Action Design Research Workshop

Schedule and location

Thursday November 21st - Friday November 22nd.

Aalto University School of Business (Ekonominaukio 1, Espoo) room V 2002 


Registration is open until November 14th.


Professor Maung Sein, University of Agder, Norway.

Professor Matti Rossi, Aalto University School of Business, Finland.

Assistant Professor Amir Haj-Bolouri, University West, Sweden.


Professor Matti Rossi, Aalto University School of Business, Finland.


This two-day workshop aims at providing researchers engaging in design research in organizations with hands-on guidance on using Action Design Research in their own projects. The method is based on the recognition that IS research always has a dual mission, namely to (a) add to existing theory, and (b) to produce knowledge to support IS practitioners in solving current and anticipated problems. We can achieve this by promoting research, which is based on existing problems in practical settings, aimed at improving the practice and solving problems through employing information systems.

The main part of the workshop will be devoted to the cultivation of research ideas and projects of the workshop participants. We will engage in dialogue with the participants and ask people to share their experiences and challenges in using this approach. Participants are required to send in a brief description of the projects they wish to develop and/or discuss at the workshop.

The workshop will consist of the following parts:

Part 1: ADR lectures (engaging practitioners, BIE cycles, theorizing etc.)

Part 2: Workshop and project clinic

Part 3: Debates and discussions on interweaving research and practice

Background reading

Sein, M.K., O. Henfridsson, S. Purao, M. Rossi, R. Lindgren. 2011. Action Design Research. MIS Quarterly 35(1) 37-56.

Haj-Bolouri, A., Purao, S., Rossi, M., & Bernhardsson, L. (2017). Action Design Research as a Method-in-Use: Problems and Opportunities. Paper presented at the The 12th International Conference in Design Science Research in Information Technology and Systems. Karlsruhe, Germany. 30 MAY-1 JUNE, 2017.

Detailed Program

Day 1                                 Thursday 21.11.2019

9 – 9:30

Introduction to the workshop, practical details


9:30 – 10:30

Intro to Action Design Research


10:30 – 10:45

Coffee break


10:45 – 12:00

Presentations of ADR best practises through exemplar projects


12:00 – 13:15



13:15 – 14:30

Workshop part 1:

Setting up groups and tasks, start working


14:30 – 15:00

Coffee break


15:00 – 16:00

Workshop part 2: Working on own projects



16:30 – 17:30

ADR Reflection at local microbrevery


18:00 ->

Dinner at own expense

We will provide a list of places nearby and some of the local students will help

Day 2                                 Friday 22.11.2019

9 – 10

Outputs of ADR: design theorizing


10:00 – 10:15

Coffee break


10:15 –12:00

Workshop part 3: Project presentations


12:00 – 13:00



13:00 – 14:00

Workshop part 3: Wrap-up and presentations


Workshop tasks

First session

Theme: Initializating a project

Organize the workgroup:

-       assign someone to do a write-up

-       prepare to present the write-up in the end shortly

Preparation of a project:

-       What are the key tasks and critical issues?

-       Experiences of problems and what went well?

  • Good practises
  • Potential crises

-       How to compose the project group?

-       How to get the commitment from the client?

-       What is the promise for the client?


Second session

Theme: BIE, evaluation and theorizing about the project

-       Which kind of BIE you are doing?

-       Outline what kind of artefact, intervention and evaluation you expect to do

-       What do you expect as a result from the project?

-       As artefact?

-       Theoretical contribution?

-       How are you going to report the results

  • To client
  • To scientific audience


Third session

Short presentations of projects and lessons learned by the teams

-       5 minute summary of each project that you have defined

-       5 minutes for key lessons learned from groups


Credit points

Doctoral students participating in the seminar can obtain 2 credit points. This requires participating all of the days and completing the assignments.

Registration fee

This seminar is free-of-charge for member organization's staff and their PhD students. For others the participation fee is 400 €. The participation fee includes access to the event and the event materials. Lunch and dinner are not included.