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Cultural influences moderating learners’ adoption of serious 3D games for managerial learning

Haytham Siala (Department of International Business and Marketing, Newcastle University London, London, UK) (Business School, University of Roehampton, London, UK)
Elmar Kutsch (Cranfield School of Management, Bedfordshire, UK)
Suzy Jagger (Business School, University of Roehampton, London, UK)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Article publication date: 7 August 2019

Issue publication date: 9 March 2020



The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether learners from different cultures adopt a serious 3D game to facilitate the learning of transferable managerial skills (ethics) and knowledge.


A cross-sectional, cross-country survey study (n=319) was conducted recruiting participants from one North American and two British universities. The survey data and the conceptual model have been analysed and tested using confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling.


Participants displayed positive attitudes towards the 3D game and responded positively to theory presented as “real-life” scenarios; gamification techniques such as interactions and dialogue, and rewards and progression levels, which are part of the game, albeit the participants’ adoption was driven more by extrinsic motivations (rewards) than intrinsic ones (ease of use and entertainment). In addition, the empirical results suggest that when gender is taken into account, the perceptions and needs of cross-cultural learners in serious gaming environments vary and display characteristics that are similar to Rogers’ five adopter categories; thus, culture could significantly shape learners’ decisions to adopt a serious game as a managerial learning tool.

Research limitations/implications

For future researchers, this paper highlights various levels of training, support and promotional awareness that need to be considered to facilitate the adoption of serious games for managerial learning.

Practical implications

For academics and practitioners in work-based learning and managerial training environments, this paper highlights the salient factors that need to be inherent in a serious 3D game, and best practices for scaffolding existing instructional approaches or training interventions.


In light of Rogers’ five adopter categories, this cross-country study involving culturally diverse learners provides key insight into the potential application of serious games as a practice-based learning instrument in academia and industry.



The authors would like to thank both ORT and the University of Roehampton University for supporting the research study as the software development was part of a matched funding project between the University of Roehampton, and a European NGO, ORT France. The authors would also like to express special thanks and gratitude to Dr Suzy Jagger who is the brain-parent of the serious game for granting the authors permission to use the serious game and the data set for this research study. The authors would also like to thank the two “anonymous” reviewers for their invaluable and substantive insights, comments and constructive feedback on how to improve the first version of the manuscript that was submitted to this journal.


Siala, H., Kutsch, E. and Jagger, S. (2020), "Cultural influences moderating learners’ adoption of serious 3D games for managerial learning", Information Technology & People, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 424-455.



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