Towards a design science research (DSR) methodology for operational excellence (OPEX) initiatives

Jiju Antony, Michael Sony, Bart Lameijer, Shreeranga Bhat, Raja Jayaraman, Leopoldo Gutierrez

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Scopus citations


    Purpose: Design science research (DSR) is a structured approach for solving complex ill-structured problems in organizations through the development of an artefact followed by its validation. This paper aims to evaluate existing DSR methodology and propose specific accents to promote DSR for environmental, social and governance (ESG)-oriented operational excellence (OPEX) initiatives within organizations. Design/methodology/approach: This commentary paper is based on an abductive reasoning approach to evaluate and understand DSR and assess its effectiveness for developing solutions to typical ESG-oriented OPEX-based problems within organizations. Findings: Existing literature on DSR is reviewed, after which it is evaluated on its ability to contribute to the implementation of sustainable solutions for ESG-oriented OPEX-based problems. Based on the review, specific DSR methodological accents are proposed for the development of ESG-oriented OPEX-based solutions in organizations. Research limitations/implications: This conceptual paper contributes to the conceptual understanding of the applicability, limitations and contextual preconditions for applying DSR. This paper proposes an explicit and, in some ways, alternative view on DSR research for OPEX researchers to apply and further the body of knowledge on matters of sustainability (ESG) in operations management. Practical implications: Currently, there is limited understanding and application of the DSR methodology for OPEX-based problem-solving initiatives, as appears in the scant literature on DSR applied for the implementation of OPEX based initiatives for ESG purposes. This paper aims to challenge and provide accents for DSR applied to OPEX-related problems by means of a DSR framework and thereby promotes intervention-based studies among researchers. Originality/value: The proposed step-by-step methodology contains novel elements and is expected to be of help for OPEX-oriented academicians and practitioners in implementing DSR methodology for practical related problems which need research interventions from academics from Higher Education Institutions.

    Original languageBritish English
    JournalTQM Journal
    StateAccepted/In press - 2023


    • Commentary
    • Design science research
    • ESG
    • Operational excellence
    • Sustainability


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