Design science as experimental methodology in innovation and entrepreneurship research: A primer


  • Georges Romme Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands



Design science, Innovation, Technological innovation, Sustainable Development Goals, Artifacts, Innovation management, Creative design, Testing


Baldassarre, B., Konietzko, J., Brown, P., Calabretta, G., Bocken, N., Karpen, I.O. & Hultink, E.J., 2020. Addressing the design-implementation gap of sustainable business models by prototyping: a tool for planning and executing small-scale pilots. Journal of Cleaner Production, 255: 120295. (Example of study informed by DS).

Dimov, D., Maula, M. & Romme, A.G.L., 2023. Crafting and assessing design science research for entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 47(5): 1543-1567. (Editorial that provides a set of guidelines regarding how to write a DS-based manuscript for publication in top journals in entrepreneurship domain).

Dresch, A., Lacerda, D.P. & Antunes, J.A.V., 2015. Design Science Research: A Method for Science and Technology Advancement. Springer, Cham: Switzerland. (Provides a good overview of the state of the art of DS research, including various methods for collecting and analysing data).

Hevner, A. R., March, S. T., Park, J. & Ram, S., 2004. Design science in information systems research. MIS Quarterly, 28(1): pp. 75-105. (Describes how to use DS in information systems research).

Holmström, J., Ketokivi, M. & Hameri, A.-P., 2009. Bridging practice and theory: a design science approach. Decision Sciences, 40(1): pp. 65-87. (One of the first conceptual articles advocating a DS approach for operations management research).

Hyytinen, A., Rouvinen, P., Pajarinen,M. & Virtanen, J., 2022. Ex ante predictability of rapid growth: a design science approach. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, forthcoming. (Example of study informed by DS).

Meulman, F., Reymen, I.M.M.J., Podoynitsyna, K.S. & Romme, A.G.L., 2018. Searching for partners in open innovation settings: how to overcome the constraints of local search. California Management Review, 60(2): pp. 71-97. (Example of study informed by DS).

Pascal, A., Thomas, C. & Romme, A.G.L., 2013. Developing a human-centred and science-based approach to design: the knowledge management platform project. British Journal of Management, 24(2): pp. 264-280. (Example of study informed by DS).

Peltokorpi, A., Talmar, M., Castrén, K. & Holmström, J., 2019. Designing an organizational system for economically sustainable demand-side management in district heating and cooling. Journal of Cleaner Production, 219, pp. 433-442. (Example of study informed by DS).

Romme, A.G.L., 2022. Against all odds: how Eindhoven emerged as a deeptech ecosystem. Systems, 10(4): 119.

Romme, A.G.L., Avenier, M.J., Denyer, D., Hodgkinson, G.P., Pandza, K., Starkey, K. & Worren, N., 2015. Towards common ground and trading zones in management research and practice. British Journal of Management, 26(3): pp. 544–559. (This article outlines the pragmatist philosophical foundations of DS).

Romme, A.G.L., Bell, J., & Frericks, G., 2023. Designing a deep-tech venture builder to address grand challenges and overcome the valley of death. Journal of Organization Design, 12: forthcoming. (Example of how to apply DS, outlined in the last section of this article).

Romme, A.G.L. & Dimov, D., 2021. Mixing oil with water: framing and theorizing in management research informed by design science. Designs, 5(1): 13. (Review of large number of DS-based studies in management research).

Romme, A.G.L. & Holmström, J. 2023. From theories to tools: calling for research on technological innovation informed by design science. Technovation, 121: 102692. (Editorial piece that provides a set of recommendations for how to develop tools with DS).

Romme, A.G.L. & Reymen, I.M.M.J., 2018. Entrepreneurship at the interface of design and science: toward an inclusive framework. Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 10: e00094. (Outlines several DS-based studies and describes the DS cycle in Figure 1 in more detail).

Schutselaars, J., Romme, A.G.L., Bell, J., Bobelyn, A.S.A., & Van Scheijndel, R., 2023. Designing and testing a tool that connects the value proposition of deep-tech ventures to SDGs. Designs 7: 50. (Example of application of DS).

Simon, H.A., 1969. The Sciences of the Artificial, 1st edition (3rd edition published in 1996). MIT Press, Cambridge, MA: USA. (This monograph compares the design and science paradigms and advocates a DS approach to the business, architecture, education and various other disciplines).

Van Burg, E., Romme, A.G.L., Gilsing, V.A., Reymen, I.M.M.J., 2008. Creating university spin-offs: A science-based design perspective. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 25(2): pp. 114-128. (Example of study informed by DS).




How to Cite

Romme, G. (2023). Design science as experimental methodology in innovation and entrepreneurship research: A primer. CERN IdeaSquare Journal of Experimental Innovation, 7(2), 4–7.



Methodological Notes