What Kinds of Artifacts Are We Designing? An Analysis of Artifact Types and Artifact Relevance in IS Journal Publications

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8463)


In this paper, selected recent IS journal publications with an emphasis on design science are analyzed in regard to the types of artifacts which are designed (abstract designs or instantiations? / technical or social emphasis?). The findings are then connected to a recently proposed distinction of conceptual and instrumental relevance of research outcomes and discussed, whether the type of artifact matches the appropriate type of relevance. It is shown that artifacts with a technical emphasis may fall into a different relevance category than artifacts with a social emphasis. Future IS design science research projects can benefit from considering the “right” type of artifact relevance in the light of the type of artifact designed and doing so in an explicit way.


artifacts abstract artifacts technical artifact social artifact sociotechnical artifact relevance conceptual relevance instrumental relevance 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Avenier, M.-J.: Shaping a Constructivist View of Organizational Design Science. Organization Studies 31(9/10), 1229–1255 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Benbasat, I., Zmud, R.W.: The Identity Crisis within the Is Discipline: Defining and Communicating the Discipline’s Core Properties. MIS Quarterly 27(2), 183–194 (2003)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Checkland, P.: Soft systems methodology: a 30-year retrospective. John Wiley, Chichester (1999)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gill, G., Bhattacherjee, A.: Whom Are We Informing? Issues and Recommenda-tions for MIS Research from an Informing Sciences Perspective. MIS Quarterly 33, 217–235 (2009)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gill, T.G., Hevner, A.R.: A Fitness-Utility Model for Design Science Research. ACM Trans. Manage. Inf. Syst. 4(2), 5:1–5:24 (2013)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gray, P.: Introduction to the Debate on the Core of the Information Systems Field. Communications of the Association for Information Systems 12(1) (2003)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gregor, S., Hevner, A.R.: Positioning and Presenting Design Science Research for Maximum Impact. MIS Quarterly 37(2), 337–A6 (2013)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gregor, S., Jones, D.: The Anatomy of a Design Theory. Journal of the Association for Information Systems 8(5), 312–335 (2007)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hevner, A.: A Three Cycle View of Design Science Research. Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems 19(2), 87–92 (2007)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hevner, A., et al.: Design Science in Information Systems Research. MIS Quarterly 28(1), 75–105 (2004)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hirschheim, R., et al.: Information Systems Development and Data Modeling Conceptual and Philosophical Foundations. Cambridge Univ. Pr. (2008)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Iivari, J.: A Paradigmatic Analysis of Information Systems As a Design Science. Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems 19(2), 39–64 (2007)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Klein, H.K., Lyytinen, K.: The Poverty of Scientism in Information Systems. In: Mumford, E., et al. (eds.) Research Methods in Information Systems, pp. 131–162. Elsevier, Amsterdam (1985)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kock, N., et al.: IS Research Relevance Revisited: Subtle Accomplishment, Unful-filled Promise, or Serial Hypocrisy? Communications of the Association for Information Systems 8, 1 (2002)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kuechler, W., Vaishnavi, V.: A Framework for Theory Development in Design Science Research: Multiple Perspectives. Journal of the Association for Informa-tion Systems 13(6), 395–423 (2012)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lowry, P., et al.: Evaluating Journal Quality and the Association for Information Systems Senior Scholars’ Journal Basket Via Bibliometric Measures: Do Expert Journal Assessments Add Value? MIS Quarterly 37(4), 993–1012 (2013)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mumford, E.: Designing human systems for new technology: the ETHICS method. Manchester Business School, (Manchester) (1983)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nicolai, A.T., Seidl, D.: That’s Relevant! Different Forms of Practical Relevance in Management Science. Organization Studies 31(9/10), 1257–1285 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nunamaker Jr., J.F., Briggs, R.O.: Toward a broader vision for Information Sys-tems. ACM Trans. Manage. Inf. Syst. 2(4), 20:1–20:12 (2012)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Nunamaker, J. J.F., Chen, M.: Systems Development in Information Systems Research. In: Proceedings of the 23rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Kailua-Kona, pp. 631–640 (1990)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Reinecke, K., Bernstein, A.: Knowing What a User Likes: A Design Science Ap-proach to Interfaces that Automatically Adapt to Culture. MIS Quarterly 37(2), 427–453 (2013)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Roquilly, C.: Control Over Virtual Worlds by Game Companies: Issues and Rec-ommendations. MIS Quarterly 35(3), 653–671 (2011)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Somogyi, E.K., Galliers, R.D.: Applied Information Technology: from Data Proc-essing to Strategic Information Systems. Journal of Information Technology 2(1), 30–41 (1987)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Thomas, D., Bostrom, R.: Vital Signs for Virtual Teams: An Empirically Devel-oped Trigger Model for Technology Adaptation Interventions. MIS Quarterly 34(1), 115–142 (2010)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    VanderMeer, D., et al.: A Cost-Based Database Request Distribution Technique for Online e-Commerce Applications. MIS Quarterly 36(2), 479–507 (2012)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Computer Science and Business Information SystemsUniversity of Duisburg-EssenEssenGermany

Personalised recommendations