Title: The digital gamification of labour: a new form of labour process regulation?

Authors: Janosch Schobin; Ana Cárdenas Tomazic

Addresses: Department of Sociology, University of Kassel, Nora-Platiel-Str. 4, 34109 Kassel, Germany ' Institut für Soziologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Konradstraße 6, D-80801 München, Germany

Abstract: Digital gamification (DG) is generally defined as the application of game elements or even whole game mechanics to non-gaming contexts via software. In a labour process context its promoters advocate DG as a win-win-technology that supposedly increases productivity and quality of work simultaneously. Critiques, on the other hand, denounce it as part of libertarian ideology or as an empty, deceitful promise. For the sociology of work these normative discrepancies raise theoretical and empirical questions. This paper attempts to confront the sociological challenge of understanding how DG is transforming work by arguing that in order to precisely analyse labour process regulation by DG it is necessary to consider the pseudo-social characteristics of computers and their impact on labour process organisation. It presents four perspectives that aim at answering the key question: how does DG fit into the post-Fordist labour regulation regime?

Keywords: digital gamification; labour process regulation; digitisation; managerial governance; sociology of work.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWI.2020.111790

International Journal of Work Innovation, 2020 Vol.2 No.4, pp.308 - 327

Accepted: 03 Jun 2020
Published online: 09 Dec 2020 *

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