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Article
Publication date: 23 October 2007

Theodore Zamenopoulos and Katerina Alexiou

Even though design as a purposeful activity naturally fits into the realm of cybernetics, the emphasis on control has limited the scope of using cybernetic principles in…

1035

Abstract

Purpose

Even though design as a purposeful activity naturally fits into the realm of cybernetics, the emphasis on control has limited the scope of using cybernetic principles in design. The idea of organization, another fundamental concept in cybernetics, has received less attention in design research and seems worthy of further exploration. The purpose of the paper is to review the two concepts and clarify their role and meaning in design. Overall, using insights from complex systems science, the paper attempts to recast the relationship between cybernetics and design.

Design/methodology/approach

The treatment uses category theory as a language and methodological approach in order to formally express the concepts of “organization” “control” anddesignand then study the relations between them.

Findings

Organization is defined using the mathematical concept of sketch, i.e. as a characterization of the complementary relation between theories and models. The paper demonstrates that the peculiarity of design rests on the fact that the distinction between theories and models is an anticipated but emergent state. In contrast, control‐based representations assume that the theory‐model distinction is given in advance, as an intrinsic characteristic. The paper demonstrates that design is a distinct paradigm in relation to control, yet it falls within the domain of cybernetic and complex systems enquiry.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the understanding of design as a distinct type of problem in cybernetics by exposing differences between control and design problems. The paper also further lays the foundations for developing a cybernetic theory of design based on the concept of organization.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 36 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 January 2013

Patrick Corsi

Despite an increasingly explicit professional nature, the futures studies field has suffered an increasing constraining to a collection of specific techniques. The purpose

Abstract

Purpose

Despite an increasingly explicit professional nature, the futures studies field has suffered an increasing constraining to a collection of specific techniques. The purpose of this paper is to harness the foundational shortcomings of current futures studies methods, namely the lack of a well‐defined underpinning theory and of rigorous, rational, systematic, repeatable, traceable, documentable, and transferable method. It proposes a rigorous theory for futures studies whereby futures can be logically designed.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper envisages the futures design activity as an extension and a generalization of decision theories and problem solving. The process is made comprehensible and interpretable thanks to a co‐generation referencing between two spaces named Concepts and Knowledge. It works by undertaking a formal mathematical approach on undecidable root concepts, bearing no logical status, by logically expanding them until a validable proposition in the knowledge space is reached. The paper is based on the concept‐knowledge theory (C‐K theory) from Ecole des Mines ParisTech, explains why it is needed, illustrates it and uses it on two illustrative futures studies examples.

Findings

The proposed research opens a new method for designing futures based on the C‐K theory that has the intrinsic capacity of constructing radical innovations for futures scenarios. While setting clear departure from, for example, brainstorming techniques or Delphi‐based methods, it offers a systematic method for designing futures that rests upon solid theoretical foundation that explains the nonsense or contradictions in producing futures.

Research limitations/implications

While the C‐K theory is fully supported by a scientific basis founded on mathematics and is in widening use in domain‐specific industrial sectors at large, it is still being expanded both theoretically and epistemologically. The theory is not aimed at choosing or formulating suitable or appropriate root concepts, this being the role of domain professionals. Its implementation, however coherent, is only as extensive and covering the problematic at hand as the implementers are congruous to the application domain.

Practical implications

The proposed research can help futurists to develop new breakthrough plans, solutions and alternatives with essential and novel benefits: to help control the rationale of a futures scenario development, to control the degree of innovation (e.g. change, reform, progress, create …) to reach, and to bring to decision makers and policy‐makers the traced explanation of different design paths.

Social implications

The benefits of the C‐K approach are detailed and elements founding further theoretical research are provided, including possible developments of C‐K theory specifically helpful for futurists. The research offers a collective design method for revisiting futures sciences by defining, understanding and developing creative futures alternatives that can collectively mobilize stakeholders. Workshops with stakeholders remain necessary, with experienced coaches catalyzing its field implementation.

Originality/value

The paper pushes the edge of the discussion on philosophical, ontological and epistemological grounds and supplies a theoretical underpinning for futures studies at large. The research is inherited from the creative power of modern mathematics as developed and proven by the C‐K theory, a powerful approach for discussing design phenomena. The author argues that it constitutes a suitable and useful asset for futures scientists insofar as to imagine, understand, develop, manipulate, and assess creative futures alternatives. The paper introduces and discusses the notion of futuron, which can be seen as a “logical quantum particle of future”.

Details

On the Horizon, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1074-8121

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 18 December 2007

Jurgen Faust

Designing with a positive lens is inspired by positive psychology, which turns attention away from the treatment of dysfunctions and toward the encouragement of human…

Abstract

Designing with a positive lens is inspired by positive psychology, which turns attention away from the treatment of dysfunctions and toward the encouragement of human strengths. I present a positive design method that is inspired by Appreciative Inquiry and draws on a comprehensive theory of design from sculpture. By incorporating a comprehensive theory of sculpture as a guide for designing with a positive lens, we can take advantage of design lessons from the arts, and strengthen the positive design movement in all stages of the design development process. From a theory of sculpture we see that designing includes forming. Forming, in turn, always involves two opposed energies, which can be thought of as a warm and a cold, or an inside and an outside, force. By using a theory of sculpture to guide designing with a positive lens, we reframe our attempts to create new information and organization designs so as to make them achievable even though the positive designer is not an artist. Design thinking and design processes based on a theory of sculpture can ease our dependence on artistic creativity and expand the organizational impact of a positive lens.

Details

Designing Information and Organizations with a Positive Lens
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-398-3

Article
Publication date: 31 January 2022

Ardalan Sameti

The literature on product design/development (PD) has attempted to understand the consumer but has not provided a comprehensive framework for product marketers and

Abstract

Purpose

The literature on product design/development (PD) has attempted to understand the consumer but has not provided a comprehensive framework for product marketers and designers. Thus, this paper aims to compile and link the main topics in the literature on PD to create a foundation for strategic development in this field.

Design/methodology/approach

This research adopted a “fit-for-purpose” methodology, a cross-referencing method and a meta-narrative approach that are appropriate for reviewing studies in a field involving complex topics and areas in which the literature is still developing.

Findings

To enhance the quality of product development, there is a need for PD strategy based on a clear understanding of many factors: the consumer; the complex interrelations among a product’s values, dimensions and personalities; PD theories; and other related variables.

Practical implications

This study found that PD studies should concentrate more on codifying strategies to enhance product development success. This is particularly important in view of consumers’ varied and changeable tastes in the global market and the differing insights of product marketers and designers.

Originality/value

This comprehensive systematic review is a unique study that contributes to future business-to-consumer and business-to-business research by compiling scattered and hidden strategies, theories and variables in the PD/development literature.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2008

Fons Wijnhoven and Jeroen Kraaijenbrink

The purpose of this paper is to give a structured literature review, design concepts, and research propositions related to a product‐oriented design theory for information…

2186

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to give a structured literature review, design concepts, and research propositions related to a product‐oriented design theory for information services. Information services facilitate the exchange of information goods with or without transforming these goods. Exemplar information services are e‐publishing, electronic communities‐of‐practice, and management reporting. The importance of information services in the current economy merits the development of an explicit product‐ and process‐oriented design theory.

Design/methodology/approach

This article focuses on the product‐oriented design theory by applying Walls et al.'s framework. A product‐oriented design theory of information services identifies relevant descriptive and explanatory insights (i.e. content, use, value, and revenue), meta‐requirements, and meta‐designs. The paper describes design problems for information services, and gives key requirements for information services. Next, it describes the information, organizational and information technological components of an information service, and identifies at least four information service architectures. Finally, it gives research hypotheses, research ideas, and discusses practical implications.

Findings

The results form a product‐oriented design theory for information services. The paper gives a structured way for practitioners to analyze information service design challenges, and suggestions are given for requirements and design decisions on three aspects (content, use feature, and revenue).

Originality/value

Given the previously fragmented nature of the literature, this paper gives new opportunities for research and practice.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 May 2011

Jan Achterbergh and Dirk Vriens

The purpose of this paper is to show how the viable system model (VSM) and de Sitter's design theory can complement each other in the context of the diagnosis and design

881

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how the viable system model (VSM) and de Sitter's design theory can complement each other in the context of the diagnosis and design of viable organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Key concepts from Beer's model and de Sitter's design theory are introduced and analyzed in order to show how they relate.

Findings

The VSM provides insight into the related systems necessary and sufficient for viability. As such, it specifies criteria supporting the diagnosis and design of organizational infrastructures, i.e. of organizational structures, HR systems, and technology. However, it does not explicitly conceptualize and provide a detailed heuristic for the design of organizational structures. De Sitter's theory fills in this gap.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates how, based on a rudimentary model of organizational viability, de Sitter's design theory positively addresses the question of how to diagnose and design organizational structures that add to the viability of organizations.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 40 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 July 2010

Nandish V. Patel, Tillal Eldabi and Tariq M. Khan

The purpose of this paper is to address the problem of designing artificial complex adaptive systems, like information systems and organisations, by developing a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the problem of designing artificial complex adaptive systems, like information systems and organisations, by developing a proof‐of‐concept conceptual proto‐agent model.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper develops an exploratory proto‐agent model and evaluates its suitability for implementation as agent‐based simulation.

Findings

The paper focuses on understanding the effect of emergence when designing artificial complex adaptive systems and produces a proto‐agent model that identified agents and their behavioural rules for modelling.

Practical implications

In deferred action, agents act in emergent organisation to achieve predetermined goals. Since emergence cannot be predicted, information systems and organisation design approaches that cater for emergent organisation are required.

Originality/value

The deferred action construct is a synthesis of planned approaches and contingency approaches to design information systems. It recognises the effect of emergence on information systems.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 May 2022

Yannick Van Hierden, Timo Dietrich and Sharyn Rundle-Thiele

In social marketing practice, there is no all-encompassing approach that guides researchers and practitioners to build theory-driven social marketing interventions. While…

Abstract

Purpose

In social marketing practice, there is no all-encompassing approach that guides researchers and practitioners to build theory-driven social marketing interventions. While the Co-create–Build–Engage (CBE) process offers a roadmap for marketing application, including outlining when and where social marketing’s eight benchmark principles have been applied, limited practical guidance on how and when theory should be applied is offered. This paper reports one case study demonstrating how theory was applied to deliver a theory-informed well-being behavior change intervention.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper proposes and applies a new five-step theory-driven social marketing intervention build process (BUILD) drawn from an extensive base of social marketing research and application. Using a case study method, we showcase how the five-step process was applied to inform the design, build and implementation of a well-being behavior change intervention.

Findings

This study proposes a five-step process to build theory-driven social marketing interventions called BUILD: Begin with the objective, Use theory, Initiate program design, Let’s produce and Develop the engagement plan. This study provides a step-by-step and easy-to-follow BUILD process which outlines how social marketers can apply a selected theory to inform program design and implementation.

Practical implications

The BUILD process offers a roadmap to build theory-driven social marketing interventions that include all elements of intervention development, namely, objective-setting, theory evaluation, selection and application, producing the program and planning for program engagement.

Originality/value

This study provides a novel five-step process to help social marketing researchers and practitioners build theory-driven social marketing interventions.

Details

Journal of Social Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-6763

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 19 April 2018

Susan Stetson-Tiligadas

This chapter outlines potential steps to take in designing active learning experiences based on several theories underlying the learning process. The chapter examines…

Abstract

This chapter outlines potential steps to take in designing active learning experiences based on several theories underlying the learning process. The chapter examines theories of learning and instruction including information processing, schema acquisition, and cognitive load theory. Next follows an explanation of how these theories support problem-centered learning as well as a rationale for the need to help learners develop domain-general, flexible problem-solving skills that will transfer to future needs and contexts. The second half of the chapter focuses on designing active learning experiences based on the selection of real-world problems as the foundation for learning, activating prior knowledge, demonstration of the process or concept, multiple opportunities for practice with relevant scaffolding, and the chance to integrate that knowledge into the learners’ own context based on M. D. Merrill’s (2002) First Principles of Instruction. Examples of assessments, strategies, and activities to foster active, problem-centered learning drawn from the literature are also provided.

Book part
Publication date: 18 December 2007

Dong-Sung Cho

Building on a proposed four-phase model of the design revolution, I outline an expanded domain to which design ideas may be applied, and offer a design theory that has…

Abstract

Building on a proposed four-phase model of the design revolution, I outline an expanded domain to which design ideas may be applied, and offer a design theory that has general application to the expanded design domain. Numerous disciplines within the domain of design, which have been separately developed, are converging through digital devices and software such as computer-aided design programs. I refer to this “Connection” as the first phase of the design revolution. In the second “Expansion” phase of the design revolution, I expect that the domain where principles of design are applied will be expanded beyond the visual to include all five human senses. The design theory that I propose is a logical application of design principles to various disciplines in the second phase of the revolution. In the third “Application” phase of the design revolution, the design theory will be applied not only to conventional objects of design such as products and services, but also to institutions and systems such as governments, firms, and households. Finally, in the fourth “Integration” phase of the revolution, various parts of the world will be integrated into a holistic system under a single design theory.

Details

Designing Information and Organizations with a Positive Lens
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-398-3

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