Design science research in information systems and software systems engineering


Design science research in information systems and software systems engineering


Roel Wieringa

University of Twente,

The Netherland


not specified

Intended audience

Researchers planning to do empirical work in the context of a technical research project. The audience usually is a mix of junior as well as senior researchers from academia and industry, confronted with the need to validate their technology empirically. They will obtain an understanding how to guard the relevance of their research for practice by doing problem-oriented research, as well as how to design research to validate new technology in  a methodologically sound way.


The last ten years has seen a surge of interest in design science research in information systems, and of empirical research in software engineering. In this talk I present a framework for design science in information and software systems engineering that shows how in design science research, we iterate over designing new artifacts and empirically investigating these artifacts. To be relevant, the artifacts should potentially contribute to organizational goals, and to be empirically sound, research to validate new artifacts should provide insight into the effects of using these artifacts in an organizational context. The logic of both of these activities, design and empirical research, is that of rational decision making.  I show how this logic can be used to structure our technical and empirical research goals and questions, as well as how to structure reports about our technical or empirical research. This gives us checklists for the design cycle used in technical research and for the empirical cycle used  in empirical research.  Finally, I will discuss in more detail what the role of theories in design science research is, and how we use theory to state research questions and to generalize the research results.