Ensemble Artifact Design For Context Sensitive Decision Support

Shah J Miah, John G Gammack


Although an improvement of design knowledge is an essential goal of design research, current design research predominantly focuses on knowledge concerning the IT artifact (tool) design process, rather than a more holistic understanding encompassing the dynamic usage contexts of a technological artifact. Conceptualising a design in context as an “ensemble artifact” (Sein et al., 2011) provides the basis for a more rigorous treatment. This paper describes an IS artifact design framework that has been generated from the development of several practitioner-oriented decision support systems (DSS) in which contextual aspects relevant to practitioners’ decision making are considered as integral design themes. We describe five key dimensions of an ensemble artifact design and show their value in designing practitioner-oriented DSS. The features are user centredness, knowledge sharing, situation-specific customisation, reduced model orientation, and practice based secondary design abilities. It is argued that this understanding can contribute to design research knowledge more effectively both to develop dynamic DSS, and by its extensibility to other artifact designs.


DSS; ensemble view; ensemble artifact; user-centredness; IS artifact; design science research

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v18i2.898

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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