Design Research seen as Applied Science capable of theorizing the IT Artifact

Francesca Ricciardi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper suggests that there are two main reasons why Design Oriented / Design Science Research is hardly accepted in mainstream (i.e. behaviorist and interpretive) Information Systems studies: (i) Information Systems studies have built their disciplinary identity by adhering to Social Science studies, and by deliberately abandoning technology-centred, engineering-like activities; and (ii) Design Research, because of its epistemological an methodological bases, tends to provide outcomes which are hardly usable by the mainstream IS research. This paper seeks to demonstrate that these two problems could and should be over-come, and provides some concrete proposals to fine-tune the epistemological un-derpinnings of Design Research, and to enrich its outcomes with theory building and/or theory testing contributions, in order to make Design Research compatible and synergic with both behaviorist and interpretive Information Systems research. This paper suggests that such disciplinary evolution could play a pivotal role in the struggle against two harmful weaknesses of today’s mainstream IS academic production, and namely: (a) lack of applied research, and (b) lack of theories on the IT artifact.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the VIII Conference of the Italian Chapter of AIS
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventConference of the Italian Chapter of AIS (ItAIS) - Roma
Duration: 7 Oct 20118 Oct 2011


ConferenceConference of the Italian Chapter of AIS (ItAIS)


  • design oriented research
  • design science
  • information systems studies


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