PERSUASIVE TECHNOLOGY AND GAMIFICATION AT THE WORKPLACE: ENGAGING EMPLOYEES IN EFFECTIVE DOCUMENTATION OF ANALYSIS AND EVALUATIONS
Selassie, Haida 1988-
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The availability of rich and high-quality data gives organizations the opportunity to make strategic decisions and a competitive edge over their competitors. However, documentation has been known to be a repetitive and tedious task and employees who perform this task may not be inherently motivated and suffer from fatigue, which reflects poorly on the quantity and quality of documentation. This thesis addresses this problem and proposes to use Persuasive Technology and Gamification to engage employees in documentation. Persuasive technology aims to change behaviours and attitudes through the art of persuasion without the use of coercion. Gamification is a type of Persuasive Technology that leverages the persuasive power of games to cause behaviour change in people. A lot of existing research and practice have focused on using Persuasive Technology and Gamification to achieve workplace engagement, motivation and productivity. However, there is little research on the use of Persuasive Technology and Gamification to engage employees in effective documentation of analysis and evaluations. This research aims to fill this gap and explore the feasibility of leveraging Persuasive Technology to encourage employees in documentation of analysis and evaluations. A Requirement-Focused Design Science Research approach was adopted to define requirements for the implementation of a persuasive gamified system to encourage employees in documentation of analysis and evaluations. Two studies were conducted to investigate employee motivation and the susceptibility of employees to various persuasive strategies. The first study was conducted among 20 Applied Behaviour Analysis front-line staff. ABA is data driven, however, front-line staff do not provide sufficiently rich data which is a critical part of the success of ABA. The second study was carried among 55 Graduate Assistants (markers) from the University of Saskatchewan. Providing feedback on assignments is a quintessential part of the learning cycle of students and the availability of feedback that students can understand and execute is required. However, students find feedbacks provided to them often vague, insufficient, or difficult to comprehend. Especially, in the second study, the results depicted a workforce whose engagement in tasks was not self-determined and a description of a perceived low satisfaction of Basic Psychological Needs; Competence, Relatedness and Autonomy. This presents a workforce that will engage in the minimum amount of work required of them without an extra effort in performance. The results of our studies showed that both ABA front-line staff and Graduate Assistants are most susceptible to two persuasive strategies - Commitment and Reciprocity, followed by Authority and least susceptible to Consensus and Scarcity among Cialdini’s persuasive principles. Among the social influence persuasive strategies, employees from both studies were most susceptible to Trustworthiness. Whilst there was no statistically significant difference between the other social influence persuasive strategies (Reward, Competition, Social Comparison, Social Learning) among ABA employees, Graduate Assistants were more susceptible to Reward and Competition and least susceptible to Social Comparison and Social Learning. However, gender and continent of origin influenced the susceptibility of Graduate Assistants to Trustworthiness and Social Learning. North American Males are not influenced by Social Learning in contrast to African Males who influenced by it. Although North American females are least susceptible to Social Learning, they are still influenced by it. These results imply the investment in a persuasive gamified system that will facilitate the satisfaction of the Basic Psychological Needs of employees to increase their intrinsic motivation in effective documentation of analysis and evaluations. Persuasive and game elements that support Rewards, Competition, Trustworthiness, Commitment, Reciprocity and Authority could be used to achieve this. To make these results actionable, requirement guidelines have been recommended for both workplaces based on the insights gathered from the user studies. However, these requirements have not been evaluated. Therefore, future work will involve the design, development and evaluation of a persuasive gamified system based on the requirements specifications. Also, to draw definite conclusions on tailoring persuasive strategies to individuals and groups, future research should consider the impact of other workplace diversity factors that may impact susceptibility to these persuasive strategies.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
CommitteeGreer, Jim; McCalla, Gord; Zhang, Chris
Copyright DateAugust 2017
Persuasive Technology, Gamification, Self-Determination Theory, Employee Motivation