Workshop Series: John Venable

21 October, 2011 - 10:30 to 12:00
Room 430 Joyce Ackroyd Building 37

This paper makes an argument that Design Science is justifiably an appropriate paradigm for research into Research Methods. Research Methods are purposive artefacts; they are designed and created by people to achieve a specific purpose – to create new knowledge. Like other artefacts, research methods vary in their fitness to purpose, i.e. in their utility, depending on their fit and appropriate application to the particular purpose (or design goals), contexts and contingencies for which they were developed and specialised. Applying a DSR perspective to research methods should yield increased utility in the application of research methods, better guidance in applying them and greater confidence in the achieving the desired outcomes of applying them.

Based on these premises, this paper analyses the logical consequences of taking a Design Science perspective on research methods. First, it analyses the various purposes of research methods to clarify the alternative and competing design goals of research methods. Second, it analyses and characterises the types of design artefacts that comprise research methods. Third, it considers issues of the evaluation of research methods. Fourth and finally, it considered the development of design theories of research methods.

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Associate Professor John Venable, Curtin University of Technology

John Venable is Associate Professor and former Head of School at the School of Information Systems, Curtin University of Technology, in Perth, Western Australia, where he has held various positions since 1997. He is currently Co-Director of the Curtin University Centre for Organisational Analysis, within which he leads research groups in Organisational Culture and Change Management, Knowledge Management, Disaster Information Management, and Support for Not-for-Profit Organisations and is an active participant in research groups on Technology-Supported Assignment Assessment and Moderation, Agile Systems Development, and Connecting Generations. He holds a B.S. in History (Far East) from the United States Air Force Academy and an M.S. in Management Science, an M.S. in Advanced Technology, and a PhD in Advanced Technology (Information Systems) from Binghamton University, USA. He has taught and researched in IS at Binghamton University and Central Connecticut State University in the USA, Aalborg University in Denmark, the University of Waikato in New Zealand, and at Murdoch University and Curtin University in Australia. He is a frequent visitor at various universities in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Assoc Prof Venable has published in international conferences and journals including The Information Systems Journal, Journal of Information Technology, Communications of the Association for Information Systems, and Wirtschaftsinformatik. He recently was co-chair of the IFIP Working Groups 8.2 and 8.6 Joint International Working Conference on “Human Benefit through the Diffusion of Information Systems Design Science Research”, held in Perth March 30-1 April 2010 and is co-editor of a special issue of Information Technology and People on “Design and Diffusion of Systems for Human Benefit”. He has consulted on ICT and organisational change with large and small business organisations, government agencies and not-for-profit organisations.

Assoc Prof Venable’s research interests include research methods for information systems, especially design science research and critical research; IS planning and development methods and practice; organisational, IS and data modeling; problem solving methods; organisational culture and change management; knowledge management and organizational learning; Group Support Systems and collaborative work; digital library systems; and application and management of IS and IT to support not-for-profit organisations.