Journal of the Association for Information Systems


We develop principles that facilitate socially inclusive design-oriented research with marginalized groups. Building on the recognition that the research process must be informed by theoretical perspectives about social inclusion, our effort begins with an empirical investigation of a multiyear research project that designed several IT-based solutions for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We treat the efforts to design each solution as a “case,” capture primary data from multiple sources, and analyze it in light of three facets of social inclusion drawn from prior work: self-determination, belongingness, and social capital. The findings are interpreted to derive five principles for a socially inclusive design-oriented research process: (1) respecting multi-perspective problem ownership and integrated solution design, (2) surfacing emic contributions to guide artifact design, (3) leveraging the support network to shape artifact design and refine research conduct, (4) customizing design-evaluate cycles with inclusive practices, and (5) pursuing authenticity in research collaborations. We elaborate each principle with connections to different facets of social inclusion, guidelines suggested by our empirical investigation, and a mapping against contemporary design-oriented research approaches. The five principles suggest key directions to facilitate a socially inclusive design-oriented research process when working with marginalized groups. The paper concludes with a discussion of implications for IS scholars, and pointers for using design-oriented approaches for greater social inclusion of marginalized populations.




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