Design With a Positive Lens : An Affirmative Approach to Designing Information and Organizations

  • Avital M
  • Lyytinen K
  • Boland R
 et al. 
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Design forms one critical paradigmatic view that pervades organizational studies, management, and information systems research. Building on the discussions in the first Working Conference on Designing Information and Organizations with a Positive Lens, we chart the potential contribution of positive design to the shaping of organizations, work processes, artifacts, communication networks, and information technologies. The figure of speech "Design with a Positive Lens," or in short "Positive Design," connotes here a distinctive perspective on design that is less focused on the detection of errors associated with gaining control and more concerned with human-centered design associated with the shaping of hopeful organizations and a thriving future. The paper examines how positive design can contribute to the design of information systems and organizations as related to five broad-scale areas: design of high performance work processes; positive design methods and techniques; cooperation and collaboration across boundaries to promote positive change; positive organizational design; and design science and practice. In this paper we aspire to promote the emerging cross-disciplinary discourse between scholars and designers that will foster positive organizational and technological design.

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  • Michael Avital

  • Kalle J. Lyytinen

  • Richard J. Boland

  • Brian S. Butler

  • Deborah Dougherty

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