In order to seriously think about the world and effectively act in it, some sort of simplified map of reality, theory, or concept is necessary. Without such intellectual constructs there is only “a bloomin’ buzzin’ confusion” (William James quoted in Kuhn, 1996). Hence, there is a need for a unified framework, a guiding paradigm, to order the requirements, artefacts, and system features developed in this work. This work thus develops a unified framework based on top-level directives as opposed to loose sets of design criteria used, for example, by Shneiderman et al. (2006). The term framework is used in the general sense of the word, referring to “a basic conceptional structure” (Merriam-Webster). The term is not used in the sense of an application framework used in software engineering referring to a collection of abstract and concrete classes that can be adapted and extended to create application systems (Sommerville, 2007). Using this unified framework avoids many of the diffculties encountered in system development such as opposing methods, loose or unjustified selection of “random” functions, large and complex systems, and an integrated evaluation where it is hard to attribute benefits to any individual system feature (Avital/Te’eni, 2009). We use the term Integrated System Design rather than just system design to stress this framework character and distinguish our unified design from that of individual tool functions. The Integrated System Design thus presents a system design formed into a unified whole. The unified framework uses the theory of generative capacity as guiding paradigm. As introduced above (see Section 4.2), the theory holds that generative capacity, a user’s ability to produce something new, can be better exploited by increasing the generative fit of an information system. It introduces the duality of supporting both operational effciency and generative capacity.


Service Ecosystem Innovation Process Open Innovation Unify Framework Generative Capacity 


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© Gabler Verlag | Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Riedl

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