Identifying and Addressing Stakeholder Interests in Design Science Research: An Analysis Using Critical Systems Heuristics

Publication Type:

IFIP Paper


Venable, John


Information Systems – Creativity and Innovation in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, Springer, Volume 301/2009, p.93 - 112 (2009)


This paper utilises the Critical Systems Heuristics (CSH) framework developed by Werner Ulrich to critically consider the stakeholders and design goals that should be considered as relevant by researchers conducing Design Science Research (DSR). CSH provides a philosophically and theoretically grounded framework and means for critical consideration of the choices of stakeholders considered to be relevant to any system under design consideration. The paper recommends that legitimately undertaken DSR should include witnesses to represent the interests of the future consumers of the outcomes of DSR, i.e., the future clients, decision makers, professionals, and other non-included stakeholders in the future use of the solution technologies to be invented in DSR. The paper further discusses options for how witnesses might be included, who should be witnessed for and obstacles to implementing the recommendations.