A Conceptual Culture Model for Design Science Research





Culture, conceptual culture model, design science research.


The aim of design science research (DSR) in information systems is the user-centred creation of IT-artifacts with regard to specific social environments. For culture research in the field, which is necessary for a proper localization of IT-artifacts, models and research approaches from social sciences usually are adopted. Descriptive dimension-based culture models most commonly are applied for this purpose, which assume culture being a national phenomenon and tend to reduce it to basic values. Such models are useful for investigations in behavioural culture research because it aims to isolate, describe and explain culture-specific attitudes and characteristics within a selected society. In contrast, with the necessity to deduce concrete decisions for artifact-design, research results from DSR need to go beyond this aim. As hypothesis, this contribution generally questions the applicability of such generic culture dimensions’ models for DSR and focuses on their theoretical foundation, which goes back to Hofstede’s conceptual Onion Model of Culture. The herein applied literature-based analysis confirms the hypothesis. Consequently, an alternative conceptual culture model is being introduced and discussed as theoretical foundation for culture research in DSR. 

Author Biography

Thomas Richter, University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany Senior Researcher at ITL, Chair of the Research Institute TELIT

After his career in the industry, Dr. Thomas Richter studied Information Technology, Technical Journalism and BIS. He holds a doctoral degree in Economics. In 2007, he spent a research-year in South Korea. He gives regular lectures at the University of Duisburg-Essen since 2008 and manages international projects in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL). His research focus is related to the Internationalization of Education, Cultural Issues in Design Science, Open Educational Practices, TEL, and Quality Management in Education. Dr. Richter is the initiator of the Learning Culture Survey and published over 50 papers in well-established conferences and renowned journals.


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