- The behavioural science paradigm seeks to develop and verify theories that understand or predict humans and organisational behaviour (Hevner et al., 2004, p. 77). Such research aims at understanding reality by developing a set of concepts which are used in higher order constructions – laws, models, and theories (March & Smith, 1995, p. 253). On the other hand, the design research paradigm seeks to create and evaluate an artefact intended to solve identiﬁed organisational problems within the IS ﬁeld ( Hevner et al., 2004, p. 77).
- The design research paradigm seeks to create and evaluate an artefact intended to solve identiﬁed organisational problems within the IS ﬁeld ( Hevner et al., 2004, p. 77). In a nutshell, the behavioural research paradigm stresses ‘what is reality’ while the design research paradigm stresses the ‘utility of IS artefact’ (Carlsson, 2006, p. 194 ).
- In order to utilize this paradigm, Peffers et al. (2008) proposed a methodology for the production and presentation of design research in IS. Basically, this methodology may be seen as a guideline for effective design research. It aims to provide a commonly accepted framework for carrying out design research and a mental model for its presentation. It may also help with the recognition and legitimization of design research and its objectives, processes, and outputs, and it should help researchers to present research with reference to a commonly understood framework, rather than justifying the research paradigm on an ad hoc basis with each new paper (p. 48).
- The notion of artefact is qualiﬁed as more likely to be an idea, practice or partial product than a ready-for-business-use IS (Hevner et al., 2004, p. 83).
++Hevner’s Guidelines (Hevner et al., 2004)
Hevner et al. have presented a set of guidelines for design science research within the discipline of Information Systems. Design science research requires the creation of an innovative, purposeful artifact for a special problem domain. The artifact must be evaluated in order to ensure its utility for the specified problem. In order to form a novel research contribution, the artifact must either solve a problem that has not yet been solved, or provide a more effective solution. Both the construction and evaluation of the artifact must be done rigorously, and the results of the research presented effectively both to technology-oriented and management-oriented audiences
(1) Design as an artifact:
Design-science research must produce a viable artifact in the form of a construct, a model, a method, or an instantiation.
(2) Problem relevance:
The objective of design-science research is to develop technology-based solutions to important and relevant business problems.
(3) Design evaluation:
The utility, quality, and efficacy of a design artifact must be rigorously demonstrated via well-executed evaluation methods.
(4) Research contributions:
Effective design-science research must provide clear and verifiable contributions in the areas of the design artifact, design foundations, and/or design methodologies.
(5) Research rigor.
Design-science research relies upon the application of rigorous methods in both the construction and evaluation of the design artifact.
(6) Design as a search process:
The search for an effective artifact requires utilizing available means to reach desired ends while satisfying laws in the problem environment.
(7) Communication of research:
Design-science research must be presented effectively both to technology-oriented as well as management-oriented audiences.
++Peffer’s DSRM (Peffer et al., 2008)
A scientific methodology may be deﬁned as a system of explicit rules and procedures upon which research is based and against which claims for knowledge are evaluated (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 1997, p. 13). Peffers et al. (2008)’s design research methodology consists of the following six activity:
(1) Problem identiﬁcation and motivation.
In the ﬁrst step of the research, a speciﬁc research problem should be deﬁned and the value of a solution should be justiﬁed. Therefore, the research has to demonstrate knowledge of the current state of the art and the relevance of the identiﬁed problem.
(2) Deﬁnition of the objectives for a solution.
The second step infers the objectives of a solution from the problem deﬁnition and knowledge of what is possible and feasible.
(3) Design and development.
In the third step, artefacts are created. Such artefact are potentially concept-constructs, models, methods, instantiations or new properties of technical, social, and/or information resources.
The fourth step of the methodology demonstrates the use of the artefact to solve the problem. This could involve its use in experimentation, simulation, case study, proof, or other appropriate activity.
The ﬁfth step, namely, evaluation, observes and measures how well the artefact supports a solution to the problem. This activity involves comparing the objectives of a solution to results observed through the use of the artefact in the methodological demonstration. It requires knowledge of relevant metrics and analysis techniques.
The last step, communication, refers to dissemination of the new knowledge obtained by the research in terms of, i.e. dissertations or journal articles (Peffers et al., 2008, pp. 52–56). In the following section, methodological aspects of the selected research were analyzed according to these guidelines.