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Level Up Your Strategy: Towards a Descriptive Framework for Meaningful Enterprise Gamification

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Gamification initiatives are currently top-of-mind for many organizations seeking to engage their employees in creative ways, improve their productivity, and drive positive behavioural outcomes in their workforce – ultimately leading to positive business outcomes on the whole. Despite its touted benefits, little empirical research has been done to date to investigate technological and individual personal factors that determine the success or failure of enterprise gamification initiatives. In this article, we provide a summary of our preliminary research findings from three case studies of gamification initiatives across different business contexts and present an empirically validated descriptive framework that details the key success factors for enterprise gamification. Our adaptation of the mechanics, dynamics, and aesthetics (MDA) framework for enterprise gamification aims to explicate the connections between end-user motivations, interactive gameplay elements, and technology features and functions that constitute effective gamification interventions in the enterprise. Following a discussion of the core elements in the framework and their interrelationships, the implications of our research are presented in the form of guidelines for the management and design of gamification initiatives and applications. The research findings presented in this article can potentially aid in the development of game mechanics that translate into positive user experiences and foster higher levels of employee engagement. Additionally, our research findings provide insights on key success factors for the effective adoption and institutionalization of enterprise gamification initiatives in organizations, and subsequently help them enhance the performance of their employees and drive positive business outcomes.
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