Considering the social impacts of artefacts in information systems design science research

Gerard De Leoz, Stacie Petter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Design science research (DSR) is a distinct research paradigm in the information systems (IS) field that encourages the creation and evaluation of artefacts as a means for research. Yet, design science researchers often create and evaluate artefacts that tend to be techno-centric. By also considering the social impacts of a design science artefact throughout the creation and evaluation process, the researcher develops an artefact with a greater potential to thrive when the artefact is instantiated and implemented. Furthermore, the purposeful consideration of social impacts in the design science creation and evaluation process supports the researcher in developing a more complete contribution to the IS field, a field whose core foundation relates to information, technology, and social interactions. In this paper, we discuss the importance of identifying social impacts of artefacts as well as an expanded notion of artefacts in DSR. We provide guidelines for design science researchers on how to incorporate the social impacts of artefacts throughout the DSR process. Using vignettes, we demonstrate how researchers have incorporated social impacts and demonstrate the value of considering social impacts as design science researchers seek to create and evaluate artefacts to address a research problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-170
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Information Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 4 2018


  • Design science research
  • IS artefact
  • IT artefact
  • artefacts
  • social impact factors
  • social structures
  • social sub-artefacts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences


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