Developing Design Propositions through Research Synthesis

Developing Design Propositions through Research Synthesis


David Denyer, David Tranfield, Joan Ernst van Aken


The field of organization and management studies has a significant and ever increasing published research base, often criticized as fragmented and of limited relevance for practice. A design science approach to management has argued that more room for the development of solution-oriented or prescriptive knowledge would increase its relevance. In this article we discuss prescriptive knowledge cast in the form of design propositions following the so-called ‘CIMO-logic’, extending previous applications of the design proposition notion. This logic involves a combination of a problematic Context, for which the design proposition suggests a certain Intervention type, to produce, through specified generative Mechanisms, the intended Outcome(s). We discuss how design-oriented research synthesis provides a vehicle for addressing fragmentation and increasing the chances of application. Moreover, we explore how the development of design propositions can result from synthesizing previously published research and illustrate this with the design of high-reliability organizations (HROs). Read more

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