Going back to basics in design science: from the information technology artifact to the information systems artifact
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This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Lee, A. and Thomas, M. and Baskerville, R. 2015. Going back to basics in design science: from the information technology artifact to the information systems artifact. Information Systems Journal. 25 (1): pp. 5-21, which has been published in final form at http://doi.org/10.1111/isj.12054. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving at http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-820227.html#terms
The concept of the “IT artifact” plays a central role in the information systems research community’s discourse on design science. We pose the alternative concept of the “IS artifact,” unpacking what has been called the IT artifact into a separate “information artifact,” “technology artifact,” and “social artifact.” Technology artifacts (such as hardware and software), information artifacts (such as a message), and social artifacts (such as a charitable act) are different kinds of artifacts that together interact in order to form the IS artifact. We illustrate the knowledge value of the IS artifact concept with material from three cases. The result is to restore the idea that the study of design in information systems needs to attend to the design of the entire IS artifact, not just the IT artifact. This result encourages an expansion in the use of design science research methodology to study broader kinds of artifacts.
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