Detailed information about the course

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Design Science Research in Information Systems


2-3 May 2024


Christine Legner, Stephanie Missonier and Yash Shreshta (UNIL), Adrian Holzer (UNINE)


Professor Stefan Morana, Universität des Saarlandes, Allemagne

Examples of design science research projects by Christine Legner, UNIL Stephanie Missonier, UNIL Adrian Holzer, UNINE


Information and communication technologies (ICT) have a transformative impact on businesses and society. Organizations, individuals, and the entire society are challenged with the effective design, delivery, use, and impact of ICT. The information systems (IS) discipline addresses these challenges and investigates the phenomena that emerge when the technological and the social system interact (Lee, 2001). Design science research (DSR) is a research paradigm that has received growing attention in the last decade in the IS field. Design science research provides answers to questions relevant to real-world problems via the scientifically grounded creation of innovative solutions. Design knowledge is about means-end relationships between problem- and solution spaces (Venable, 2006). DSR contributions can appear in very different forms, such as the situated implementation of an artifact in the form of software instantiations, constructs, models, and methods (Hevner et al., 2004) or a design theory (Gregor & Hevner, 2013).

Course Objectives:

The course aims at introducing PhD students to the field of DSR in IS. It provides insights into multiple perspectives of DSR and cover theoretical foundation of DSR, the different contributions of DSR as well as methodologies and activities to conduct DSR. With this knowledge, students will be able to assess the rigor and relevance of DSR in general and be prepared to plan and execute their own DSR projects successfully.

More specifically, participants will

  • understand DSR as a research paradigm and its positioning in the IS field
  • explore different types of knowledge and contributions delivered by DSR
  • discuss generic and specific DSR processes
  • setup a small DSR project in a team effort and get hands-on method know-how in the major DSR activities of problem analysis, artifact creation, and evaluation
  • get to know templates & tools that can support executing DSR projects
  • learn about best practices for publishing DSR projects in IS conferences and journals.

The course will be complemented with group exercises to analyze a specific problem, outline a solution, and propose an evaluation concept.


The course is organized as a two-day onsite course, with two additional online sessions for introduction and recap.

Part I - Introduction session "Foundations of Design Science Research" (online, April / tbd, 2h)


Part II - Two-day course "Design Science Research" (May 2nd and 3rd, UNIL)

  • problem space

  • solution space

  • evaluation and write-up

  • exemplary design science projects from IS researchers at UNIL 


Part III - Closing session (online, May / tbd, 2h)  


University of Lausanne


PhD students can validate 3 ECTS for this course. The grading is composed of three elements:

1. Individual pre-assignment (10%):

read a set of assigned papers and deliver a 1-page document as summary of a selected paper

2. Group work (80%):

work in random assignment teams, deliver three group deliverables for a joint DSR project and present their results to the class 


3. Individual participation (10%):

contribute actively to the course and the discussions of the content



Course material is provided as presentation slides (all sessions), and a list of pre-reading papers. 

The design research books by Hevner and Chatterjee (2010), Vaishnavi and Kuechler (2007) as well as vom Brocke, Hevner, and Maedche (2020) are useful material for this seminar.



Deadline for registration 30.03.2024
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