Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems


Design science research (DSR) is a legitimate research paradigm in the discipline of information systems (IS). One prominent DSR method is Action Design Research (ADR). The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the ADR method based on empirical experiences from a research project. We have found that the ADR method is highly relevant to an applied discipline such as IS. It creates a bridge between the organisational perspective and the technical perspective of the IT artefact. Moreover, the ADR method supports the dual mission of developing theory and producing knowledge that supports IS practitioners. The findings also include empirical evidence pointing towards a lack of prescriptive guidance with respect to the challenges such as: how to identify appropriate evaluation strategies, how to identify the abstraction mechanisms required to move from the specific-and-unique to the generic-and-abstract, and how to formulate design principles. Although we found adequate support at the macro level, the ADR method needs more detailed support for operationalisation in practice. To address this issue, we propose a number of guidelines that either seek to improve the ADR method or support those who apply ADR.