Exploring the ascent of Gamification in Talent Management: A textual network analysis of online blogs
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School of Business | Master's thesis
Management and International Business (MIB)
AbstractAbstract The human resource profession has evolved considerably over the past decades and today, HR contributes to organizational success through a variety of different areas. Within strategic human resource management, one emerging sub-topic is the field of talent management. Talent management practitioners and researchers have evangelized the idea that superior talent is an organization’s prime source of competitive advantage. In order to succeed, HR professionals need to build practices to attract, develop and retain talented individuals within their organizations. As gamification has become a buzzword in business literature, also HR professionals have become intrigued by its potential in motivating and engaging employees. The potential that gamification offers to talent management specifically is the focus of this thesis. The research combines aspects of both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The data has been collected from seven leading blog platforms in the HR online community. A total of 205 blog posts published between 2011 and 2016 were fetched from the blog platforms with the keyword “gamification”. The first, quantitative phase of the data analysis was executed with the software Leximancer. The software identified and extracted thesaurus-based concepts and themes from the textual data and visualized the analysis in the form of a concept map. The second, qualitative phase of the data analysis consisted of the researcher utilizing the concept map and other insights generated by Leximancer to pinpoint the most prominent discussions of HR professionals related to gamification and talent management. The findings of the study indicate that HR professionals most frequently associate learning and development, performance management and hiring as the HR processes where gamification could effectively be utilized. The benefits most closely associated with gamification are added flexibility, adaptation based on individual preference, increased work engagement through enjoyability and more effective data collection on each candidate/employee. Tying these findings to the talent management context, human resource professionals can utilize aspects of gamification across the talent life-cycle, consisting of talent acquisition, talent development and talent review. The generated data can also in the long term be used to generate insights around the talent retention process. When designing and implementing gamified applications, HR professionals should according to the contributing authors pay close attention to the game mechanics and break the experience down into easily consumable modules. A successful gamification program requires a deep understanding of the target audience and needs to inspire real-life collaboration outside of the game itself. As a conclusion, it can be stated that for an organization finding itself in competition for talent, HR professionals can deploy gamification as a method to stand out from the competition and build their employer brand.
Thesis advisorPlatanou, Kalliopi
gamification, talent management, employee engagement, strategic human resource management, HRM