David A. Kirsch

Associate Professor

4556 Van Munching Hall
Ph.D., History from Stanford University

David A. Kirsch is Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship in the M&O Department at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. From 1996 to 2001, Kirsch held various adjunct and visiting appointments at the Anderson Graduate School of Management, University of California, Los Angeles. He received his PhD in history from Stanford University in 1996. His research interests include industry emergence, technological choice, technological failure and the role of entrepreneurship in the emergence of new industries. In 2000 Rutgers University Press published his revised dissertation, The Electric Vehicle and the Burden of History. His work on the early history of the automobile industry has also been published in Business History Review and Technology and Culture. In 2003, his co-authored article on the Electric Vehicle Company received the IEEE Life Members Prize from the Society for the History of Technology. Kirsch is also interested in methodological problems associated with historical scholarship in the digital age. With the support of grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Library of Congress, he is currently building a digital archive of the Dot Com Era that will preserve at-risk, born-digital content about business and culture during the late 1990s. Selected materials are available to the public at

Primary Research Areas

  • History of modern technology
  • Entrepreneurial and technological failure
  • Internet Technology Entrepreneurship
  • Global environmental management systems

Selected Publications

Kirsch, D., The Electric Vehicle and the Burden of History, (Rutgers University Press, 2000)

Mom, G., and Kirsch, D., "Technologies in Tension: Horses, Electric Trucks and the Motorization of American Cities, 1900-1925" Technology and Culture, 2001

Kirsch, D., "How Electricity Could Power the Car of Today" Nature, 2001

Honors and Awards

  • Research Grant, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  • Research Grant, AT&T Foundation
  • Research Grant, Hewlett Foundation

Consulting Work

  • Alternative Fuel Vehicles
  • Biotechnology
  • New Media
Robert H. Smith School of Business
Map of Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland
Robert H. Smith School of Business
Van Munching Hall
College Park MD 20742