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Explanatory sciences and design sciences

An article in the Acad. Mgt. Learning & Ed., March 2011 at 41, distinguishes between “explanatory sciences and design sciences. The explanatory paradigm, as predominately followed in business schools, is concerned with understanding what is, while design science (as predominates in medicine and engineering) is concerned with what should be. Design science is concerned with developing knowledge that provides answers to problems.” I flatter myself that this blog both explains law department operations as well as provides some solutions to operational problems.

Little Bets: How breakthrough ideas emerge from small discoveries, by Peter Sims (Free Press 2011), at 12, 28, makes the case for “design thinking” as “a set of creative methodologies for solving problems and generating ideas that is based on building up solutions, rather than starting with the answer.” Design thinking works particularly well with complex, ill-structured problems. Design thinking sounds just right for some complicated legal tasks.

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