How gamification of an enterprise collaboration system increases knowledge contribution : an affordance approach

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-431
Journal / PublicationJournal of Knowledge Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


Purpose: This study aims to examine how gamification increases employees’ knowledge contribution to the place of work. It develops and tests the conjecture that gamification adds hedonic value to the use of an enterprise collaboration system (ECS), which, in turn, increases in both the quality and quantity of knowledge contribution. Design/methodology/approach: Drawing on the framework of successful gamification against a backdrop of affordance theory, this study develops and tests a theoretical model that explains the effects of gamification affordances on knowledge contribution via the use of an ECS. Empirical data were gathered from 166 employees at a global company that used a gamified ECS designed to aid knowledge sharing. Findings: Results using structural equation modeling showed that three gamification affordances – rewardability, competition and visibility of achievement – jointly influenced employees’ perceived hedonic value of the ECS, which, in turn, increased knowledge contribution. Practical implications: The results indicate that designing affordances that can increase hedonic value is central to facilitating employees’ knowledge contribution. However, simply incorporating game artifacts does not guarantee increased hedonic value of an ECS. Instead, assessing, monitoring and diagnosing what affordances users perceive from the use of a gamified system are important. Originality/value: By conceptualizing gamification affordances rather than specifying the design features of enterprise applications, this study provides meaningful insights into how the benefits of gamification can be harnessed for knowledge management in organizations.

Research Area(s)

  • Affordance theory, Gamification, Hedonic value, Knowledge management