The parallels between design science research and various types of qualitative research as well as the synergies between the two research paradigms have been pointed out in many recent design science research in IS (DSRIS) papers. Commonly, for example, a qualitative research method, action research, has been used or proposed for validation of a DSRIS artifact. Building on insights into the similarities of the two methodologies, we have surveyed the qualitative research literature in search of techniques from that area that could be applicable to theory construction and refinement in DSRIS. We have found four techniques widely used in theory construction in qualitative research that are immediately applicable to DSRIS, thus leveraging the work in an older discipline for the benefit of DSRIS. In addition we explicate the similarity between qualitative research and DSRIS in a more detailed manner than has been done previously.
Kuechler, Bill; Park, Eun Hee; and Vaishnavi, Vijay, "Formalizing Theory Development in IS Design Science Research: Learning from Qualitative Research" (2009). AMCIS 2009 Proceedings. Paper 486.