Incomplete by Design and Designing for Incompleteness

Raghu Garud, Sanjay Jain, Philipp Türtscher

Publication: Chapter in book/Conference proceedingChapter in edited volume


The traditional scientific approach to design extols the virtues of completeness. However, in environments characterized by continual change, there are challenges in adopting such an approach. We examine Linux and Wikipedia as two exemplary cases to explore the nature of design in such a protean world. Our observations highlight a pragmatic approach to design in which incompleteness is harnessed in a generative manner. This suggests a change in the meaning of the word ‘design’ itself — from one that separates the process of design from its outcome, to one that considers design as both the medium and outcome of action.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDesign Requirements Engineering: A Ten-Year Perspective
Editors K. J. Lyytinen, P. Loucopoulos, J. Mylopoulos, & B. Robinson
Place of PublicationBerlin
Pages137 - 156
ISBN (Print)978-3-540-92965-9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2009

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502014 Innovation research
  • 506009 Organisation theory

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