Gamification of business processes: Sociological analysis of the advanced management practices

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Gamification is a new management approach implying the use of computer games technologies in non-game contexts, particularly to improve motivation at work and efficiency of organizational processes. The key assumption is that introduction of game elements into the working routine can increase employees’ motivation, involvement, and loyalty. The first attempts of sociological reflection on gamification were based on the critical approach and concluded that this technology could only exacerbate inequalities, exploitation, and control. However, this claim remains unconfirmed, partially due to the fact that the available evidence was provided by the managerial research that focus mainly on the gamification efficiency. The article is based on the analysis of gamification projects in eight companies and aims at testing the claim of critical sociology that gamification is mainly a tool of control and exploitation. Today gamification is a multifunctional technology and solves different tasks: increases productivity and quality of work operations, stimulates organizational communications and knowledge transfer, learning, teambuilding, control, and employees’ loyalty. Gamification can have positive effects, but often they are short-term and accompanied by side effects. Generalization of the available data does not support the conclusions of critical sociology; however, in some cases, gamification is used to strengthen control and reinforce the structural inequality. The critical approach tends to underestimate the influence of institutional and sociocultural factors that make the company strive for a balance of actors’ interests, and employees’ strategic planning. Thus, gamification, despite its ambiguity, has a positive potential - it is capable of improving the quality of human and social capital.

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A. A Dieva

Office of the Government of the Russian Federation

Author for correspondence.

сотрудник Аппарата Правительства Российской Федерации

Krasnopresnenskaya nab., 2, Moscow, 103274, Russia


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