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

Eetu Wallius, Ana Carolina Tomé Klock, Vilhlemiina Eronen, Juho Hamari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientificpeer-review


While research is increasingly investigating gamification in occupational environments, little in-depth analyses focus on under-standing 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 '21: Proceedings of the 24th International Academic Mindtrek Conference
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery ACM
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4503-8514-5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2021
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
Event24th Academic Mindtrek Conference, Mindtrek '21 - Virtual, Tampere, Finland
Duration: 1 Jun 20213 Jun 2021


Conference24th Academic Mindtrek Conference, Mindtrek '21


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