Gamification is the concept of applying game elements to real life contexts like business or education, with the aim of creating behavioral change, enhancing motivation and performance of individuals. Even though there is a rising trend in popularity and an increase in deployment, many attempts however fail their objectives. The field is still missing theoretical foundations, valid research and best practices. It is dominated by misconceptions, poor design of practical approaches and controversial opinions amongst experts. Nevertheless, motivational theories like the self-determination theory or the concept of flow can serve as valuable foundations for understanding how game elements can influence human motivation. Taking them as a theoretical basis and thoughtfully considering their implications for the design of a gamified process can thus lead to higher success of applications.
This thesis analyzes the concept of gamification in the context of business with the focus on enhancing employee motivation. A link between motivational theories, the practical utilization of game mechanics and their dynamics is established. Initial frameworks of current research are explained and aspects of appropriate design focused on. Including the notion of strategic human resource management, the overall meaning of gamification for organizations is examined. By discussing the potentials and pitfalls of gamified systems, the aim is to clarify essential aspects which need to be considered for achieving a successful implementation.
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