge @ Wharton 11/15/2016
  • Why Samsung Could Get Burned in the Android Market, Knowledge @ Wharton 10/18/2016
  • Does Apple Need a New Blockbuster to Thrive?, Knowledge @ Wharton 09/13/2016
  • How “Pokemon Go” Took Augmented Reality Mainstream, Knowledge @ Wharton 07/21/2016
  • Why Apple Must Move Beyond the ‘Wow’ Moment, Knowledge @ Wharton 05/06/2016
  • Meet Africa’s First Tech ‘Unicorn’ — Are More to Come?, Knowledge @ Wharton 04/05/2016
  • How Smart Homes Can Unlock the Mainstream Market, Knowledge @ Wharton 03/29/2016
  • Can Twitter Find a Reliable Growth Model?, Knowledge @ Wharton 02/17/2016
  • Will Slowing Growth Take a Bite out of Apple?, Knowledge @ Wharton 02/01/2016
  • How Stockholm Became a ‘Unicorn Factory’, Knowledge @ Wharton 11/09/2015
  • Why Ad Blockers Are Spurring a New Technology Arms Race, Knowledge @ Wharton 10/14/2015
  • Can Cloning Businesses Work? Ask Rocket Internet, Knowledge @ Wharton 10/12/2015
  • Can Microsoft Gain a Mobile Edge — Finally?, Knowledge @ Wharton 08/18/2015
  • What’s Behind Google’s Alphabet Restructuring?, Knowledge @ Wharton 08/14/2015
  • Shooting for Startup Success? Take a Detour, Knowledge @ Wharton 08/06/2015
  • The Mobile Arms Race: Why Privacy Is the Next Battleground, Knowledge @ Wharton 07/06/2015
  • What Can Apple Watch Learn from Google Glass?, Knowledge @ Wharton 03/24/2015
  • Virtual Reality: Real at Last?, Knowledge @ Wharton 02/10/2015
  • Alibaba’s Next Move: Grow Abroad, or Go Deeper into China?, Knowledge @ Wharton 10/01/2014
  • The Race to Build a Better Smartphone Charger, Knowledge @ Wharton 09/02/2014
  • Why Disruptive Innovation Can Help Market Leaders, Knowledge @ Wharton 08/07/2014
  • Nadella’s Challenge Is to ‘Reinvent Productivity’ — and Microsoft, Knowledge @ Wharton 07/23/2014
  • Ready to Take Your Startup Public? Hold That Thought, Knowledge @ Wharton 10/14/2013
  • Still Hot — or Not? Technology Firms Face Faster Product Cycles, Knowledge @ Wharton 09/11/2013
  • Is Apple on the Ropes?, Knowledge @ Wharton 04/24/2013
  • Samsung: A Hardware Manufacturer Seeking Its Software Side, Knowledge @ Wharton 03/27/2013
  • What Defines Success in the Mobile Race?, Knowledge @ Wharton 02/13/2013
  • Windows 8: Will Microsoft’s Latest Big Bet Pay Off?, Knowledge @ Wharton 12/19/2012
  • As Companies Focus on Services, Will Hardware Become Irrelevant?, Knowledge @ Wharton 11/07/2012
  • The AppleSamsung Case: What It Means for Patents — and Innovation, Knowledge @ Wharton 08/29/2012
  • Money from Friends: Finding the Right Revenue Model for Social Media, Knowledge @ Wharton 08/29/2012
  • What Can We Learn from Netflix?, Knowledge @ Wharton 08/07/2012
  • The Smartphone Shakeout: Time Is Running Out for a Viable No. 3, Knowledge @ Wharton 08/01/2012
  • King of the Hill: Can Established Tech Companies Be Bested?, Knowledge @ Wharton 04/25/2012
  • What Would You Do with $100 Billion?, Knowledge @ Wharton 03/21/2012
  • Vertical Integration Works for Apple — But It Won’t for Everyone, Knowledge @ Wharton 03/14/2012
  • What’s Wrong with This Picture: Kodak’s 30year Slide into Bankruptcy, Knowledge @ Wharton 02/01/2012
  • Under New Leadership, Will Yahoo Find Its Way?, Knowledge @ Wharton 01/18/2012
  • What’s Next for TMobile USA – and for AT&T?, Knowledge @ Wharton 12/21/2011
  • What’s Behind Buffett’s IBM Buy?, Knowledge @ Wharton 11/15/2011
  • The New Software Pricing Model: Can the Older Giants Compete?, Knowledge @ Wharton 11/09/2011
  • Inside Job: Changing of the Guard at IBM, Knowledge @ Wharton 10/26/2011
  • Let Them Eat Apps?, Knowledge @ Wharton 10/19/2011
  • Life after Steve Jobs: What to Expect from the Next Generation at Apple, Knowledge @ Wharton 10/12/2011
  • What Steve Jobs Leaves Behind, Knowledge @ Wharton 10/06/2011
  • Is RIM Riding on the Edge?, Knowledge @ Wharton 09/28/2011
  • Apotheker Out, Whitman In, Knowledge @ Wharton 09/23/2011
  • What’s Fueling the Tech Patent Bull Market?, Knowledge @ Wharton 09/14/2011
  • Upheaval at HP and Apple: What’s Next for Tech, Knowledge @ Wharton 08/31/2011


Courses Taught

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