Towards a Framework for Evidence-Based and Inductive Design in Information Systems Research

  • Robert Winter
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 447)


Discussions about design science research as an alternative or at least complementary approach to the dominant descriptive research paradigm have not only taken place in information systems research, but also in organizational sciences, accounting, operations, and other business research disciplines. In contrast to the descriptive research paradigm that can be taken over from sociology and psychology in a very mature state, the problem-solving paradigm is comparably new to business research. Not only have different variants of this approach (e.g. design as search, evidence-based design, emergent design) been proposed and applied that appear to be incompatible at first sight. Descriptive research and design science research also appear to have no common ground and no synergy potentials. As a consequence, not only seem improvement and change (‘design and engineering’) often detached from phenomenon analysis and theory building. The role of ‘un-grounded’, innovative practices is also not clear. In order to provide a common ground and support a better integration of descriptive and design-oriented research in information systems, we propose a framework that is not only organized along the well-known ‘descriptive vs. prescriptive’ dimension, but also introduces a generality dimension. The four resulting quadrants ‘operations’, ‘explanations’, ‘technologies’ and ‘solutions’ allow not only to position all central objects of research, but also to position and better integrate research activities and iterations. This extends not only to ‘deductive’ design (solution search based as well as evidence-based), but also to ‘inductive’ design.


Information System Design Theory Technology Acceptance Model Abstraction Level Business Process Management 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Winter
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Information ManagementUniversity of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland

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