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Conceptualizing Design Knowledge in IS Research – A Review and Taxonomy of Design Knowledge Properties

2022-01-07 , Dickhaut, Ernestine , Janson, Andreas , Leimeister, Jan Marco

Design science projects are of great interest in information systems (IS) research. Typically, design-oriented projects generate valuable design knowledge through the design and possible instantiation of artifacts. Although designing novel artifacts and accumulating design knowledge is common practice in IS, there is still limited shared knowledge about the distinctive characteristics of design knowledge to facilitate its accumulation. To address this issue, we develop a design knowledge taxonomy and contribute to a deeper understanding of design knowledge properties. The taxonomy is grounded on a systematic literature review, followed by a combination of empirical-to-conceptual and conceptual-to-empirical iterations. We evaluate the taxonomy by interviewing six domain experts and demonstrate its practical application and utility. Thus, the taxonomy consists of key dimensions and characteristics of design knowledge and contributes to a better scientific understanding of its characteristics. Practitioners can use the taxonomy as an instrument to further understand, design, and accumulate design knowledge.