Guiding Principle 1

Be Explicit in Outlining the Contributions to the Body of Design Knowledge in Entrepreneurship

The first guiding principle is to make the contribution to the entrepreneurship field explicit. The aim of design science is to contribute to the body of design knowledge (e.g., Holmström et al., 2009; vom Brocke et al., 2020) and hence the aim of design science in entrepreneurship is to contribute to design knowledge in the entrepreneurship field. Explicitness about the intended contribution is useful in planning, communicating, and assessing design science work. However, the question of how to be explicit is more easily asked than answered (e.g., Corley & Gioia, 2011). In the design knowledge contribution framework, we provide a taxonomy that may help to make the types of contributions explicit (see Figure 3). We outline four distinct types of contributions along two axes, denoting the type of design knowledge and type of contribution. As discussed above, we differentiate two types of design knowledge: design object and design evaluation knowledge. Furthermore, we draw on an often-used differentiation of the type of contribution by distinguishing between theoretical and empirical contributions (e.g., Corley & Gioia, 2011; Whetten, 1989).

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