Design science research is a fundamental paradigm for the information systems discipline. While numerous studies developed design knowledge in the last decades, it is oftentimes questioned whether and how design knowledge relates to theory, whether design knowledge is revisited, and how it accumulates.
Published in the flagship Journal of the Association for Information Systems (JAIS), the publication Accumulating Design Knowledge: A Mechanisms-Based Approach provides first empirically-grounded replies. The study by Hannes Rothe (Freie Universität Berlin), Lauri Wessel (University of Bremen), and Ana Paula Barquet (Technical University Berlin) is the first to theorize the process of knowledge accumulation in design science research. It introduces three mechanisms, namely injection, folding, and enhancement, that help explaining different patterns of knowledge creation over time. The study followed three entrepreneurial ventures to derive mechanisms of knowledge accumulation before revisiting two streams of published design science research studies using text mining and information networks.
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.
Link to the article: https://aisel.aisnet.org/jais/vol21/iss3/1
Rothe, Hannes; Wessel, Lauri; and Barquet, Ana Paula (2020) “Accumulating Design Knowledge: A Mechanisms-Based Approach,” Journal of the Association for Information Systems: Vol. 21 : Iss. 3 , Article 1.
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