David has a Bachelor of Arts (honours) in Physics from the University of Oxford, England, which he attended on a full-ride academic scholarship. He also has a Master of Arts in Natural Sciences from the University of Oxford, England.
Between degrees David worked for Ernst & Young in London as an assurance manager in the financial services audit division specializing in financial derivatives. On the firm's International Exchange program he moved to the United States and subsequently joined KPMG LLP in their audit division in San Francisco, where he managed the world's first IPO of a viatical settlements company (which bought life insurance policies from those who would die within 2 years).
He transferred to the Information Risk Management (IRM) practice as a senior manager to become an information systems consultant. Here he contributed significantly to the development of the IRM Transfer University, an intensive training program that teaches auditors and new hires (both college and experienced) the necessary skills to be an IS consultant. As part of his client service responsibilities with KPMG he served major companies such as Visa and Wells Fargo.
David moved to UCLA in 1998 as a student in the Ph.D. program of the Information Systems area at the Anderson Graduate School of Management, graduating with a Ph.D. in June 2003.
After graduating from UCLA, David is now an assistant professor of Information Systems and Technology at the University of Montana in Missoula. Here, with colleagues Dr. Cameron Lawrence and Dr. Clay Looney, he has revolutionized the teaching of the Introduction to Information Systems class. He plays a pivotal role in the School of Business's tech transfer efforts with other departments on campus.
David is involved with several start-up and tech transfer companies in Missoula, including Bee Alert Technology, Inc., which trains bees to find landmines and is a key player in the search for the cause of Colony Collapse Disorder which has already killed 50% of the nation's bees.
David has two main research foci:
1. Improving the Introduction to Information class and the Information Systems major in general.
2. How consulting firms impact the adoption of Information Technology
David has just published with Dr. Cameron Lawrence and Dr. Clay Looney a paper on how to improve the number of people becoming an IS major by making changes to the Introduction to Information Systems class.
David has a paper with Dr. Cameron Lawrence entitled State of Research Review: Genre Analysis in Information Systems Research published in the Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application (JITTA). A draft version of that paper is available here.
David is also currently working on the impact that the IT research firms (such as The Gartner Group and Forrester Research) have on the way organizations innovate with IT. He has a paper published in the journal Business Horizons.
UM Advertising Campaign
David was featured in a University of Montana TV advertising campaign, which is multi-award winning. This TV campaign was devised and paid for by the Executive Vice President's office. You can see the advert by clicking here.
Writing a consulting resume
Professor Firth is often asked to comment on a student's resume, particular a resume that's going to a consulting firm. You can see a short video of Dr. Firth's advice by clicking here for the AVI file, or here for the WMV file.
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