Principles for Knowledge Creation in Collaborative Design Science Research


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Design Science Research (DSR) advances the scientific knowledge base while at the
same time leading to research results of practical utility. Several guidelines for DSR
have been proposed to support researchers in their work. Collaborative forms of DSR
require that knowledge be created across the boundaries of the research community and
the practitioners' community. Only little research, though, has been undertaken so far
investigating the topic of knowledge creation in collaborative DSR settings. Answers to
fundamental questions are still missing: What knowledge creation processes are used?
What problems may occur during researcher-practitioner collaboration? This paper
addresses the gap in literature by taking a knowledge creation perspective on DSR.
Based on a literature review and findings from the field it proposes a set of principles
for knowledge creation in collaborative DSR.

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Principles for Knowledge Creation in Collaborative Design Science Research

  1. 1. Boris Otto, Hubert ÖsterleOrlando, FLDecember 18, 2012Principles for Knowledge Creationin Collaborative Design Science Research
  2. 2. © IWI-HSG – Orlando, FL, December 18, 2012, Bot / 2Agenda1. Motivation and Research Approach2. Knowledge Creation and Design Science Research3. Principles for Knowledge Creation in DSR4. Conclusion and Outlook
  3. 3. © IWI-HSG – Orlando, FL, December 18, 2012, Bot / 3Over the last decade Design Science Research (DSR) has evolved into awidely-applied research paradigm DSR is based on the transfer of design-oriented research principles to InformationSystems (IS) research (March and Smith 1995; Simon 1998; Walls et al. 1992) DSR results in design artifacts and design theory, aiming at advancing the scientificbody of knowledge and being useful for practice (Hevner et al. 2004; Venables 2006) Collaborative DSR projects require involvement of both researchers and practitioners(cf. Matthiassen and Nielsen 2008; van den Ven 2007) Major DSR guidelines stipulate combining knowledge and expertise from bothcommunities (e.g. Peffers et al. 2008)Little methodological guidance exists for creating knowledge in collaborativeDSR
  4. 4. © IWI-HSG – Orlando, FL, December 18, 2012, Bot / 4The research at hand addresses the issue of knowledge creation incollaborative DSR What approaches and measures are being used for knowledge creation in collaborative DSR? What problems and obstacles do researchers and practitioners encounter? What principles should be followed to overcome the obstacles in knowledge creation incollaborative DSR?Research Questions Literature analysis Expert interviews Online surveyResearch Process
  5. 5. © IWI-HSG – Orlando, FL, December 18, 2012, Bot / 5The conceptual model takes a knowledge creation perspective (Nonaka1994; Nonaka and Takeuchi 1995) of collaborative DSR
  6. 6. © IWI-HSG – Orlando, FL, December 18, 2012, Bot / 6Researchers use a variety of approaches for knowledge creation in DSRSocialization Externalization Combination InternalizationAnalysis AR, Face-to-FaceInteraction, LivingRequirements Space,Participatory Design,Scenario Building,StorytellingAR, Appreciative Inquiry,CSR, Expert Interviews,Feasibility Studies, FG,Metrics, ReviewingPractitioners Publications,Reverse Engineering,Scenario Building,Storytelling, Surveys, UserSite VisitsAR, Brainstorming,CreativityTechniquesAR, FG,SimulationDesign AR, Participatory Design,Positive Lens Design,Prototyping, ScenarioBuildingAR, Feasibility Studies,Functional Tests, FG,Scenario BuildingAR, Brainstorming,CreativityTechniques,Participatory Design,PrototypingAR, FG,SimulationEvaluation AR, Experimentation, Face-to-Face Interaction,Participatory DesignAR, CSR, ExpertInterviews, FeasibilityStudies, Functional Tests,FG, SurveysAR, ArtifactImplementation,Brainstorming,Participatory Design,PrototypingAR, FG,InformedArgument,PrototypingSimulationDiffusion AR, Experimentation,Scenario BuildingAR, Scenario Building AR, ArtifactImplementation,Brainstorming,PrototypingAR, PrototypingLegend: AR - Action Research; CSR - Case Study Research; FG - Focus Groups.
  7. 7. © IWI-HSG – Orlando, FL, December 18, 2012, Bot / 7Among the most often used approaches are Action Research, Case StudyResearch and Focus GroupsS E C IA    De    Ev    Di    Action ResearchS E C IA DeEv DiCase Study ResearchS E C IA  DeEv  DiFocus Groupscf. Action DesignResearch (Sein et al.2011)cf. Case Study Researchto justify and evaluate(Hevner et al. 2004)cf. Focus Groups in DSR(Tremblay and Hevner2010)Legend: A – Analysis; De – Design; Ev – Evaluation; Di – Diffusion; S – Socialization; E – Externalization; C – Combination; I – Internalization;  – approach is used.
  8. 8. © IWI-HSG – Orlando, FL, December 18, 2012, Bot / 8However, a set of obstacles can be identified when it comes to knowledgecreation in collaborative DSRObstacle Description Evidence in literatureO1 Lack of appropriate skills (Clark 2008), (Holmström et al. 2009),(vom Brocke et al. 2008)O2 Diverging stakeholder interests (Avital et al. 2006), (Henningson et al.2010), (Mathiassen 2002)O3 Inappropriate methods (Anggreeni and van der Voort 2008),(Avital et al. 2006), (Mohrman 2007)O4 Access to the “right” resources (Henningson et al. 2010)O5 Disconnection of artifact design and artifactimplementation(Avital et al. 2006), (Pascal et al. 2009),(Wastell et al. 2009)O6 Insufficient research capacities (Mathiassen 2002)
  9. 9. © IWI-HSG – Orlando, FL, December 18, 2012, Bot / 9Six principles are proposed for knowledge creation in collaborative DSRarePrinciple Description OperationalizationP1 Formalize shared goals  Researchers and practitioners put up a common project agreement Researchers and practitioners commonly define requirements for thesolution to be developed and the artifact to be evaluatedP2 Collaborate through action  Researchers and practitioners develop common design principles Researchers and practitioners perform joint design activitiesP3 Conduct full learning cycle  Practitioners test artifacts in real-life environments at practitioners’sites Researchers triangulate findings at multiple sitesP4 Allow for trial and error  Researchers and practitioners prepare for multiple design/test cyclesand heuristic search activitiesP5 Make significantcommitments Practitioners contribute with their resources (time, expertise, funding) Researchers and practitioners collaborate over a significant amountof timeP6 Involve complementaryroles Practitioners grant access to multiple carriers of knowledge in theirorganization Researchers provide both research and management skills
  10. 10. © IWI-HSG – Orlando, FL, December 18, 2012, Bot / 10The results lay the ground for further research Results are among the first exploring knowledge creation in collaborative DSR Limitations result from the nature of qualitative research The paper forms the baseline for methodological guidelines for researcher-practitionercollaboration in DSR Response to the demand in the so-called “Aho report” for more effectiveness in EUfunded research
  11. 11. © IWI-HSG – Orlando, FL, December 18, 2012, Bot / 11Boris OttoUniversity of St. GallenInstitute of Information 71 224 3220Your Speaker