Design Research in Search for a Paradigm: Pragmatism Is the Answer


Design research (DR) is an emergent research approach within information systems. There exist demands to clarify the meta-scientific foundations for this approach. Different responses to these demands are made. There exist attempts to position DR within interpretivism and critical realism. Some scholars have suggested pragmatism as an appropriate paradigm base for design research. This paper has taken pragmatism as a candidate paradigm and it has investigated and elaborated the epistemological foundations for DR. Different epistemic types of DR are identified using a pragmatist perspective. Design research is also related to four aspects/types of pragmatism: Local functional pragmatism (as the design of a useful artefact), general functional pragmatism (as creating design theories and methods aimed for general practice), referential pragmatism (focusing artefact affordances and actions) and methodological pragmatism (knowledge development through making).

Practical Aspects of Design Science
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