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Work and play: an experiment in enterprise gamification
Stanculescu L., Bozzon A., Sips R., Houben G.  CSCW 2016 (Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing, San Francisco, CA, 346-358. 2016. Type: Proceedings
Date Reviewed: May 17 2016

There is an increasing desire to apply gamification internally in the workplace through a new subcategory: enterprise gamification. This subcategory is not yet well covered in the literature, so Stanculescu et al. have done great work with this paper. They present an interesting approach in research on enterprise gamification values in real-world deployment through the Work&Play gamification engine, designed for the enterprise environment. The enterprise system is decomposed to the game elements and game mechanics that are presented as key categories of enterprise gamification applications. The research is focused on the “how much of an IBMer are you (HMIAY)” application that has been developed and deployed at IBM. The authors developed their work in line with the game mechanics on which the Work&Play framework and HMIAY application are configured.

With the brilliant decomposition of the enterprise gamification engine, the authors based their methodology on research questions for participants from various countries and different work cultures, making the findings and final results of this research much more trustworthy. The research includes three research questions, each bearing the context of relevant dependent variables of the experiments: user engagement, social online behavior, and learning. Besides the review of these three dependent variables, the authors also investigate the influences of the independent variables within the game mechanics implemented in the application via leaderboards and badges.

The authors successfully elaborate the results in the context of research topics: recruitment and retention, user engagement, social behavior, learning, and legal and ethical aspects. Finally, they also conclude that gamification engines like Work&Play ask for more attention on privacy issues:

Our work bridged the gap between an employee’s professional and private information by combining user data from social and professional networks with enterprise data. Respecting user’s privacy is not only required from a legal and an ethical point of view, it has also been a critical part of system design because trust is a prerequisite for engagement.

These words are quite appropriate to the notion of enterprise gamification as a tool for improving inherent motivation for continuous workforce engagement.

It is certainly recommended reading and will be a source for further research in the field of enterprise gamification systems development and real-world deployment.

Reviewer:  F. J. Ruzic Review #: CR144417 (1609-0717)
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