Previously coined as the application of gaming principles in non-gaming scenarios, gamification is an emerging managerial tactic, but it lacks a rigorous theorization in the management discipline. Based on introductive research on related domains, this study aims to link up gamification and training and directly explored its effectiveness and efficacy, thus providing certain implications for practitioners. Specifically, this paper conceptualizes the gamification as a crystallization of routines as it continuously strengthens the new ways to award and punish with predetermined goals while initiated from past experiences. As such, the study confirms that gamification demotivates the participants and lowers their performances. Overall, the study is important as it investigates the significance of gamification and offers a new perspective to disentangle the debates over the effect of experience on learning.
The study used one base experiment conducted in two random-chosen paired classes, followed by another confirmative experiment. By introducing the gamification system into one experiment class while controlling the other, the authors sent out two waves of surveys while merging with the objective grades to investigate the effects of gamification on both motivation and performance.
The results have confirmed that gamification could engender the detrimental effects on both motivation and performance, though the authors did not find support for a mediating effect of motivation on the relationship between gamification and performance.
Because of resource limitation, the study used business students’ academic performance as a proxy for the performance effect. Although the results help reveal a basic cause-effect relationship, we still need further experiments based on real business units and/or on larger samples.
The findings indicate that gamification counter-intuitively demotivates participants and directly leads to poorer performances. This reminds practitioners of a cautious adoption of gamification in their management system.
To the best of authors’ knowledge, this study is among the first to link the trendy concept of gamification with both managerial and academic studies on related fronts.
Liu, B. and Wang, J. (2019), "Demon or angel: an exploration of gamification in management", Nankai Business Review International, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/NBRI-02-2018-0013Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited