A theory of work gamification: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something cool?

Maria Teresa Cardador, Gregory B Northcraft, Jordan Whicker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A key assumption driving organizations’ adoption of work gamification – applying principles of digital and computer games to work contexts – is that such efforts increase worker motivation, effectiveness, and performance. This paper presents a theory of work gamification, positioning work gamification as an intended enhancement of traditional performance management systems which promotes increased worker access to performance information, and improves task enjoyment. In addition to explaining why work gamification should be expected to have motivational and work effectiveness benefits, the theory also highlights the application and worker characteristics that may act as important boundary conditions to the efficacy of gamification applied to work. Theoretical and practical implications of work gamification are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-365
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Resource Management Review
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017

Keywords

  • Game features
  • Performance management
  • Work effectiveness
  • Work gamification
  • Work motivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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