Alturki et al. (2011) A Design Science Research Roadmap

Authors: Alturki, Ahmad and Gable, Guy G. and Bandara, Wasana


This paper proposes and synthesizes from previous design science (DS) methodological literature a structured and detailed DS Roadmap for the conduct of DS research. The Roadmap is a general guide for researchers to carry out DS research by suggesting reasonably detailed activities. Though highly tentative, it is believed the Roadmap usefully inter-relates many otherwise seemingly disparate, overlapping or conflicting concepts. It is hoped the DS Roadmap will aid in the planning, execution and communication of DS research, while also attracting constructive criticism, improvements and extensions. A key distinction of the Roadmap from other DS research methods is its breadth of coverage of DS research aspects and activities; its detail and scope. We demonstrate and evaluate the Roadmap by presenting two case studies in terms of the DS Roadmap.

Citation Ahmad Alturki, Guy G. Gable, Wasana Bandara (2011). A Design Science Research Roadmap. , vol. 32 no. 4, pp. 107–123. Article

BibTex entry for this article:

BibTex entry for this article:

author = {Alturki, Ahmad and Gable, Guy G. and Bandara, Wasana},
number = {4},
pages = {107--123},
title = {{A Design Science Research Roadmap}},
volume = {32},
year = {2011}

Key ideas

There is strong need for detailed guidance on conducting DS research. This paper presents a DS research Roadmap for DS research in IS. The Roadmap is synthesized from DS-related methodological writings, providing reasonably detailed steps for researchers. The Roadmap is well grounded in literature about DS in IS. This Roadmap consists of four main interrelated components: (p. 121)

  1. research cycles,
  2. DS research output,
  3. DS risk management, and
  4. Central Design Repository (CDR).

The Roadmap is general, appears to have wide application and can be translated to a situated method to carry out a specific DS research as a construction blueprint. They can also alter the situated version to fit specific design requirements. Future research may improve this Roadmap by defining lower more detailed levels of the fourteen processes and develop CDR format. (p. 121)


1. Introduction

Design science (DS) research has become an accepted approach for research in the IS discipline [1, 2], with dramatic growth in recent, related literature (p. 107)

This paper proposes and synthesizes from existing DS methodological writings a structured and detailed DS Roadmap for the conduct of DS research. The DS Roadmap is a guide, providing detailed steps for researchers to perform DS research. (p. 108)

2. Methodology

The main source of concepts for the intended Roadmap was existing DS literature. (p. 107)

The dataset revealed four main themes: (p. 108)

  • DS as an Approach - 'how to', guidelines for conducting, or output of DS
  • DS Philosophy and how it differs from other methods
  • The Role of Theory and Theorizing in DS
  • Applications of DS

3. The Synthesized Design Science Roadmap

The Roadmap adopts Hevner's three major DS research cycles: rigor, relevance and design (p. 110)

3.1 The Design Science Research Cycles

Document the Spark of an Idea/Problem
Investigate and Evaluate the Importance of the Problem/Idea
Evaluate the New Solution Feasibility
Define Research Scope
Resolve Whether within the Design Science Paradigm
Establish Type (IS Design Science VS IS Design Research
Resolve Theme (Construction, Evaluation, or Both)
Define Requirements
Define Alternative Solutions
Explorer Knowledge Base Support of Alternatives
Prepare for Design and/or Evaluation
Develop (Construction)
Communicate findings

4. Demonstrating the Fit of the DS Research Roadmap

Tables and figures

Figure 1 ~ p. 112)

References in alturki2011design


Design Science Research, archival analysis, design, design research, design science, design science research roadmap, information system design, science research methodology, theory