This editorial critically reviews design theories, kernel theories, and substantive technological theories in design science research (DSR) within information systems (IS). The review identifies four different but interrelated interpretations of “design theory” for the design product. In the case of kernel theories, it pays attention to the softening of their scientific status that undermines the status of design theories as well. Substantive technological theories refer to intermediating theories between abstract descriptive/explanatory kernel theories and design. The editorial suggests that DSR in IS (DSRIS) has great potential to contribute design-oriented, explanatory/predictive, substantive technological theories. Overall, the review illustrates excessive use of the word “theory” in DSR. This is in line with the alleged “theory fetish” of information systems.
"Editorial: A Critical Look at Theories in Design Science Research,"
Journal of the Association for Information Systems: Vol. 21
, Article 10.
Available at: https://aisel.aisnet.org/jais/vol21/iss3/10