Design Research

Schedule and location

Wednesday April 22nd - Thursday April 23rd
The seminar will be held in Aalto University's Main building (Runeberginkatu 14-16), room A-308.
You may find the campus map here


Registration is open February 20h - April 14th


Professor Samir Chatterjee, Claremont Graduate University, USA.
Professor Sandeep Purao, Penn State University, USA
Professor Matti Rossi, Aalto University School of Business, Finland.


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


Design is a central activity of information systems researchers and IS practitioners are the ultimate beneficiaries and evaluators of research in the information systems field. Organizations and individuals acquire and implement information systems to make themselves more productive, that is, to change existing inefficiencies into preferred ones. It is difficult to pin down a definition of design. However Charles Eames offered the following: “A plan for arranging elements in such a way as to best accomplish a particular purpose”. Others say that design refers to the application of synthetic and analytic process to plan and create new objects. Design is often thought of in the context of creativity or invention. Design research can indeed result in the production of beautiful, useful, and better artifacts. Design research is distinctly different from explanation research. The goal of explanation research is to discover, understand, and explain phenomena associated with natural phenomenon or information systems. Explanation research methods and traditions are based on natural science. The goal of design research, on the other hand, is to invent methods and processes for designing and developing effective and efficient information systems. The methods and traditions of design research are based on design science and sciences of the artificial (Herbert A. Simon, Sciences of the Artificial, third edition, MIT Press, 1996). Design research paradigm is fundamentally a problem solving paradigm.
This 2-day workshop is designed to provide the attendees an introduction to a vast array of frameworks, methods and techniques by which they can learn to conduct design research to solve problems. The participants will be divided into groups. Each group will collaborate together and go through different phases of problem formulation, design IT artifact(s), evaluation metrics and techniques, share their findings and contributions.

Detailed Program

Day 1
09:00     Introduction to workshop and logistics (Matti Rossi)
09:15     Understanding Design Research in IS (Samir Chatterjee)
09:45     Some exemplars of DSR (Samir Chatterjee)
10:15     Coffee break
10:30     Action Design Research Method (Sandeep Purao)
11:00     Some exemplars of ADR (Sandeep Purao)
11:30     People & Design, Software-Intensive Systems (Samir Chatterjee)
12:00     Lunch
13:15     Group Formation, Task and Activities (Matti Rossi)
13:30     Group Session 1 (Samir Chatterjee, Sandeep Purao)
               Prolem Formulation
14:00     Group Session 2
               Notion of IT artifact to solve the problem - brainstorming
15:00     Coffee break
15:15     Evaluation - metrics and methods (Samir Chatterjee, Sandeep Purao)
16:00     Background literature search - ensuring novelty of work (Samir Chatterjee)
16:30     Close
Day 2
09:00     Theory Building Process on Design Theory (Samir Chatterjee)
10:15     Coffee break
10:30     Group Session 3 (Samir Chatterjee, Sandeep Purao, Matti Rossi)
               Evaluation and Showing Efficacy and Utility
11:30     Generalizing and Presenting Findings (Sandeep Purao)
12:00     Lunch
13:00     Group Session 4 (Samir Chatterjee, Sandeep Purao, Matti Rossi)
               Project findings and presentation
14:00     Reflections and Dialogues
14:30     Close

Credit points

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


Recommended readings:
  • A. Hevner, S. T. March, J, Park, S. Ram, “Design Science in Information Systems Research”, MIS-Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 1, pp. 75-105, March 2004. 
  • Ken Peffers, Tuure Tuunanen, Marcus A. Rothenberger, Samir Chatterjee, "A Design Science Research Methodology for Information Systems Research", Journal of Management Information Systems (JMIS), Vol. 24, No. 3, pp. 45-77, Winter 2007-8. 
  • Action Design Research by Maung K. Sein, Ola Henfridsson, Sandeep Purao, Matti Rossi, and Rikard Lindgren, Vol 28, No. 1, MIS Quarterly 2011
  • S. Chatterjee, “Writing my Next Design-Science Research Master-Piece: But How Do I make a Theoretical Contribution to DSR?” in Proc., ECIS 2015, Munster, Germany, May 26-29, 2015.
Useful additional references:
  • Alan Hevner and Samir Chatterjee. Design Research in Information Systems: Theory & Practice. Springer Publisher Inc. May 2010. ISBN: 978-1-4419-5652-1.
  • Bill Moogridge. Designing Interactions. 2007 MIT Press. ISBN-13: 978-0-262-13474-3.

Registration fee

This seminar is free-of-charge for member organization's staff and their PhD students. For others the participation fee is 750 €. The participation fee includes access to the event and the event materials. Lunch and dinner are not included.