Inhibitors to the Organisational Adoption of Gamification
Jefferies, D. L. (2017). Inhibitors to the Organisational Adoption of Gamification (Thesis, Master of Digital Business (MDigiBus)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/11012
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/11012
This study looks at how organisations can use technology to engage, motivate, and reward staff by embedding game-like elements into business applications and processes through a phenomenon called gamification. Gamification is an emerging phenomenon that has the potential to increase engagement, productivity and performance in organisations. It is the convergence of motivation theory, information systems, and the rise of digital communications systems. Gamification has been trending academically since 2010, and appears to support the human drivers of motivation and engagement through the appeal of both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Yet, while gamification appears to be a solution to the issues surrounding employee motivation, there is little documented evidence of successful enterprise integrations. Gamification may be the modern elixir to all that ails organisations as they struggle to attract, nurture and retain talented employees. However, if this is the case, then why are gamified practises not widely adopted by companies? Twelve participants were interviewed for this qualitative study. The first three participants work in software organisations that have first-hand experience with gamified product and process development. Next, a further nine participants were interviewed, three in the broadly-defined communications industry, three in finance, and one each in real estate, retail sales, and manufacturing. These participants were selected as potential users of gamification within an organisational context. The grounded theory methodology is used to explore the inhibitors to gamification techniques in organisations. Data collection strategies included in-depth interviews and grounded theory methodology techniques are used for data analysis. This study found the adoption of gamification in organisations is largely inhibited by the infancy of the gamification industry as the availability of gamified platforms, and the demand from organisations is relatively low. It is expected that gamification will become more mainstream in the future as an applied business practice. Voluntariness is a critical factor within any managerial initiatives aimed at cultivating positive employee attitudes and experiences at work. The concept of employee consent includes mandatory fun events such as companywide social events as well as gamification systems. The original contributions to knowledge of this thesis include two conceptual models. The first draws on an existing model for game design and proposes that employee engagement is an emergent property of an open gamification system. Emerging from the combination of mechanics and dynamics creating an aesthetic experience that meets the motivational needs of employees and thereby evokes an emotional commitment to the organisation and furthermore, it motivates employees to focus on shared organisational and individuals’ goals. The second conceptual model draws on Hofstede’s organisational culture dimensions framework and posits that there may be a specific cultural pattern for organisations best suited for effective gamification. This study finds organisations with cultures that are goal-oriented; externally driven; easy-going work discipline; local; open systems; and have an employee orientation, are more likely to find gamification is an appropriate fit for their organisation. In addition, this thesis distinguishes between gamification and organisational gamification and offers a unique definition for gamification implemented within organisations, which has been purposefully and strategically implemented.
University of Waikato
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