Design Theory Projectability

Richard Baskerville, Jan Pries-Heje

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Technological knowledge has been characterized as having a scope that is specific to a particular problem. However, the information systems community is exploring forms of design science research that provide a promising avenue to technological knowledge with broader scope: design theories. Because design science research is materially prescriptive, it requires a different perspective in developing the breadth of applications of design theories. In this paper we propose different concepts that embody forms of general technological knowledge The concept of projectability, developed originally as a means of distinguishing realized generalizations from unrealized generalizations, helps explain how design theories, being prescriptive, possess a different form of applicability. The concept of entrenchment describes the use of a theory in many projections. Together these concepts provide a means for comparative discussions of the importance of design theories. Projectable design theories guide designers in the design of artifacts similar in principle, but different in context. These can also help design researchers understand interrelationships between design theories.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation Systems and Global Assemblages. (Re)Configuring Actors, Artefacts, Organizations : IFIP WG 8.2 Working Conference on Information Systems and Organizations, IS&O 2014, Auckland, New Zealand, December 11-12, 2014. Proceedings
Publication date2014
ISBN (Print)978-3-662-45707-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-662-45708-5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Technological Knowledge
  • Design Science Research
  • Design Theories
  • Projectability
  • Entrenchment


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