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Darian Unger

Professor of Business, Innovation, and Technology Management, Howard University

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About Darian

Dr. Unger’s research focuses on innovation management and technology policy, especially in the area of environmental energy technologies. This has included work on incentives for the adoption of solar panels, fuel cells, and energy efficient light bulbs. He has testified to and lobbied the U.S. Congress, the Maryland State Legislature, and Montgomery County Council. He has earned multiple teaching awards from both faculty and students for his dynamic teaching. Outside of Howard University, Dr. Unger is a Montgomery County Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician. He has also served as chair of the Montgomery County American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Progressive Neighbors, the Montgomery County Sierra Club, and as President of the Silver Spring Advisory Board.

In the News

Quoted by the Editorial Board in "Endorsements for Maryland House and Senate," The Washington Post, May 30, 2014.


"Modern Innovation Management Theory and the Evolving US Lighting Industry" Journal of Management History 17, no. 1 (2011): 9-26.

Examines the US lighting industry's 150-year history through the lens of four disruptive innovations—incandescent bulbs, fluorescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFBs), and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Analyzes how companies managed these transitions and market evolutions, and tests the relevance of two key innovation management theories: absorptive capacity and disruptive innovations. Findings indicate that these theories remain valid and widely applicable despite shifts in market structures from oligopolies and cartels to free market competition.

"Improving Product Development Process Design: A Method for Managing Information Flows, Risks, and Iterations" (with Steven Eppinger). Journal of Engineering Design 22, no. 10 (2010): 689–699.

Proposes and demonstrates a method with which a company can design a product development process (PDP) applicable to its unique circumstance. Highlights the diversity of PDPs and the importance of aligning PDP design with a company's risk profile, and based on these insights, proposes a method for improved PDP design.