AbstractOrganisations are continuously seeking to increase employee engagement to improve
organisational performance and gain competitive advantage. Gamification — the use of game
mechanics in non-game contexts — is a nascent and increasingly applied approach to improve
engagement and holds promise to address current engagement gaps in workplaces. Applying
gamification to the complexities and idiosyncrasies of the workplace, however, presents
challenges for researchers and gamification designers. This thesis argues that Cultural
Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) provides a theoretical framework for addressing these
challenges in both research and practice, and it develops methods of adapting the use of
CHAT to understand the unique factors of a particular workplace context.
Using a qualitative design-based research method, a gamification experience was designed for
staff of three workplaces using the same five design steps in all contexts and implementing a
gamification experience for three months. Three organisations participated in this study: a
school seeking to increase innovative teaching practices in its teachers; a restaurant wanting
to improve team interaction and restaurant management; and a government department
wanting to increase professional development activities.
The findings from this study demonstrate the positive effects gamification can have in the
workplace, including increased staff engagement and motivation, improved team interactions
and communication, increased productivity and better clarity on team goals, and increased
workplace satisfaction. Significantly, the gamification design process helped alleviate
systemic tensions in the workplace and demonstrates that gamification can contribute to a
more productive and higher performing organisation.
This thesis makes several unique contributions including providing additional qualitative
evidence of the effectiveness of gamification and first study to extend Cultural Historical
Activity Theory and practice to the gamification design process. Finally, this thesis provides a
gamification design process and evaluation framework for designers to use when
implementing gamification in the workplace.
|Date of Award||2019|
|Supervisor||Simon Leonard (Supervisor), Robert Fitzgerald (Supervisor), Sam Hinton (Supervisor) & Michael Walsh (Supervisor)|