DESI ONLINE SEMINAR
University researchers’ engagement with industry can lead to benefits for individuals, organizations and society and can also be an opportunity to develop relevant, valid and reliable knowledge that is publishable in academic journals. Understanding of how these dual outcomes can be achieved, however, is a matter worthy of further attention.
Researchers-industry teams can develop a problem solution that addresses an immediate need or opportunity, but can also be applied more broadly, as a generic design. The generic design may involve a new artifact, such as a method, algorithm, intervention or product, as well as the knowledge of how to build and use the artifact. “How to” or prescriptive knowledge is developed, rather than solely descriptive knowledge, that says “what is”. The term “design science research” is used for the paradigm that focuses on research of this type and it now has an extensive literature. For example, van Aken (2004) showed how technological rules that capture design knowledge could be developed in management. Hevner et al (2004) gave the paradigm legitimacy in information systems. Process models exist for conducting design science research (e.g. Peffers et al 2008) and action design science research (Sein et al 2011). The Journal of Operations Management has opened a design science department (see van Aken, Chandrasekaran and Halman 2016).
Gregor and Hevner (2013) discuss the presentation of design science research, yet this work primarily addresses “traditional” design science research in which an artifact is developed by the researcher. The challenge taken up in the current seminar is to depict a broader range of approaches to developing design knowledge. The approaches discussed, with supporting examples, include: 1) traditional design science research in which an artifact is developed; 2) design-oriented behavioural research (e.g. experiments, case studies); 3) compilation/evidence-based reviews; and 4) design theory development.
Gregor, S. and Hevner, A. (2013). Positioning and Presenting Design Science Research for Maximum Impact, Management Information Systems Quarterly, 37, 2, 337-355.
Hevner, A., March, S., Park, J., and Ram, S. (2004). Design Science in Information Systems Research, Management Information Systems Quarterly, 28, 1, 75-105.
Peffers, K., Tuunanen, T., Rothenberger, M., and Chatterjee, S. (2008). A Design Science Research Methodology for Information Systems Research, Journal of Management Information Systems, 24, 3, 45-77.
Sein, M., Henfredsson, O., Purao, S., Rossi, M., and Lindgren, R. (2011). Action Design Research, Management Information Systems Quarterly, 35, 1, 37-56.
van Aken, J. (2004). Management Research Based on the Paradigm of the Design Sciences: The Quest for Field‐tested and Grounded Technological Rules. Journal of Management Studies, 41, 2, 219-246.
van Aken, J., Chandrasekaran, A., and Halman, J. (2016). Conducting and Publishing Design Science Research: Inaugural Essay of the Design Science Department of the Journal of Operations Management. Journal of Operations Management, 47, 1-8.
Shirley Gregor AO is an Emeritus Professor of Information Systems at the Australian National University and an Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland. She spent a number of years in the computing industry in Australia and the United Kingdom before beginning an academic career. She has led several large applied research projects funded by the Meat Research Corporation, the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, the Australian Research Council and AusAID. She has published in outlets including MIS Quarterly, Journal of Management Information Systems, Journal of the Association of Information Systems, Information Systems Research, European Journal of Information Systems and Information Technology & People. Her papers on theory and design science research are highly cited.
She was a Senior Editor for MIS Quarterly 2008-2010 and was Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of the Association of Information Systems from September, 2010 to September, 2013.
Professor Gregor was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honour’s list in June 2005. She received a DESRIST Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 for contributions to design science research in information systems and technology.