Enterprise gamification systems and employment legislation: a systematic literature review

Sean Hinton, Lincoln C. Wood, Harminder Singh, Torsten Reiners


A recent innovation in employee motivation systems is the introduction of ‘gamification’, which refers to the use of game design mechanics and principles to influence behaviour to enhance staff motivation and engagement. Enterprise gamification systems aggravate the differences in information availability between employers and employees, and employees who may be forced to adopt such systems may be placed under stress, worsening employment relationships in the workplace. Therefore, this research examines the potential legal implications of gamified employee motivation systems. This study undertook a systematic review of enterprise gamification and then used thematic analysis coupled with a review of legislation to examine whether gamification in workplaces meets the legal obligations of employers under their ‘duty of good faith’ in the New Zealand context. We find that carefully designed enterprise gamification systems should provide sufficient information and clarity for employees and support positive employment relationships. Deployments of enterprise gamification systems should be carefully planned with employee consultation and feedback supporting the introduction of an enterprise gamification system. Future research should look beyond the ‘good faith’ obligation and examine the relationship between gamification systems and the law on personal grievances.


Gamification; performance management; legal; employment relationship; good faith

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v23i0.2037

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/au/

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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