Designing and Making Use of Design Principles in Information Systems Research

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Type and Duration

PhD-Thesis, September 2014 until February 2018 (finished)


Hilti Chair of Business Process Management

Main Research

Business Process Management

Field of Research

Process Management


Design principles are an important vehicle to convey design knowledge that contributes beyond instantiations applicable in a limited use context. The idea of applying design principles in the process of designing is nothing novel; however, the term is not used consistently and often substituted by other terms - such as design rules and guidelines - to refer to the same idea. In addition, there is a lack of convention in their formulation.

Design principles can be formulated as the outcome of scientific design research and can then be applied to govern design processes in both practice and academia. As such, design principles serve as boundary objects between different fields of design practice. It is thus essential to understand how design principles can be communicated effectively so that they are actionable by their various users.

This dissertation has three key objectives: (1) to understand how design principles have been formulated in the IS field, (2) to develop a suggestion for formulating actionable design principles, and (3) to investigate the relationship between design principles and their actionability through an experimental approach. It is expected that the outcomes of this study will be of high relevance to scholars in the field of design science research as well as to enterprises that innovate through IS.

Reference to Liechtenstein

The dissertation explores the formulation of design principles of information systems. As socio-technical systems, information systems are designed in companies from all industries, also in Liechtenstein. As such, the dissertation is of relevance to various companies in Liechtenstein.


design principles, Design research, prescreptive knowledge, boundary object, experiment in IS