Date of this Version


Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Details

Published Version.

Hovorka, D., & Gregor, S. (2010). Untangling causality in design science theorizing. Presented at the 5th biennial ANU workshop on information systems foundations: Theory building in information systems, Canberra, Australia.

Access the conference website.

2010 HERDC submission. FoR Code: 080600

© Copyright Dirk Hovorka & Shirley Gregor, 2010


Although Design Science Research aims to create new knowledge through design and evaluation of artefacts, the causal agency through which artefacts obtain predicted outcomes is frequently underspecified. Within this domain of knowledge, six types of causal reasoning can be applied by researchers to more clearly articulate why desired outcomes will result from the implementation of the artefact. In addition, reflecting on the causal foundations for the design will enable more definitive evaluation of the design theory and for scientific explanation of the behavior of the artefact-in-use. The proposed framework is based on an extensive literature in causal theory and the implications discussed will enable researchers to articulate the causal reasoning used in Design Science theorizing.



This document has been peer reviewed.