About Design Science in Entrepreneurship
Explaining Entrepreneurship as Design Science
Entrepreneurship-as-design-science is a distinct scientific approach to entrepreneurship that it is primarily interested in design knowledge. Following Simon (1996) design knowledge can be defined as the knowledge on devising ‘action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones’. Design science tackles ‘how to’ questions: Whereas the ‘how’ refers to the actions, the ‘to’ refers to the preferred situations in Simon’s terminology. Examples of such questions are: ‘How to design entrepreneurship training effectively?’ or 'How to develop an ecosystem strategy?’ Following the scientific method, entrepreneurship-as-design-science poses a problem against a scientific body of knowledge, uses scientifically rigorous methods, and checks them against the body of scientific knowledge.
Entrepreneurship-as-design-science is different from mainstream research of entrepreneurship-as-science. The aim of entrepreneurship-as-science is to contribute to explanatory knowledge on entrepreneurship instead of contributing to design knowledge devising entrepreneurial action. Entrepreneurship-as-design-science is also distinct from entrepreneurship-as-practice as the latter does not generate scientific knowledge. The different approaches are nevertheless united. While entrepreneurship-as-design-science shares the ultimate value of entrepreneurship-as-practice of being useful, it shares with entrepreneurship-as-science that it makes use of the scientific method in developing knowledge.