Towards a paradigmatic shift in IS: designing for social practice
The paper elaborates on the theoretical foundation of Information System understood as a field of design science. Revisiting Hevner's et al. seminal paper , we elaborate on theoretical and conceptual shortcomings. Theoretically, we state a somehow limited perception of pragmatist thinking. Conceptually, we criticize a limited definition of the IS research field and argue in favour of an (obligatory) evaluation of IT artifacts in real world settings. To develop the design science paradigm beyond these shortcomings, we present a theoretical framework which takes the interrelation of IT artifacts and social practices as a central focus of research. Such an epistemological and ontological opening of the design science perspective leads to methodological implications. We exemplify methodological shifts by taking the Canonical Action Research (CAR) method as a problematic example. Design probes are discussed as a method which holds considerable promises under a reframed paradigm. The consequences of the theoretical and methodological reflections for a socially relevant IS design science are discussed finally.