European Journal of Information Systems

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 84–115 | Cite as

Supporting the design of data integration requirements during the development of data warehouses: a communication theory-based approach

  • Christoph Rosenkranz
  • Roland Holten
  • Marc Räkers
  • Wolf Behrmann
Empirical Research


Data warehouses (DW) form the backbone of data integration that is necessary for analytical applications, and play important roles in the information technology landscape of many industries. We introduce an approach for addressing the fundamental problem of semantic heterogeneity in the design of data integration requirements during DW development. In contrast to ontology-driven or schema-matching approaches, which propose the automatic resolution of differences ex-post, our approach addresses the core problem of data integration requirements: understanding and resolving different contextual meanings of data fields. We ground the approach firmly in communication theory and build on practices from agile software development. Besides providing relevant insights for the design of data integration requirements, our findings point to communication theory as a sound underlying foundation for a design theory of information systems development.


common ground communication theory data integration requirements data warehouse development agile software development information systems development 



The authors would like to thank the editors and the three anonymous reviewers for their constructive feedback and suggestions that helped to considerably improve the paper. The conference audience at ICIS 2010 also contributed with valuable comments to an earlier version. In addition, we would like to thank gmbh, and especially Mr. Sven Krämer, for his help in data access and implementing the artifacts.


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Copyright information

© The OR Society 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Rosenkranz
    • 1
  • Roland Holten
    • 2
  • Marc Räkers
    • 3
  • Wolf Behrmann
    • 4
  1. 1.Faculty of Management, Economics and Social Sciences, University of CologneKölnGermany
  2. 2.Department of Economics and Business Administration, Goethe UniversityFrankfurt am MainGermany
  3. 3.zeb MünsterMünsterGermany
  4. 4.zeb FrankfurtFrankfurt am MainGermany

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