Information systems research is focused on creating knowledge which can be applied in organizations. Design science research, which specifically aims at applying existing knowledge to solve interesting and relevant business problems, has been steadily gaining support in information systems research. However, design science research is not the only design-oriented research framework available. Accordingly, this raises the question of whether there is something to learn between the different approaches. This paper contributes to answering this question by comparing design science research with the constructive research approach. The conclusion is that the two approaches are similar and compatible, save for details in practical requirements and partly underlying philosophical assumptions. The main finding that arises from the comparison is, however, that there is a potential problem in claiming knowledge contribution from evaluation of the utility of an artifact. That is, utility-based evaluation often builds the argument on adoption of the artifact, assuming that adoption and utility in general validates also claims to knowledge contribution. We show that this mode of evaluation has philosophical and practical problems that need addressing in further research.
Liiketaloudellinen Aikakauskirja, 2014, Issue 3-4, p. 206-234
Design science research; Design research; Design-oriented research; The constructive research approach; Epistemology; Pragmatism; Utility-based evaluation; Evaluation of artifacts