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The design construct in information systems design science


McKay, J and Marshall, P and Hirschheim, R, The design construct in information systems design science, Journal of Information Technology, 27, (2) pp. 125-139. ISSN 0268-3962 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 JIT Palgrave Macmillan

DOI: doi:10.1057/jit.2012.5


This paper arose from concerns regarding the current conceptualizations of ‘design’ in the emerging literature on design science (DS) in information systems (IS). In this paper, we argue that current conceptualizations of design in IS are overly narrow, which necessarily limits what is viewed as acceptable DS research. In response we advance a more encompassing view of design. The revised view extends the current perspectives of design in the IS literature to embrace broader conceptualizations of design, which are evident in many intellectual communities outside IS where design is viewed as a critical component of both research and practice – such as management, engineering, architecture and others. In addition to the fairly common conceptualizations of design as product and design as process or action, design is also conceived as: intention; planning – including modeling and representation; communication; user experience; value; professional practice; and as service. Further, whereas the current conceptualization of design in IS views IS design knowledge as split across two paradigms, namely DS and behavioral science, in this paper we argue for a broader and more integrated view of design: one that emphasizes both the construction-centered and human-centered aspects of design in IS. Building from our broader view, we discuss some of the implications for design-oriented research in IS, and consider ways in which this human- centered perspective might impact on the context and content of design research in IS.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:design, design science, IT artifact, IS artifact, human centered design science
Research Division:Information and Computing Sciences
Research Group:Information systems
Research Field:Information systems philosophy, research methods and theory
Objective Division:Economic Framework
Objective Group:Management and productivity
Objective Field:Technological and organisational innovation
UTAS Author:Marshall, P (Professor Peter Marshall)
ID Code:81998
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:25
Deposited By:Information and Communication Technology
Deposited On:2013-01-14
Last Modified:2013-05-22

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