Action design research in practice: Lessons and concerns

Amir Haj-Bolouri, Sandeep Purao, Matti Rossi, Lennarth Bernhardsson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This paper reports on the results of a study of how scholars engage with and use the action design research (ADR) method. since its publication, ADR has been acknowledged as an important variant of DSR, and has been adopted by a number of researchers. It has been adopted as the primary research method for doctoral dissertations as well as research projects in several disciplines. With the increasing use of ADR, the research community is also learning about how to apply ADR in different contexts. In this paper, we focus on how researchers are using the method. Drawing on primary data from researchers who have recently engaged in or finished an ADR project, we identify several recurring themes: managing expectations with actual outcomes of ADR-projects, coordinating work across different ADR-stages, and balancing the focus on problem instance versus class of problems. Our work contributes a greater understanding about how ADR projects are carried out in practice, how researchers can avoid some of the common pitfalls, and how the method can be applied more effectively.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationECIS 2018 Proceedings
PublisherEuropean Conference on Information Systems (ECIS)
ISBN (Electronic)978 1 86137 667 1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA4 Conference publication
EventEuropean Conference on Information Systems - Portsmouth, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Jun 201828 Jun 2018
Conference number: 26


ConferenceEuropean Conference on Information Systems
Abbreviated titleECIS
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Action design research
  • Design knowledge
  • Design science research


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