On the Role of Social Comparison Processes in Gamified Work Situations

AbstractGamification, which can be defined as the use of game-design elements in the workplace, is a relatively new approach to foster work motivation. However, especially gamification elements based on rankings and leader boards create transparency among users, which allows for interpersonal social comparison. This paper gives a possible explanation why and how gamification based on a ranking influences motivation and perceived pressure by taking social comparison processes into account. To this end, we conducted a factorial survey (N = 156) to examine the effects of introducing a game-design element (public leader board) in the workplace. We found that the provision of a ranking increases motivation, perceived pressure and social comparison behavior. Importantly, we found that the motivational and pressuring effects can be largely explained by the extent of individual’s social comparison behavior.


Return to previous page