Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Challenges of Critical and Emancipatory Design Science Research: The Design of ‘Possible Worlds’ as Response

Heusinger, Marcel (2013): Challenges of Critical and Emancipatory Design Science Research: The Design of ‘Possible Worlds’ as Response.

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Abstract

Popper’s (1967) ’piecemeal social change’ is an approach manifesting itself in science as critical and emancipatory (C&E) research. It is concerned with incrementally removing manifested inequalities to achieve a ’better’ world. Although design science research in information systems seems to be a prime candidate for such endeavors, respective projects are clearly underrepresented. This position paper argues that this is due to the demand of justifying research ex post by an evaluation in practical settings. From the perspective of C&E research it is questionable if powerful actors grant access to their organization and support projects which ultimately challenge their position. It is suggested that theory development based on a synthesis of justificatory knowledge is a complementary approach that allows designing realizable responses to C&E issues–the design of ’possible worlds’ (Lewis, 1986) as basis for C&E design science research.

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