The Role and Impact of Descriptive Theories in Creating Knowledge in Design Science

Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 654)


In this paper, we clarify the role of descriptive knowledge in creating prescriptive knowledge with design science research. We demonstrate the connection by presenting an approach that utilizes kernel theories produced by the grounded theory research methodology in the creation of meta-level design science artefacts. These meta-level artefacts can be used to inform the design processes of situational artefacts, such as instantiations of software and services. We demonstrate and evaluate the approach further by using it to frame an ongoing research project that creates a meta-artefact to address issues in smart city service design.


Design science Kernel theory Grounded theory Descriptive knowledge Prescriptive knowledge Meta-artefact 



The work of the first author was supported by the Ulla Tuominen Foundation. This work was supported, in part, by Science Foundation Ireland grant 13/RC/2094 and co-funded under the European Regional Development Fund through the Southern & Eastern Regional Operational Programme to Lero - the Irish Software Research Centre (


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lero, The Irish Software Research CentreGlasnevin, Dublin 9Ireland
  2. 2.Dublin City UniversityGlasnevin, Dublin 9Ireland

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