Extracting knowledge from within design processes: an emerging issue for IS research

Francesca Ricciardi, Marco De Marco

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroContributo a convegno


One of the main purposes of design science research is to extract at least a part of the knowledge which is produced by, or is hidden in, the design process, and that would risk to remain inaccessible to ex-post field research. During design processes, in fact, significant amounts of knowledge are usually gathered, produced and used, in different forms such as, for example, descriptions, explanations, habits, worries, prejudices, procedures or warnings; but this heritage is somewhat fragile. In effect, since the natural purpose of designing is to build something that works, design practitioners tend to consider a huge part of the knowledge produced during the process as a sort of byproduct, which is not worth significant efforts to make it deliverable, shareable or testable. Moreover, some of the actors may be willing to deliberately hide or forget some aspects of the process. As a consequence, after the design process is completed and the artifact is implemented, there is often a rapid decay of the possibilities to access much of the knowledge that was tacitly or explicitly developed during the process. Also to overcome such problems, we suggest that academic research should enhance its active involvement in the design of socio-technical systems. In our study, thanks to a model built on evolutionary epistemology, we identified 8 categories of knowledge goals for design science research. On the basis of these 8 types of possible contributions to resilient knowledge building from within the design process, we propose a sort of guideline for academic researchers engaged in design challenges, independently from the design methods or techniques they adopt, independently from what they are contributing to build, and even independently from the actual success of the final artifact. We sought to demonstrate that design research “from within” may result not only in successful innovations, such as new information systems, but also in a decisive boost to the learning performances of our scholarly community.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteProceedings of the 6th Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems (MCIS)
Numero di pagine12
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2011
Pubblicato esternamente
EventoMediterranean Conference on Information Systems (MCIS) - Limassol
Durata: 3 set 20115 set 2011


ConvegnoMediterranean Conference on Information Systems (MCIS)


  • artifact
  • design processes
  • organizational knowledge


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