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Case Study : Gamification as a Strategic Human Resource Tool to gain Organisational Competitive Advantage via increased employee engagement

Sands, Fiona (2013) Case Study : Gamification as a Strategic Human Resource Tool to gain Organisational Competitive Advantage via increased employee engagement. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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This thesis reviews the growing trend of using ‘Gamification’ within traditional enterprise human resources (HR) processes and practices. As gamification quickly becomes a hot topic across a wide range of industries, business functions and academia, and now holds a place in the Oxford English dictionary, it is a concept that has been hailed as a “game changing layer" and mocked as a “useless buzzword". According to Gartner (2012), Gamification will be in 25% of redesigned business processes by 2015, will grow to a $2.8 billion business by 2016 and 70% of the top global 2000 businesses will have at least one ‘gamified’ application by 2014.

Research shows that amongst the initial adopters of gamification mechanics is the corporate HR department. Pioneers within the function are working with industry analysts and gaming organisations to build gaming platforms to deliver loyalty based or game based applications for their employees. This thesis will explore the literature available to date on this new but growing concept and explore what it is that is attracting HR professionals to support their strategic impact with gamification platforms.

The document begins by examining the HR functions role as a strategic partner to a business. It then focuses on the impact that the HR function has on increasing employee engagement within an organisation and how this is a very tangible measure of the functions influence on bottom line results and as a provider of competitive advantage. Following this the thesis reviews the role that gamification plays as a tool for increasing employee engagement in today’s technology driven world where the drivers of workplace engagement are shifting.

If you were to track the history of gamification you may get the initial impression that the industry is just a few years old. However when you look closer, the ideas of using game mechanics and design to increase employee participation and engagement is not new. What is being claimed, through gamification, are the enabling tools to support organisations to take employee engagement further than it has been before. Within this thesis I tackle this claim. I set out to gain some tangible, real world, impartial evidence from the early adopters of gamification to see if in fact it can push employee engagement further than it has before and therefore should be considered as a tool to support competitive advantage through the HR function. The aim of this thesis is so that it can be used as a working document for corporate HR professionals who are currently considering using gamification platforms to support their business case for its use within their own organisation. At present there is very little research and evidence in existence, outside industry analysts and gamification gurus and technology companies, of what the benefits are to an organisation for adopting gamification platforms. This thesis will access this data from secondary and primary resources to provide this information.

The methodology adopted to support this is to position the primary research data in case study format. The case study information was gathered from five semi structured interviews with representatives from global organisations currently using gamification platforms to support employee engagement. The thesis also provides a working model that can be used as a source of reference to show the interconnections between drivers of employee engagement and their impact on competitive advantage and how gamification platforms can be used as a strategic HR tool to support these drivers.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Competition > Competitive Advantage
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > Games and Amusements > Computer Games. Video Games.
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management > Performance Management > Employee Engagement
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Business Administration
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2013 10:22
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2013 10:22

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