Emergence in Design Science Research

Michael Klesel, Jörg Henseler

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Designing artifacts is a pivotal activity in Information Systems (IS) research. Besides the development process, the evaluation of artifacts is important as it allows the application of scientific methodologies to generate and accumulate knowledge. Commonly, the evaluation of an artifact is conducted in terms of the artifact's usefulness, utility, or performance. Although those evaluation metrics are important, they do not allow conclusions on a more fundamental question, namely “What are fundamental components of an artifact?”. Since Information Technology is becoming increasingly complex, identifying fundamental components becomes more important. To address this important topic, we draw from emergence theory to enhance artifact evaluation. We argue that emergence is a well-suited perspective that can be used to identify crucial components of an artifact. We provide a conceptual notion that can be applied to evaluate artifacts in the light of emergence and demonstrate conceptually how to apply this framework.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Perspectives on Digitalization
Subtitle of host publicationLocal Issues and Global Impact. Proceedings on Digitalization at the Institute for Advanced Study of the University of Siegen
EditorsJörg Radtke, Michael Klesel, Björn Niehaves
Place of PublicationSiegen, Germany
PublisherUniversitätsverlag Siegen
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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