Publications

2022

Tuschner, C., Krath, J., Bings, J., Schwenkmezger, M., Etzkorn, M. & von Korflesch, H. (2022). Leading in the digital age: A systematic review on leader traits in the context of e-leadership. 30th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), 18.-24. Juni 2022. 63. https://aisel.aisnet.org/ecis2022_rp/63/.

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Abstract

Due to the rapid changes in work environments caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, leadership has shifted from face-to-face to virtual contexts. Accordingly, the new challenges require specific e-leader traits. To summarize the divergent scholarly discussion, we conducted a systematic review and identified distal (i.e., personality, cognitive abilities, motives and attitudes, and core beliefs) and proximal (i.e., skills) attributes of e-leaders. Our results show that some traditional leader traits such as technological, communication, motivational, and organizational skills are also important for e-leadership. However, certain traits become increasingly important in virtual contexts: e-leaders need adaptability and risk- taking to deal with constant change, and higher cultural, social, and emotional intelligence to foster collaboration in diversified teams. In addition, digital technologies require particular change management, coaching, and trust-building skills. Our findings contribute to the current discussion on e-leadership and help practitioners train their leaders towards the identified e-leader profile.

Krath, J., Morschheuser, B., von Korflesch, H.F.O. (2022). Designing Gamification for Sustainable Employee Behavior: Insights on Employee Motivations, Design Features and Gamification Elements.55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), 4.-7. Januar 2022,1594-1603. http://hdl.handle.net/10125/79530.

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Encouraging sustainable employee behavior is critical for companies in the face of increasing societal pressure towards sustainability. While gamification has been shown to influence employee behavior effectively, current attempts to design gamification for sustainability in the workplace largely neglect the importance of understanding personal factors and contextual characteristics. This work explores employees' motivations for sustainable behavior and expectations for design features through in-depth interviews with 27 employees from different SMEs. Our results show that many employees tend to be egoistically motivated, suggesting the design of appropriate narratives and individualistic-oriented design features. Employees expected utilitarian, hedonistic, and social design features that primarily serve to support them in achieving personal sustainability goals while highlighting that gamification at work should also integrate seamlessly with existing work routines. We contribute to gamification design research by discussing the particularities of the workplace sustainability context and shedding new light on involving users in gamification design.

Kordyaka, B., Krath, J., Park, S., Wesseloh, H., Laato, S. (2022). Understanding toxicity in multiplayer online games: The roles of national culture and demographic variables. 55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), 4.-7. Januar 2022, 2908-2917. http://hdl.handle.net/10125/79693.

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Toxic behavior (TB) is a negative response to in-game frustration in multiplayer online games (MOG) that can ruin the playing experience, causing financial damage to MOG operators. Understanding the drivers of TB is an important step to curb the behavior. In this work, we consult the model of national culture (MNC) as well as demographic variables (e.g., education, gender, and age) as antecedent variables of TB using an exploratory design. We surveyed players of League of Legends and Dota 2 with two samples, based on the MNC, from North America (n=155) and India (n=119). We observed significant cultural differences in TB, with higher levels of self-reported toxicity in the Indian sample. In both samples, consistent with previous findings, age was negatively associated with TB. However surprisingly, there was a statistically significant difference among the two groups in terms of the relationship between education and TB.

2021

Krath, J. (2021). Gamification for Sustainable Employee Behavior: Extended Abstract for the CHI PLAY 2021 Doctoral Consortium. In: Extended Abstracts of the 2021 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY '21). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 411–414. https://doi.org/10.1145/3450337.3483523

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Under the urgency of supporting the transition to sustainability among all societal actors, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the pivotal role of individual environmentally friendly behavior has been emphasized. While gamification has proven to be a promising means of motivating people and encouraging behavioral change, its application to the context of pro-environmental behavior in the workplace is still in its infancy. This thesis aims to investigate how gamification interventions need to be designed to encourage employees to engage in sustainability, and whether gamification leads to measurable reductions in corporate emissions. By applying design science research methodology, theoretical and empirical research iteratively generate knowledge about this novel field of application and lead to a theoretically grounded gamification design and evaluation, aiming to demonstrate the revolutionary potential of gamification for sustainability in SMEs.

Krath, J., Schürmann, L. & von Korflesch, H. F. O. (2021). Revealing the theoretical basis of gamification: A systematic review and analysis of theory in research on gamification, serious games and game-based learning. Computers in Human Behavior (125), 106963. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2021.106963 .

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Despite increasing scientific interest in explaining how gamification supports positive affect and motivation, behavior change and learning, there is still a lack of an overview of the current theoretical understanding of the psychological mechanisms of gamification. Previous research has adopted several different angles and remains fragmented. Taking both an observational and explanatory perspective, we examined the theoretical foundations used in research on gamification, serious games and game-based learning through a systematic literature review and then discussed the commonalities of their core assumptions. The overview shows that scientists have used a variety of 118 different theories. Most of them share explicitly formulated or conceptual connections. From their interrelations, we derived basic principles that help explain how gamification works: Gamification can illustrate goals and their relevance, nudge users through guided paths, give users immediate feedback, reinforce good performance and simplify content to manageable tasks. Gamification mechanics can allow users to pursue individual goals and choose between different progress paths, while the system can adapt complexity to the user's abilities. Social gamification elements may enable social comparison and connect users to support each other and work towards a common goal.

Krath, J., & von Korflesch, H. F. O. (2021). Player Types and Game Element Preferences: Investigating the Relationship with the Gamification User Types HEXAD Scale. In X. Fang (Ed.), HCI in Games: Experience Design and Game Mechanics. HCII 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 12789 (pp. 219–238). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-77277-2_18

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Gamification has gained scientific attention as a motivational tool for behavior change in various contexts. When designing gamification, several scholars emphasize the importance of tailoring content to the needs of different users, e.g. by using the gamification user types HEXAD typology. From a theoretical point of view, researchers suggest correlations between HEXAD types and certain game elements, but empirical validation of these assumptions is still lacking. Previous studies show limitations either in terms of sample size or comprehensiveness of analysis. Therefore, this study aims to empirically identify game element preferences of different HEXAD types and to validate both the English and a corresponding German version of the HEXAD scale in a quantitative study design with 1,073 participants. The validation shows that the HEXAD scale is a valuable tool for identifying HEXAD types, with some improvements needed for a better model fit. Correlation analysis shows highly significant correlations between HEXAD types and specific game elements. While Philanthropists are motivated by gifting, administrative roles, and knowledge sharing, Free Spirits prefer creativity tools, exploratory tasks, and learning. Both Achievers and Players like challenges, leaderboards, levels, and competition, but Players are additionally attract-ed by extrinsic elements such as achievements, points, and rewards. Socializers like social elements, i.e., teams, social discovery, and social networks. Finally, Disruptors like anarchic gameplay and innovation platforms. In general, the results suggest that the HEXAD typology provides helpful and validated guidance for tailored gamification, and our findings should successfully drive future gamification design to maximize the desired behavioral outcome.

Krath, J., & von Korflesch, H. F. O. (2021). Designing gamification and persuasive systems: a systematic literature review. 5th International GamiFIN Conference, 100–109.

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Abstract

Gamification design has been an important issue for practitioners and researchers since the beginning of research on gamification. With the increasing divergence of gamification in diverse areas, various design principles have been proposed. Yet, existing reviews focus on the synthesis of scientific knowledge about the design process and specific design elements, neglecting the importance of guidelines and principles to make appropriate design choices in order to achieve the desired outcomes. Therefore, this systematic review identifies, analyzes, and categorizes 30 articles that propose design guidelines for gamification and persuasive systems from various application contexts to provide scholars and practitioners with an overview in designing gamified interventions. More than 60 different principles have been identified, which can be divided into user-oriented principles to achieve the intended behavior, system-oriented principles to ensure a hedonic user experience, and context principles. Since the results are primarily conceptual, further research is invited to investigate the effectiveness of different principles based on the context of application to further refine the recommendations for specific use cases of gamification.

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