Scientific progress of design research artefacts


In parallel to widely accepted behavioural research, Design Research (DR) has emerged in Information Systems. Nonetheless, the debate about the scientificity of DR is still ongoing. In the course of this

debate, the role of scientific progress has hardly been discussed. But, doubtlessly, scientific progress

is regarded as one of the main aims of science; science can even be defined by scientific progress.

Philosophy of science has therefore developed a variety of concepts for scientific progress mostly

adapted to explanatory and/or predictive theories. Nonetheless, the output of DR differs from those

theories; therefore, concepts developed cannot be applied to DR without further ado. In this paper, we

propose a first concept for scientific progress of DR artefacts. Because of the complexity of the field

we firstly restrict to the research question: What is scientific progress of DR artefacts? Progress is

commonly defined as a transition from step A to B whereby B is “better” than A. The aim of our research is to identify criteria for concretizing what is “better” in the context of DR and to define criteria of progressive DR artefacts. We thereby identified the following five criteria: utility, internal consistency, external consistency, scope, and efficiency.

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