Conversational Agents (CAs) have become a new paradigm for human-computer interaction. Despite the potential benefits, there are ethical challenges to the widespread use of these agents that may inhibit their use for individual and social goals. However, besides a multitude of behavioral and design-oriented studies on CAs, a distinct ethical perspective falls rather short in the current literature. In this paper, we present the first steps of our design science research project on principles for a value-sensitive design of CAs. Based on theoretical insights from 87 papers and eleven user interviews, we propose preliminary requirements and design principles for a value-sensitive design of CAs. Moreover, we evaluate the preliminary principles with an expert-based evaluation. The evaluation confirms that an ethical approach for design CAs might be promising for certain scenarios.
This essay derives a schema for specifying design principles for information technology-based artifacts in sociotechnical systems. Design principles are used to specify design knowledge in an accessible form, but there is wide variation and lack of precision across views on their formulation. This variation is a sign of important issues that should be addressed, including a lack of attention to human actors and levels of complexity as well as differing views on causality, on the nature of the mechanisms used to achieve goals, and on the need for justificatory knowledge. The new schema includes the well-recognized elements of design principles, including goals in a specific context and the mechanisms to achieve the goal. In addition, the schema allows: (i) consideration of the varying roles of the human actors involved and the utility of design principles; (ii) attending to the complexity of IT-based artifacts through decomposition;(iii) distinction of the types of causation (i.e., deterministic versus probabilistic); (iv) a variety of mechanisms in achieving aims; and (v) the optional definition of justificatory knowledge underlying the design principles. We illustrate the utility of the proposed schema by applying it to examples of published research.
Kuhns Thema ist der Prozeß, in dem wissenschaftliche Erkenntnisse erzielt werden. Fortschritt in der Wissenschaft - das ist seine These - vollzieht sich nicht durch kontinuierliche Veränderung, sondern durch revolutionäre Prozesse. Dabei beschreibt der Begriff der wissenschaftlichen Revolution den Vorgang, bei dem bestehende Erklärungsmodelle, an denen und mit denen die wissenschaftliche Welt bis dahin gearbeitet hat, abgelöst und durch andere ersetzt werden: es findet ein Paradigmenwechsel statt.
Sir Isaac Newton famously said, "If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." Research is a collaborative, evolutionary endeavor-and it is no different with design science research (DSR) which builds upon existing design knowledge and creates new design knowledge to pass on to future projects. However, despite the vast, growing body of DSR contributions, scant evidence of the accumulation and evolution of design knowledge is found in an organized DSR body of knowledge. Most contributions rather stand on their own feet than on the shoulders of giants, and this is limiting how far we can see; or in other words, the extent of the broader impacts we can make through DSR. In this editorial, we aim at providing guidance on how to position design knowledge contributions in wider problem and solution spaces. We propose (1) a model conceptualizing design knowledge as a resilient relationship between problem and solution spaces, (2) a model that demonstrates how individual DSR projects consume and produce design knowledge, (3) a map to position a design knowledge contribution in problem and solution spaces, and (4) principles on how to use this map in a DSR project. We show how fellow researchers, readers, editors, and reviewers, as well as the IS community as a whole, can make use of these proposals, while also illustrating future research opportunities.
We develop an empirically grounded understanding of how design knowledge accumulates over time. Drawing from theory on knowledge creation, we conceptualize accumulation along the goals and scope of knowledge in DSR as a distinct knowledge creation problem. Through two empirical studies, we theorize knowledge accumulation in DSR by unpacking (1) three knowledge creation mechanisms, and (2) explaining how their interplay forms different patterns of knowledge creation over time. We contribute a theoretical framework conducive to integrating knowledge produced through different methods by introducing the knowledge creation processes as a distinct unit of analysis in DSR and by pointing out that extant procedural models may need revision to account for the continuous knowledge creation occurring in potentially multiyear DSR projects.
The rising complexity of automotive software makes it increasingly difficult to develop the software with high quality in short time. Especially the late detection of early errors, such as requirement inconsistencies and ambiguities, often causes costly iterations. We address this problem with a new requirements specification and analysis technique based on executable scenarios and automated testing. The technique is based on the Scenario Modeling Language for Kotlin (SMLK), a Kotlin based framework that supports the modeling/programming of behavior as loosely coupled scenarios, which is close to how humans conceive and communicate behavioral requirements. Combined with JUnit, we propose the Test-Driven Scenario Specification (TDSS) process, which introduces agile practices into the early phases of development, significantly reducing the risk of requirement inconsistencies and ambiguities, and, thus, reducing development costs. We overview TDSS with the help of an example from the e-mobility domain, report on lessons learned, and outline open challenges.
More and more people use virtual assistants in their everyday life (e.g., on their mobile phones, in their homes, or in their cars). So-called vehicle assistance systems have evolved over the years and now perform various proactive tasks. However, we still lack concrete guidelines with all the specifics that one needs to consider to build virtual assistants that provide a convincing user experience (especially in vehicles). This research provides guidelines for designing virtual in- vehicle assistants. The developed guidelines offer a clear and structured overview of what designers have to consider while designing virtual in-vehicle assistants for a convincing user experience. Following design science research principles, we designed the guidelines based on the existing literature on the requirements of assistant systems and on the results from interviewing experts. In order to demonstrate the applicability of the guidelines, we developed a virtual reality prototype that considered the design guidelines. In a user experience test with 19 participants, we found that the prototype was easy to use, allowed good interaction, and increased the users’ overall comfort.
Digitalization triggers a shift in the compositions of skills and knowledge needed for students in their future work life. Hence, higher order thinking skills are becoming more important to solve future challenges. One subclass of these skills, which contributes significantly to communication, collaboration and problem-solving, is the skill of how to argue in a structured, reflective and well-formed way. However, educational organizations face difficulties in providing the boundary conditions necessary to develop this skill, due to increasing student numbers paired with financial constraints. In this short paper, we present the first steps of our design science research project on how to design an adaptive IT-tool that helps students develop their argumentation skill through formative feedback in large-scale lectures. Based on scientific learning theory and user interviews, we propose preliminary requirements and design principles for an adaptive argumentation learning tool. Furthermore, we present a first instantiation of those principles.
Innovation in the medical technology (med tech) industry has a major impact on well-being in society. Open innovation has the potential to accelerate the development of new or improved healthcare solutions. Building on work system theory (WST), this paper explores how a multi-sided open innovation platform can systematically be established in a German med tech industry cluster in situations where firms had no prior experience with this approach. We aim to uncover problems that may arise and identify opportunities for overcoming them. We performed an action research study in which we implemented and evaluated a multi-sided web-based open innovation platform in four real-world innovation challenges. Analyzing the four different challenges fostered a deeper understanding of the conceptual and organizational aspects of establishing the multi-sided open innovation platform as part of a larger work system. Reflecting on the findings, we developed five design principles that shall support the establishment of multi-sided open innovation platforms in other contexts. Thus, this paper contributes to both theory and practice.
One of the most critical tasks for startups is to validate their business model. Therefore, entrepreneurs try to collect information such as feedback from other actors to assess the validity of their assumptions and make decisions. However, previous work on decisional guidance for business model validation provides no solution for the highly uncertain and complex context of earlystage startups. The purpose of this paper is, thus, to develop design principles for a Hybrid Intelligence decision support system (HI-DSS) that combines the complementary capabilities of human and machine intelligence. We follow a design science research approach to design a prototype artifact and a set of design principles. Our study provides prescriptive knowledge for HI-DSS and contributes to previous work on decision support for business models, the applications of complementary strengths of humans and machines for making decisions, and support systems for extremely uncertain decision-making problems.
Posing research questions represents a fundamental step to guide and direct how researchers develop knowledge in research. In design science research (DSR), researchers need to pose research questions to define the scope and the modes of inquiry, characterize the artifacts, and communicate the contributions. Despite the importance of research questions, research provides few guidelines on how to construct suitable DSR research questions. We fill this gap by exploring ways of constructing DSR research questions and analyzing the research questions in a sample of 104 DSR publications. We found that about two-thirds of the analyzed DSR publications actually used research questions to link their problem statements to research approaches and that most questions focused on solving problems. Based on our analysis, we derive a typology of DSR question formulation to provide guidelines and patterns that help researchers formulate research questions when conducting their DSR projects.
Design science research (DSR) aims to deliver innovative solutions for real-world problems. DSR produces Information Systems (IS) artifacts and design knowledge describing means-end relationships between problem and solution spaces. A key success factor of any DSR research endeavor is an appropriate understanding and description of the underlying problem space. However, existing DSR literature lacks a solid conceptualization of the problem space in DSR. This paper addresses this gap and suggests a conceptualization of the problem space in DSR that builds on the four key concepts of stakeholders, needs, goals, and requirements. We showcase the application of our conceptualization in two published DSR projects. Our work contributes methodologically to the field of DSR as it helps DSR scholars to explore and describe the problem space in terms of a set of key concepts and their relationships.
To remain competitive, businesses need to develop innovative and profitable products, processes and services. The development of innovation relies on novel ideas, which can be generated during creative workshops. In this context the Design Thinking approach, a problem-solving methodology based on collaboration, user-centricity and creativity, may be used. However, guidance and moderation of this process require a vast amount of skills and knowledge. As technologies like artificial intelligence have the potential of making machines our collaboration partner in the future, creating virtual assistants adapting human behaviors is promising. To reduce cognitive dissonance and stress on both the moderators and participants, we investigate the potential of a virtual assistant to support moderation in a Design Thinking process to improve innovative output as well as perceived satisfaction. We therefore developed design guidelines for virtual assistants supporting creative workshops based on qualitative expert interviews and related literature following the Design Science Research Methodology.
With the rising interest in Design Science Research (DSR), it is crucial to engage in the ongoing debate on what constitutes an acceptable contribution for publishing DSR - the design artifact, the design theory, or both. In this editorial, we provide some constructive guidance across different positioning statements with actionable recommendations for DSR authors and reviewers. We expect this editorial to serve as a foundational step towards clarifying misconceptions about DSR contributions and to pave the way for the acceptance of more DSR papers to top IS journals.
This paper reports on the results of a design science research (DSR) study that develops design principles for information systems (IS) that support organisational sensemaking in environmental sustainability transformations. We identify initial design principles based on salient affordances required in organisational sensemaking and revise them through three rounds of developing, demonstrating and evaluating a prototypical implementation. Through our analysis, we learn how IS can support essential sensemaking practices in environmental sustainability transformations, including experiencing disruptive ambiguity through the provision of environmental data, noticing and bracketing, engaging in an open and inclusive communication and presuming potential alternative environmentally responsible actions. We make two key contributions: First, we provide a set of theory-inspired design principles for IS that support sensemaking in sustainability transformations, and revise them empirically using a DSR method. Second, we show how the concept of affordances can be used in DSR to investigate how IS can support organisational practices. While our findings are based on the investigation of the substantive context of environmental sustainability transformation, we suggest that they might be applicable in a broader set of contexts of organisational sensemaking and thus for a broader class of sensemaking support systems.
Design Science Research (DSR) is now an accepted research paradigm in the Information Systems (IS) field, aiming at developing purposeful IT artifacts and knowledge about the design of IT artifacts. A rich body of knowledge on approaches, methods, and frameworks supports researchers in conducting DSR projects. While methodological guidance is abundant, there is little support and guidance for documenting and effectively managing DSR processes. In this article, we present a set of design principles for tool support for DSR processes along with a prototypical implementation (MyDesignProcess.com). We argue that tool support for DSR should enable researchers and teams of researchers to structure, document, maintain, and present DSR, including the resulting design knowledge and artifacts. Such tool support can increase traceability, collaboration, and quality in DSR. We illustrate the use of our prototypical implementation by applying it to published cases, and we suggest guidelines for using tools to effectively manage design-oriented research.
In order to generate valuable innovations, it is important to come up with potential beneficial ideas. A well-known method for collective idea generation is Brainstorming and with Electronic Brainstorming, individuals can virtually brainstorm. However, an effective Brainstorming facilitation always needs a moderator. In our research, we designed and implemented a virtual moderator that can automatically facilitate a Brainstorming session. We used various artificial intelligence functions, like natural language processing, machine learning and reasoning and created a comprehensive Intelligent Moderator (IMO) for virtual Brainstorming.
This paper reports on the results of a study to investigate how scholars engage with and use the action design research (ADR) approach. ADR has been acknowledged as an important variant of the Design Science Research approach, and has been adopted by a number of scholars, as the methodological basis for doctoral dissertations as well as multidisciplinary research projects. With this use, the research community is learning about how to apply ADR’s central tenets in different contexts. In this paper, we draw on primary data from researchers who have recently engaged in or finished an ADR project to identify recurring problems and opportunities related to working in different ADR stages, balancing demands from practice and research, and addressing problem instance vs. class of problems. Our work contributes a greater understanding of how ADR projects are carried out in practice, how researchers use ADR, and pointers to possibilities for extending ADR.
In the IS discipline, the formulation of design principles is an important vehicle to convey design knowledge that contributes beyond instantiations applicable in a limited context of use. However, their formulation still varies in terms of orientation, clarity, and precision. In this paper, we focus on the design of artifacts that are oriented towards human use, and we identify and analyze three orientations in the formulation of such design principles in IS journals—action oriented, materiality oriented, and both action and materiality oriented. We propose an effective and actionable formulation of design principles that is both clear and precise.
This paper distinguishes and contrasts two design science research strategies in information systems. In the first strategy, a researcher constructs or builds an IT meta-artefact as a general solution concept to address a class of problem. In the second strategy, a researcher attempts to solve a client’s specific problem by building a concrete IT artefact in that specific context and distils from that experience prescriptive knowledge to be packaged into a general solution concept to address a class of problem. The two strategies are contrasted along 16 dimensions representing the context, outcomes, process and resource requirements.
Design research promotes understanding of advanced, cutting-edge information systems through the construction and evaluation of these systems and their components. Since this method of research can produce rigorous, meaningful results in the absence of a strong theory base, it excels in investigating new and even speculative technologies, offering the potential to advance accepted practice.
Unter „Mixed Methods“ wird üblicherweise die Kombination qualitativer und quantitativer Forschungsmethoden in einem Untersuchungsdesign verstanden. Es handelt sich um einen Begriff aus der anglo-amerikanischen Methodendebatte in den Sozial- und Erziehungswissenschaften, der seit dem Ende der 1990er-Jahre, konkret seit dem Erscheinen der Monographie „Mixed Methodology“ von Abbas Tashakkori und Charles Teddlie (1998) große Prominenz erlangt hat. Von den amerikanischen Erziehungswissenschaften ausgehend hat sich eine eigene Mixed Methods-Bewegung gebildet – mittlerweile existieren eine ganze Reihe von Lehrbüchern (etwa Creswell/Plano Clark 2007; Morse/Niehaus 2009; Kuckartz/Cresswell 2014), ein in zweiter Auflage erschienenes umfangreiches Handbuch (Tashakkori/Teddlie 2010), seit 2007 eine Zeitschrift mit Namen „Journal of Mixed Methods Research“ (JMMR) und eine internationale Fachgesellschaft unter dem Namen „Mixed Methods International Research Association“ (MMIRA).
Design science research (DSR) has staked its rightful ground as an important and legitimate Information Systems (IS) research paradigm. We contend that DSR has yet to attain its full potential impact on the development and use of information systems due to gaps in the understanding and application of DSR concepts and methods. This essay aims to help researchers (1) appreciate the levels of artifact abstractions that may be DSR contributions, (2) identify appropriate ways of consuming and producing knowledge when they are preparing journal articles or other scholarly works, (3) understand and position the knowledge contributions of their research projects, and (4) structure a DSR article so that it emphasizes significant contributions to the knowledge base. Our focal contribution is the DSR knowledge contribution framework with two dimensions based on the existing state of knowledge in both the problem and solution domains for the research opportunity under study. In addition, we propose a DSR communication schema with similarities to more conventional publication patterns, but which substitutes the description of the DSR artifact in place of a traditional results section. We evaluate the DSR contribution framework and the DSR communication schema via examinations of DSR exemplar publications.
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).
One point of convergence in the many recent discussions on design science research in information systems (DSRIS) has been the desirability of a directive design theory (ISDT) as one of the outputs from a DSRIS project. However, the literature on theory development in DSRIS is very sparse. In this paper, we develop a framework to support theory development in DSRIS and explore its potential from multiple perspectives. The framework positions ISDT in a hierarchy of theories in IS design that includes a type of theory for describing how and why the design functions: Design-relevant explanatory/predictive theory (DREPT). DREPT formally captures the translation of general theory constructs from outside IS to the design realm. We introduce the framework from a knowledge representation perspective and then provide typological and epistemological perspectives. We begin by motivating the desirability of both directive-prescriptive theory (ISDT) and explanatory-predictive theory (DREPT) for IS design science research and practice. Since ISDT and DREPT are both, by definition, mid-range theories, we examine the notion of mid-range theory in other fields and then in the specific context of DSRIS. We position both types of theory in Gregor’s (2006) taxonomy of IS theory in our typological view of the framework. We then discuss design theory semantics from an epistemological view of the framework, relating it to an idealized design science research cycle. To demonstrate the potential of the framework for DSRIS, we use it to derive ISDT and DREPT from two published examples of DSRIS.
This paper explores which theorizing strategies can be employed in DSR to make a theoretical contribution by examining two illustrative case examples. First, we find that abduction, deduction, and induction all play a role in DSR. Second, we suggest that design theorists can choose among a range of theorizing strategies (i.e., inductive theorizing, deductive theorizing, and hybrid approaches) that differ in their degree to which they make use of abduction, deduction, and induction as well as their iterative sequencing over time in repeated theorizing cycles. Third, we reveal from the discussion of two prominent IS design theories that empirical and conceptual methods for theorizing play an important role in both the build and evaluate phases of the DSR cycle. Finally, we recommend theorists in future DSR projects that pursue the goal to develop design theory to think explicitly about their theorizing approach and select and use research methods accordingly.
Design Science Research for Information Systems (ISDSR) has received considerable attention recently. With the growing interest in ISDSR, calls continue to establish the rigor of artifact construction. In analogy to other scientific disciplines, the scientific foundation of artifact construction has been designated as IS Design Theory (ISDT) (Gregor 2006, p. 611). Although the ISDSR community has been discussing ISDTs since the early 1990s, no consensus on the definition or the componential structure of ISDTs has been reached yet. In this short article, we give an overview of the ongoing discussion on ISDTs. First, we introduce fundamental concepts of ISDT. Second, we give an overview on seminal contributions to the field of ISDTs in chronological order. Finally, we cluster the presented ISDT contributions into ISDT schools.
Prior research has identified the similarity of Action Research (AR) and Design Science Research (DSR). This paper analyses AR and DSR from several perspectives, including paradigmatic assumptions of ontology, epistemology, methodology, and ethics, their research interests, and activities. We identify that often AR does not share the paradigmatic assumptions and the research interests of DSR, that some activities in DSR are always mutually exclusive from AR, and that there may be no, little, or significant (but not total) overlaps between AR and DSR. Thus we judge that AR and DSR are decisively dissimilar. We further identify several key problems with combining AR and DSR based on the ethical requirement of researchers to identify and manage risks to research stakeholders. Management of such risks is done by careful disclosure, identifying research limitations or by choosing alternative methods than AR for accomplishing DSR.
The common understanding of design science research in information systems (DSRIS) continues to evolve. Only in the broadest terms has there been consensus: that DSRIS involves, in some way, learning through the act of building. However, what is to be built – the definition of the DSRIS artifact – and how it is to be built – the methodology of DSRIS – has drawn increasing discussion in recent years. The relationship of DSRIS to theory continues to make up a significant part of the discussion: how theory should inform DSRIS and whether or not DSRIS can or should be instrumental in developing and refining theory. In this paper, we present the exegesis of a DSRIS research project in which creating a (prescriptive) design theory through the process of developing and testing an information systems artifact is inextricably bound to the testing and refinement of its kernel theory.
Design work and design knowledge in Information Systems (IS) is important for both research and practice. Yet there has been comparatively little critical attention paid to the problem of specifying design theory so that it can be communicated, justified, and developed cumulatively. In this essay we focus on the structural components or anatomy of design theories in IS as a special class of theory. In doing so, we aim to extend the work of Walls, Widemeyer and El Sawy (1992) on the specification of information systems design theories (ISDT), drawing on other streams of thought on design research and theory to provide a basis for a more systematic and useable formulation of these theories. We identify eight separate components of design theories: (1) purpose and scope, (2) constructs, (3) principles of form and function, (4) artifact mutability, (5) testable propositions, (6) justificatory knowledge (kernel theories), (7) principles of implementation, and (8) an expository instantiation. This specification includes components missing in the Walls et al. adaptation of Dubin (1978) and Simon (1969) and also addresses explicitly problems associated with the role of instantiations and the specification of design theories for methodologies and interventions as well as for products and applications. The essay is significant as the unambiguous establishment of design knowledge as theory gives a sounder base for arguments for the rigor and legitimacy of IS as an applied discipline and for its continuing progress. A craft can proceed with the copying of one example of a design artifact by one artisan after another. A discipline cannot.
As a commentary to Juhani Iivari’s insightful essay, I briefly analyze design science research as an embodiment of three closely related cycles of activities. The Relevance Cycle inputs requirements from the contextual environment into the research and introduces the research artifacts into environmental field testing. The Rigor Cycle provides grounding theories and methods along with domain experience and expertise from the foundations knowledge base into the research and adds the new knowledge generated by the research to the growing knowledge base. The central Design Cycle supports a tighter loop of research activity for the construction and evaluation of design artifacts and processes. The recognition of these three cycles in a research project clearly positions and differentiates design science from other research paradigms. The commentary concludes with a claim to the pragmatic nature of design science.
The paper motivates, presents, demonstrates in use, and evaluates a methodology for conducting design science (DS) research in information systems (IS). DS is of importance in a discipline oriented to the creation of successful artifacts. Several researchers have pioneered DS research in IS, yet over the past 15 years, little DS research has been done within the discipline. The lack of a methodology to serve as a commonly accepted framework for DS research and of a template for its presentation may have contributed to its slow adoption. The design science research methodology (DSRM) presented here incorporates principles, practices, and procedures required to carry out such research and meets three objectives: it is consistent with prior literature, it provides a nominal process model for doing DS research, and it provides a mental model for presenting and evaluating DS research in IS. The DS process includes six steps: problem identification and motivation, definition of the objectives for a solution, design and development, demonstration, evaluation, and communication. We demonstrate and evaluate the methodology by presenting four case studies in terms of the DSRM, including cases that present the design of a database to support health assessment methods, a software reuse measure, an Internet video telephony application, and an IS planning method. The designed methodology effectively satisfies the three objectives and has the potential to help aid the acceptance of DS research in the IS discipline.
The aim of this research essay is to examine the structural nature of theory in Information Systems. Despite the importance of theory, questions relating to its form and structure are neglected in comparison with questions relating to epistemology. The essay addresses issues of causality, explanation, prediction, and generalization that underlie an understanding of theory. A taxonomy is proposed that classifies information systems theories with respect to the manner in which four central goals are addressed: analysis, explanation, prediction, and prescription. Five interrelated types of theory are distinguished: (1) theory for analyzing, (2) theory for explaining, (3) theory for predicting, (4) theory for explaining and predicting, and (5) theory for design and action. Examples illustrate the nature of each theory type. The applicability of the taxonomy is demonstrated by classifying a sample of journal articles. The paper contributes by showing that multiple views of theory exist and by exposing the assumptions underlying different viewpoints. In addition, it is suggested that the type of theory under development can influence the choice of an epistemological approach. Support is given for the legitimacy and value of each theory type. The building of integrated bodies of theory that encompass all theory types is advocated.
Within the information systems community there is growing interest in design theories. These theories are aimed to give knowledge support to design activities. Design theories are considered as theorized practical knowledge. This paper is an inquiry into the epistemology of design theories. It is an inquiry in how to justify such knowledge; the need to ground and how to ground a design theory. A distinction is made between empirical, theoretical and internal grounding. The empirical grounding has to do with the effectiveness of the application of knowledge. External theoretical grounding relates design theory to other theories. One part of this is the grounding of the design knowledge in general explanatory theories. Internal grounding means an investigation of internal warrants (e.g. as values and categories) and internal cohesion of the knowledge. Together, these different grounding processes form a coherent approach for the multi-grounding of design theory (MGDT). As illustrations some examples of design theories in IS are discussed. These are design theories concerning business interaction which are based on language action theories.
Two paradigms characterize much of the research in the Information Systems discipline: behavioral science and design science. The behavioral-science paradigm seeks to develop and verify theories that explain or predict human or organizational behavior. The design-science paradigm seeks to extend the boundaries of human and organizational capabilities by creating new and innovative artifacts. Both paradigms are foundational to the IS discipline, positioned as it is at the confluence of people, organizations, and technology. Our objective is to describe the performance of design-science research in Information Systems via a concise conceptual framework and clear guidelines for understanding, executing, and evaluating the research. In the design-science paradigm, knowledge and understanding of a problem domain and its solution are achieved in the building and application of the designed artifact. Three recent exemplars in the research literature are used to demonstrate the application of these guidelines. We conclude with an analysis of the challenges of performing high-quality design-science research in the context of the broader IS community.
Research in IT must address the design tasks faced by practitioners. Real problems must be properly conceptualized and represented, appropriate techniques for their solution must be constructed, and solutions must be implemented and evaluated using appropriate criteria. If significant progress is to be made, IT research must also develop an understanding of how and why IT systems work or do not work. Such an understanding must tie together natural laws governing IT systems with natural laws governing the environments in which they operate. This paper presents a two dimensional framework for research in information technology. The first dimension is based on broad types of design and natural science research activities: build, evaluate, theorize, and justify. The second dimension is based on broad types of outputs produced by design research: representational constructs, models, methods, and instantiations. We argue that both design science and natural science activities are needed to insure that IT research is both relevant and effective.
This paper defines an information system design theory (ISDT) to be a prescriptive theory which integrates normative and descriptive theories into design paths intended to produce more effective information systems. The nature of ISDTs is articulated using Dubin’s concept of theory building and Simon’s idea of a science of the artificial. An example of an ISDT is presented in the context of Executive Information Systems (EIS). Despite the increasing awareness of the potential of EIS for enhancing executive strategic decision-making effectiveness, there exists little theoretical work which directly guides EIS design. We contend that the underlying theoretical basis of EIS can be addressed through a design theory of vigilant information systems. Vigilance denotes the ability of an information system to help an executive remain alertly watchful for weak signals and discontinuities in the organizational environment relevant to emerging strategic threats and opportunities. Research on managerial information scanning and emerging issue tracking as well as theories of open loop control are synthesized to generate vigilant information system design theory propositions. Transformation of the propositions into testable empirical hypotheses is discussed.
In verschiedenen Forschungsprojekten haben wir mit dem Verfahren des offenen, leitfadenorientierten Expertlnneninterview gearbeitet und dabei die Erfahrung gemacht, daß wir methodisch auf einem wenig beackerten Terrain operieren mußten. Das gilt nahezu vollständig für Auswertungsprobleme. In der — spärlich vorhandenen — Literatur zu Expertlnneninterviews werden vorwiegend Fragen des Feldzugangs und der Gesprächsführung behandelt. Die Frage, wie “methodisch kontrolliertes Fremdverstehen” (vgl. Schütze u. a. 1973) im Rahmen von Expertlnneninterviews zu bewerkstelligen ist, bleibt völlig offen. Ziel dieses Artikels ist es, einige Fragen hinsichtlich der Methodik des Expertlnneninterviews zu behandeln. Das empirische Material, auf das wir uns beziehen, stammt aus Forschungsprojekten, die wir durchgeführt haben bzw. gegenwärtig bearbeitenl. Das Auswertungsverfahren, das wir vorstellen werden (s. Kap. 4), haben wir aus unserer eigenen Forschungspraxis entwickelt, die ihrerseits im Rekurs auf die Literatur zur qualitativen bzw. interpretativen Sozialforschung zustandegekommen ist.
This book is about options for inquiry: options among the paradigms—basic belief systems—that have emerged as successors to conventional positivism. Three options are explored in this book: postpositivism, on the shoulders of whose proponents the mantles of succession and of hegemony appear to have fallen, and two brash and sometimes contentious contendors, critical theory and constructivism. Although all three alternatives reject positivism, they make very different diagnoses of its problems and, therefore, offer very different remedies.
The authors critically review systems development in information systems (IS) research. Several classification schemes of research are described and systems development is identified as a developmental, engineering, and formulative type of research. A framework of research is proposed to explain the dual nature of systems development as a research methodology and a research domain in IS research. Progress in several disciplinary areas is reviewed to provide a basis to argue that systems development is a valid research methodology. A systems development research process is presented from a methodological perspective. Software engineering, the basic method is applying the systems development research methodology, is then discussed. A framework to classify IS research domain and various research methodologies in studying systems development is presented. It is suggested that systems development and empirical research methodologies are complementary to each other. It is further proposed that an integrated multidimensional and multimethodological approach will generate fruitful research results in IS research.