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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2020

Rory Francis Mulcahy, Nadia Zainuddin and Rebekah Russell-Bennett

This study aims to investigate the use of gamification and serious games as transformative technologies that encourage health and well-being behaviors. The purpose of this paper…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the use of gamification and serious games as transformative technologies that encourage health and well-being behaviors. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the transformative value that can be created by gamified apps and serious games and the role involvement plays between transformative value and desired outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Four gamified apps/serious games were examined in the study, with data collected from N = 497 participants. The data were analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results revealed that gamified apps and serious games can create three transformative value dimensions – knowledge, distraction, and simulation – which can have direct and indirect effects on desired outcomes. Examination of competing models revealed involvement plays a mediating rather than a moderating role for gamification and serious games for well-being.

Originality/value

This research contributes greater understanding of how technology can be leveraged to deliver transformative gamification services. It demonstrates the multiple transformative value dimensions that can be created by gamified apps and serious games, which assist the performance of well-being behaviors and which have yet to be theorized or empirically examined. The study also establishes the mediating rather than the moderating role of involvement in gamification and serious games, as called for in the literature.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 January 2018

Rory Francis Mulcahy, Rebekah Russell-Bennett, Nadia Zainuddin and Kerri-Ann Kuhn

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to extend transformative service and social marketing practitioners’ and academics’ understanding of how gamification and serious…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to extend transformative service and social marketing practitioners’ and academics’ understanding of how gamification and serious m-games are designed, and second, to model the effects of game design elements on key transformative service and social marketing outcomes, satisfaction, knowledge, and behavioural intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

The research adopted a two-study, mixed-method research design, encompassing focus groups (n=21) and online surveys (n=497), using four current marketplace serious m-games. Study 1 was qualitative and the data were analysed in two cycles using an inductive and deductive approach. Study 2 was quantitative and the data were analysed using PLS-SEM.

Findings

The qualitative results of Study 1 discovered a framework of five game design elements for serious m-games. In Study 2, a conceptual model and hypothesised relationships were tested at a full sample level and by each serious m-game. Results show different significant relationships for each serious m-game and moderate to high levels of explanation for satisfaction and knowledge, and low to high levels of explained variance for behavioural intentions. The findings are therefore not only robust across four different serious m-games, but also demonstrate the nuances of the relationships.

Originality/value

This research contributes to two service research priorities: leveraging technology to advance services, and improving well-being through transformative services. This research demonstrates that gamification through serious m-games is one form of technology that can be designed to create a satisfying and knowledge-creating service experience, which can also influence intentions to perform health and well-being behaviours.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 June 2021

Rory Francis Mulcahy, Ryan McAndrew, Rebekah Russell-Bennett and Dawn Iacobucci

Marketers have begun to investigate the potential of gamification for influencing consumer behavior by using game design elements in realms varying from branding, retail, sales…

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Abstract

Purpose

Marketers have begun to investigate the potential of gamification for influencing consumer behavior by using game design elements in realms varying from branding, retail, sales and health services. Marketers have also begun to explore consumer behavior in sustainability. This paper aims to provide contributions to build on both literatures.

Design/methodology/approach

This research tests gamification principles in a large field study on real consumers that includes data from pre-post surveys, gamified app analytics and household energy meters. The data are analyzed using ANOVA’s and structural equation modeling.

Findings

The findings demonstrate: gamification significantly enhanced consumers’ knowledge, attitudes, behavioral intentions and realized bill savings compared to a control group; reward-based game design elements including points, badges and other rewards contribute to enhancing sustainable behavior outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

Future research in settings outside of sustainability may extend upon the findings of the current research to further understanding the impact of reward-based game design elements in marketing.

Practical implications

The findings have important practical implications for how organizations might use serious games to promote sustainable and other desirable behavior. In particular, how reward-based game design elements, points, trophies and badges, can be used to create a chain of relationships that leads to reduced electricity consumption.

Originality/value

This paper fulfills the need to understand if the impact of gamification extends outside of controlled environments and into the field. Further, it demonstrates how reward-based game design elements contribute to consumers changing their behavior, a relationship that is not yet thoroughly understood in the marketing literature.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 55 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 September 2021

Rory Francis Mulcahy and Aimee Riedel

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it seeks to extend service and retailers understanding of how the inclusion of haptics can gamify digital service experiences. Second…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, it seeks to extend service and retailers understanding of how the inclusion of haptics can gamify digital service experiences. Second, it seeks to understand the moderating role of consumers orientation towards adventure in service experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

This research adopts a two-study, 2 (haptic technology: present vs absent) × 2 (adventure orientation: high vs low) to test the proposed hypotheses (Study 1 n = 210, Study 2 n = 452). The data are tested using ANCOVA's and Hayes PROCESS Macro to investigate mean differences and the potential presence of two different moderated mediated relationships.

Findings

The results are consistent across the two experimental studies evidencing that the inclusion of haptics to gamify the service experience leads to significantly improved outcomes for service brands and channels. Further, the results demonstrate that the impact of haptics is greater for consumers with a lower, compared to higher, sense of adventure. Thus, the results demonstrate that whilst haptics improves consumers experiences with technological services overall, this is more prevalent for those who have “less sense of adventure”.

Originality/value

This paper sheds insight into the emerging area of haptic technology and is one of the first to specifically examine the impact of consumers “sense of adventure.”

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 November 2023

Rory Francis Mulcahy, Aimee Riedel, Byron Keating, Amanda Beatson and Kate Letheren

The aim of this paper is twofold. First, it seeks to understand how different forms of anthropomorphism, namely verbal and visual, can enhance or detract from the subjective…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is twofold. First, it seeks to understand how different forms of anthropomorphism, namely verbal and visual, can enhance or detract from the subjective well-being of consumers and their co-creation behaviors whilst collaborating with artificial intelligence (AI) service agents. Second, it seeks to understand if AI anxiety and trust in message, function as primary and secondary consumer appraisals of collaborating with AI service agents.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual model is developed using the theories of the uncanny valley and cognitive appraisal theory (CAT) with three hypotheses identified to guide the experimental work. The hypotheses are tested across three experimental studies which manipulate the level of anthropomorphism of AI.

Findings

Results demonstrate that verbal and visual anthropomorphism can assist consumer well-being and likelihood of co-creation. Further, this relationship is explained by the mediators of anxiety and trust.

Originality/value

The empirical results and theorizing suggest verbal anthropomorphism should be present (absent) and paired with low (high) visual anthropomorphism, which supports the “uncanny valley” effect. A moderated mediation relationship is established, which confirms AI anxiety and trust in a message as mediators of the AI service agent anthropomorphism-consumer subjective well-being/co-creation relationship. This supports the theorizing of the conceptual model based on the “uncanny valley” and CAT.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 June 2023

Rory Francis Mulcahy, Aimee Riedel, Byron W. Keating, Amanda Beatson and Marilyn Campbell

Online trolling is a detrimental behavior for consumers and service businesses. Although online trolling research is steadily increasing, service research has yet to thoroughly…

Abstract

Purpose

Online trolling is a detrimental behavior for consumers and service businesses. Although online trolling research is steadily increasing, service research has yet to thoroughly explore how this behavior impacts businesses. Further, the role of bystanders, consumers who witness a victim (business) being trolled, remains largely unexplored. The purpose of this paper is thus to introduce online trolling to the service literature and begin to identify when (types of online troll content) and why (empathy and psychological reactance) bystanders are likely to intervene and support a service business being trolled by posting positive eWOM.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses a two-study (Study 1 n = 313; Study 2 n = 472) experimental design with scenarios of a service business experiencing online trolling (moral versus sadistic). Participants' responses as bystanders were collected via an online survey.

Findings

Results reveal bystanders are more likely to post positive eWOM to support a service organization experiencing sadistic trolling. Psychological reactance is shown to mediate the relationship between trolling type and positive eWOM. Further, spotlight analysis demonstrates that bystanders with higher levels of empathy are more likely to post positive eWOM, whereas bystanders with low levels of empathy are likely to have a significantly higher level of psychological reactance.

Originality/value

This research is among the first in the service literature to specifically explore the consumer misbehavior of online trolling. Further, it provides new perspectives to online trolling by probing the role of bystanders and when and why they are likely to support service organizations being trolled.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 June 2023

Aimee Riedel, Amanda Beatson, Asha Worsteling, Rory Francis Mulcahy and Byron W. Keating

The current research aims to introduce the concept of frontline employee (FLE) vulnerability and examine its antecedents and consequences using a framework grounded in Job…

Abstract

Purpose

The current research aims to introduce the concept of frontline employee (FLE) vulnerability and examine its antecedents and consequences using a framework grounded in Job Demands-Resource theory (JD-R).

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic review and meta-analysis guided by PRISMA is utilized to review previous FLE literature (204 studies) and develop a conceptualization of FLE vulnerability. The meta-analysis then examines the antecedents and consequences of FLE vulnerability and provides generalizable findings including the identification of critical areas for future research.

Findings

The meta-analysis provided support for the proposed conceptualization of FLE vulnerability. Specifically, job demands and individual characteristics were observed to increase FLE vulnerability, conceptualized as an individual's susceptibility to experience state-based harm. Job resources were seen to minimize FLE susceptibility to vulnerability. FLE vulnerability was also observed to significantly strengthen negative outcomes and decrease positive outcomes.

Originality/value

This research addresses calls for greater investigation into how negative events may impact FLE vulnerability. This is achieved by defining FLE vulnerability as a concept which represents one's susceptibility to experience state-based harm as a result of job and/or individual characteristics. The research also provides greater understanding of the health impairment process within JD-R through the introduction and expanded definition of harm that moves beyond physical considerations to also include emotional and psychological harms. Finally, the research adds to the small body of meta-analytic research in the field of service management.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 May 2019

Aimee Riedel and Rory Francis Mulcahy

The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into whether “more sense makes sense” when attempting to encourage consumers to purchase retail products using technology; that is…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into whether “more sense makes sense” when attempting to encourage consumers to purchase retail products using technology; that is, does engaging senses in addition to visual and aural senses, such as haptic touch, through interactive retail technology lead to an easier and more enjoyable consumption experience of retail products for consumers, while also enhancing service provider outcomes? To test this assumption (“more sense makes sense”), this study empirically examines whether differences are present in the consumer experience (usefulness, ease of use and customer-perceived value) and service provider outcomes (satisfaction and purchase intentions) across retail technologies with and without haptic touch enabled.

Design/methodology/approach

The study randomly allocated participants to either the haptic touch (haptic touch, visual and aural senses, n = 135) or no haptic touch (visual and aural senses only, n = 182) interactive retail technology condition. The data were analyzed using multivariate analysis of covariance.

Findings

The data provide support for the use of high-interactive technology achieved through the inclusion of haptic touch by showing it to provide a more visually appealing, easy to use, enjoyable and entertaining experience. However, the results also provide insight into boundaries of where the use of haptic touch does not significantly increase outcomes. Overall, the results suggest high-interactive retail technology using haptic touch provides a more entertaining experience for consumers, which leads to increased satisfaction with service providers, but this does not translate into a significant increase in purchase intentions.

Originality/value

This study examines the consumer and service provider benefits and limitations of using haptic touch in interactive retail technology. The effects of haptic touch for both the consumer and service provider have not previously been empirically examined thoroughly in a technological setting.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 September 2019

Joy Parkinson, Rory Francis Mulcahy, Lisa Schuster and Heini Taiminen

Online offerings for transformative services create value for consumers, although little research examines the process through which these services deliver this value. The purpose…

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Abstract

Purpose

Online offerings for transformative services create value for consumers, although little research examines the process through which these services deliver this value. The purpose of this paper is to develop a comprehensive framework to capture the complexity of the co-creation of transformative value experienced by the consumers of online transformative services.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a netnography approach to examine longitudinal data from an online weight management program. In total, this research examines 15,304 posts from 3,149 users, including eight staff users.

Findings

Consumers integrate a range of social support resources, from informational support to esteem support, which provide a range of benefits such as new ideas and self-efficacy that underpin the different types of value such as epistemic and personal value. The degree of co-created value differs across the consumption experience but culminates over time into transformative value.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed framework may be useful beyond the weight management and online contexts; however, further work is required in a range of behavioral contexts and other modes of service delivery.

Practical implications

By understanding the resources consumers integrate and value, co-created services can develop appropriate value propositions to assist in improving consumers’ well-being.

Originality/value

This research provides a comprehensive framework of the transformative value co-creation process, extending on existing frameworks which examine either the process, value co-creation or the types of value co-created.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 February 2019

Kate Letheren, Rebekah Russell-Bennett, Rory Francis Mulcahy and Ryan McAndrew

Practitioners need to understand how households will engage with connected-home technologies or risk the failure of these innovations. Current theory does not offer sufficient…

Abstract

Purpose

Practitioners need to understand how households will engage with connected-home technologies or risk the failure of these innovations. Current theory does not offer sufficient explanation for how households will engage; hence, this paper aims to address an important gap by examining how households set “rules of engagement” for connected-home technologies in the context of electricity use and monitoring.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the extant psychology, technology and engagement literature is conducted and yields two research questions for exploration. The research questions are addressed via 43 in-depth household interviews. Analysis includes thematic analysis and computerized text analysis.

Findings

The results include a typology of technology engagement (the “PIP typology”) and discuss three main roles for technology in assisting households: intern, assistant and manager. Key contributions are as follows: consumers in household settings may experience “compromised engagement” where the perceived middle option is selected even if no-one selected that option originally; households open to using connected-home technologies are often taking advantage of their ability to “delegate” engagement to technology, and because consumers humanize technology, they also expect technology to follow social roles and boundaries.

Research limitations/implications

Future research may examine the PIP typology quantitatively and/or in different contexts and would benefit from a longitudinal study to examine how household technology engagement evolves. Four research propositions are provided, which may form the basis for future research.

Practical implications

Recommendations for practitioners are presented regarding the benefits of keeping consumers at the heart of connected-home technology goods and services. Specific design principles are provided.

Originality/value

This paper fulfills the need to understand how households will engage with connected-home technologies and the roles this technology may fulfill in the complex household service system.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 53 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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