Overview of Design Science Research
Drawing heavily from Kuhn (1996; first published in 1962) and Lakatos (1978), research can be
very generally defined as an
that contributes to the
. In the case of design science research, all or part of the phenomenon may be
as opposed to naturally occurring. The
is typically a
set of behaviors of some entity
(ies) that is found
by the researcher or by a group—a research community.
in most western research communities is
valid (true) knowledge that allows prediction
of the behavior of some aspect of the phenomenon. Thus research must lead to contribution of knowledge that is
. For this contribution to be valued and accepted by a research community through its publication as research paper(s) or patent(s), it must also be something that is
to the research community (Gregor and Hevner, 2013; Wilson,
2002). The set of activities a research community considers appropriate to the production of understanding (knowledge) are its research methods or techniques. Historically, some research communities have been observed to have nearly universal agreement on the phenomenon of interest and the research methods for investigating it; we term these
communities. Other research communities are bound into a nominal community by overlap in sets of phenomena of interest and/or overlap in methods of investigation. We term these
is an excellent example of a multi-paradigmatic community.
Design means "to invent and bring into being" (Webster's Dictionary and Thesaurus, 1992).
Thus, design deals with creating some new artifact that does not exist. If the knowledge required for creating such an artifact already exists then the design is
; otherwise, it is
. Innovative design may call for the conduct of research (design science research) to fill the knowledge gaps and result in research publication(s) or patent(s).
Design Science and Design Science Research