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Management Science Seminar - What Design Science Is Not

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Wednesday 26 November 2008, 11:00
LT9, Management School

Richard Baskerville

Georgia State University

AIM (Advanced Institute for Management Research) Visiting International Fellow

Abstract: In this workshop we consider a discovery arena that encompasses terms like design science, design research, science of design and design theory. Information systems interest in the area is confused by disagreement over what these terms mean. For example, the major international conference in the area adopted the term "Design Science Research" as a broad term meant to encompass the various meanings of all of the others. This fundamental discourse is reminiscent of the long-running search for the meaning of the term "theory". When it became clear that there would never be complete agreement among management scholars on exactly what sorts of things constitute theory, Robert Sutton and Barry Shaw suggested that since agreement seemed impossible on "what theory is", the best that could be done would be to seek agreement on “what theory is not” (Sutton & Staw, 1995). Perhaps those interested in design science should seek a similar model and agree on “what design science is not”.

For the workshop, we will explore “what design science is” by seeking agreement on “what design science is not”. The workshop will take the form of a guided discussion and debate. The workshop is based on a forthcoming editorial column (Baskerville, 2008).

References

Baskerville, R. (2008). What design science is not. European Journal of Information Systems, 17(5), forthcoming.

Sutton, R. I., & Staw, B. M. (1995). What theory is not. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40(3), 371-384.

Richard L. Baskerville is a Board of Advisors Professors of Information systems and past chairman in the Department of Computer Information Systems, Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University. His research specializes in security of information systems, methods of information systems design and development, and the interaction of information systems and organizations. His interest in methods extends to qualitative research methods. Baskerville is the author of Designing Information Systems Security (J. Wiley) and more than 100 articles in scholarly journals, professional magazines, and edited books. He is Editor-in-Chief for The European Journal of Information Systems and serves on the editorial boards of Business & Information Systems Engineering (formerly Wirtschaftsinformatik), The Information Systems Journal, Journal of Information Systems Security, and the International Journal of E-Collaboration.  A Chartered Engineer, Baskerville holds degrees from the University of Maryland (B.S. summa cum laude, Management), and the London School of Economics, University of London (M.Sc., Analysis, Design and Management of Information Systems, Ph.D., Systems Analysis).

http://www.aimresearch.org

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