Preconceptions towards gamifying work: A thematic analysis of responses of a maritime logistics organization

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While research is increasingly investigating gamification in occupational environments, little in-depth analyses focus on understanding employees' perceptions of gamified work. To address this gap, this paper presents a thematic analysis drawing on ten interviews among maritime port employees to elaborate on their preconceptions towards work gamification. By offering contextualized insights, our results detail how competition-based gamification, as well as those highlighting individual performance, are perceived as detrimental for the collaborative pursuit of work, while raising concerns related to organizational outcomes, such as safety and work quality. Moreover, employees believed there is a boundary between work and play which could be difficult to breach, while inherent qualities were perceived as the main motivational characteristics of work. Our results highlight how gamification at a workplace should not contradict or undermine organizational values, especially teamwork, but conform to them in order to enhance occupational well-being and fluency. Moreover, gamification should enhance intrinsically motivating aspects of work instead of entirely altering how the work is perceived.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademic Mindtrek 2021 - Proceedings of the 24th International Academic Mindtrek Conference
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450385145
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021
Publication typeA4 Article in conference proceedings
EventInternational Academic Mindtrek Conference - , Finland
Duration: 1 Jun 20213 Jun 2021

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series


ConferenceInternational Academic Mindtrek Conference


  • Gamification
  • logistics
  • motivation
  • preconceptions
  • work

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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