Is Enterprise Gamification Being Cannibalized by Its Own Brand?



Publication Details

Kamel, M. M., Watfa, M. K., Lobo, B. & Sobh, D. 2017, 'Is Enterprise Gamification Being Cannibalized by Its Own Brand?', IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, vol. 60, no. 2, pp. 147-164.


Research problem: Gamification is a concept that originates from the digital media domain. It includes a process of enhancing a service using game design elements in nongame contexts. Although much research exists on gamification, very few studies focus on the application of gamification in the enterprise. Research questions: (1) How do managers currently use and experience gamification as a communication medium? (2) Why is it that few instances of gamification exist in enterprise management? (3) Is gamification's own branding somehow cannibalizing itself in enterprise applications? Literature review: We reviewed gamification literature in the workplace and looked at the applicability of game design elements within the enterprise culture. Enterprise gamification is still considered uncharted territory, and more research on gamification in the enterprise is needed. But existing research studies support our claims that there is high potential for enterprise gamification that needs to be explored. Methodology: Observations were made during fieldwork with an exploratory interview research approach. These observations were put to test via an online psychological single-blind controlled quantitative experiment conducted with 198 survey respondents to investigate the effect of branding on gamification and its perception in the enterprise context. Results and conclusions: The results show that using the "gamification" brand clearly drives lower rates of perceived acceptance of the concept, whereas using an "unbranded" version of the same gamification concepts results in comparatively higher rates of perceived acceptance and a general willingness to adopt within the enterprise context. The results also confirm that "interest" and "branding" are interrelated, and that gamification faces higher rates of resistance, lower rates of adoption, and lower success rates in the enterprise compared to other fields. Thus, enterprise gamification may not be correctly branded, and our research recommends the use of a set of procedural, prepackaged best practices, in the form of an implementation framework, to guarantee optimal design and implementation.

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