Evaluating IT Support for Creative Processes

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Type and Duration

FFF-Förderprojekt, July 2012 until January 2015 (finished)


Hilti Chair of Business Process Management

Main Research

Business Process Management

Field of Research

Process Management


Creativity is the origin of innovation. It is thus an indispensable factor in propelling economic growth and societal well-being. Appropriate software tools can boost individual creativity and multiply this potential within a group of creative people. Examples of software tools that support creativity include electronic brainstorming and mind mapping tools (e.g., Mindmeister), open innovation and crowdsourcing platforms (e.g., InnoCentive, OpenIDEO), tools for computer-aided design (e.g., Adobe Photoshop, AutoCAD), and online communities for sharing of multimedia contents (e.g., Flickr, YouTube).

In earlier work we have proposed a design theory for IT systems that support creative work through adequate knowledge provision (Müller-Wienbergen, Müller, Seidel and Becker, 2010). The goal of the research project is to continue our research by empirically testing this design theory. We plan to apply both quantitative and qualitative research methods. In concrete terms, achieving our goal requires three subordinate objectives:

1. Development of a prototype according to the principles of form and function stated in the design theory,

2. Performance of laboratory experiments with the developed prototype in order to empirically test the hypotheses stated in the design theory, and

3. Conduction of field tests with the developed prototype in order to observe the use of the system in a real-world setting and explore potential unintended consequences and side effects.

The main contribution of the research project will be the empirical test of our previously developed design theory. The tested design theory can provide guidance to software developers and sets an agenda for academic research. In addition, the developed prototype constitutes another important contribution of this research. It is planned to distribute the prototype under the free and open source software license.

Reference to Liechtenstein

The project explores how to support creativity and innovation with modern information and communication technology, so it is immediately relevant for the creative industry in Liechtenstein. The Liechtenstein Landesmuseum is a project partner, and the project results will be shared with other museums in the "D-A-CH-LI" region (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein).


Information technology


  • Forschungsförderungsfonds der Universität Liechtenstein



  • Sommerauer, P., & Müller, O. (2014). Augmented Reality in Informal Learning Environments: A Field Experiment in a Mathematics Exhibition. Computers & Education, 79, 59-68.

  • Müller-Wienbergen, F., Müller, O., Seidel, S., & Becker, J. (2011). Leaving the Beaten Tracks in Creative Work - A Design Theory for Systems that Support Convergent and Divergent Thinking. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 12(11), 714-740. (ABDC_2022: A*; ABS_2021: 4*; VHB_3: A)

  • Gregor, S., Müller, O., & Seidel, S. (2013). Reflection, Abstraction, and Theorizing in Design and Development Research. Paper presented at the European Conference on Information Systems, Utrecht, The Netherlands. (VHB_3: B)

  • Müller, O., Debortoli, S., & Seidel, S. (2013). MUSE: Implementation of a Design Theory for Systems that Support Convergent and Divergent Thinking. Paper presented at the Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology Conference, Products & Prototypes Track, Helsinki, Finland. (VHB_3: C)