Gamification of Enterprise Systems: A Synthesis of Mechanics, Dynamics, and Risks

M. Schmidt-Kraepelin, S. Lins, S. Thiebes, A. Sunyaev

Organizations highly depend on enterprise systems (ES), which are unlikely to develop their full potential if end-users neglect system usage. Accordingly, organizations attempt to overcome barriers to end-user acceptance in the ES context, which can be attributed to several factors on ES, organizational, and end-user level. Trying to take advantage of the growing passion for games, Gamification is a phenomenon proposed to motivate people by applying elements common to games in other contexts that have the potential to increase end-user acceptance. While first applications of Gamification exist in areas such as finance, health, and education, utility of gamifying ES has not been explored in-depth. Aiming to understand how Gamification can be applied to ES to increase user motivation, we analyze literature concerning game elements (i.e., mechanics and dynamics) used in Gamification and related risks. Our study yields a synthesis of mechanics in clusters of system design, challenges, rewards, and user specifics as well as related dynamics. We discuss the extent to which the game elements can be used to address ES acceptance barriers. While our study reveals that Gamification has potential for motivating ES users, future research should analyze concrete implementations of Gamification in ES contexts to investigate long-term effects.

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