Gamification in Change Management processes

What follows is the abstract fro a Bachelor Thesis by Raphael Schönen

A while back he interviewed me and a few other gamification experts to help with his theses. If you want to find out more, please contact him at [email protected]

This bachelor thesis is an initial scientific attempt to determine the relevance and implications of Gamification in the Change Management context. Special focus lies on answering the leading question whether and when Gamification can be used as a tool for Change Management. Therefore practical guidance is provided for companies which aim to apply Gamification in the Change Management context.

The theoretical framework of this paper is based on a combination of literature review and the analysis of expert interviews. A qualitative approach was chosen because it can provide a new way to acquire deep understanding about the phenomenon studied.

The main contribution is an empirically justified framework, which gives guidance on when to use Gamification in the Change Management context. Gamification is a possible means to motivate people in a transformation. Therefore the decision whether Gamification is an appropriate tool in a specific change, is made during the development of the communication strategy.

To give some further guidance whether Gamification should be part of the communication strategy, a Gamification decision model was designed. The Game/No-Game Decision is taken in five consecutive decision levels.

The framework as well as the decision tree model were validated by applying all relevant elements to a pilot study which was performed on behalf of the consulting company CGI in an international IT integration program.

Gamification is a proper tool for Change Management as far as the target process is fulfilling the relevant criteria. The necessary analysis has to be performed while developing the communication strategy. Thus, an early involvement of key stakeholders and their motivational engagement in the process can be guaranteed.

[email protected]

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10 thoughts on “Gamification in Change Management processes”

  1. Interesting article! There are different types of change that requires change management and I think gamification applies most to changes that are aligned to “cultural” changes. For transactional changes, such as switching to another “system” or process, gamification may not be as significant as often, there is no alternatives to not changing – system will be replaced regardless if you are happy or unhappy about the change. However, for something that is tied to cultural changes, where you need to fundamentally change how the employees think and behave, I think gamification can really help to support the demonstrate the need and urgency for change.

  2. Not so fast…player autonomy was absent in all change management efforts I supported in almost 6 years. That is because the change was transactional change not transformational change. In practicality, that means going from one set of processes to another set over-night often associated with a new ERP software package.

  3. So which change management platform with gamification elements do you recommend? The only one I know of is Bitrix24.

    • As far as my research goes, I haven´t really looked into specific change management platforms in detail. Therefore I am not familiar with Bitrix24 or aware of their scope of services. However, the interviews with gamification experts showed that these platforms have to be treated with caution and not seen as panacea. Without meaning to generalize those platforms mostly offer some kind of feedback platform, which has not necessarily something to do with Gamification. They can work for a short period of time, due to the novelty effect but at a certain point a limit is reached. At that point you´ll need a more sophisticated approach.

      You will always get the best results from a system that is build for your problem. Certainly you will get some results from a generic system but definitely better results from a system that is customized for your needs and aligned with the business objectives.

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