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Gamification for Sustainability - An experts' perspective on the opportunities and challenges of gamification as a tool to foster sustainability practices within organisations

  • Hostettler, Yara
  • Van Maurik, Britt
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
DiVA - Academic Archive On-line
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Gamification and sustainability are two topics that have gained a lot of attention in the past few years, both from the corporate sector and the academic community. Yet, the connection between the two concepts has seldom been made. This study addresses this research gap, by presenting the novel concept of gamification and connecting it to established theories in the field of organisational change. It then creates a discussion around the question of the potential of gamification as a tool to foster sustainability practices within organisations.To answer this question, this thesis followed a qualitative research design. By performing semi-structured interviews with experts in the field of gamification, the study explored different aspects of gamification, namely its definition, the opportunities and challenges it faces in regards to sustainability, the organisation’s responses towards the concept and the hypotheses for the further development of gamification.The results of this study suggest that gamification has great potential to foster sustainable practices within organisations. With its element of fun, gamification has the power to engage employees in sustainability issues, create a deeper understanding of the topic and relate it directly to the employees’ personal values and decision-making process. By offering different perspectives and helping employees see the bigger picture, gamification can inspire a sense of meaningfulness and contribution to something bigger than oneself. However, this can only happen when the tools are designed and used in the right way. Building an understanding of the user and implementing the fitting game design elements to create an impactful experience for the player is, however, a complex and time-consuming process, and therefore put forth as one of the biggest challenges. Furthermore, gamification should strive to expand beyond the commonly used game design elements of points, badges and leaderboards to tap into the user’s intrinsic rather than extrinsic motivation.

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