Developing a gamified mobile application to encourage sustainable energy use in the office

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AuthorsDivinus Oppong-TawiahJane Webster, Sandy Staples, Ann-Frances Cameron, Ana Ortiz de Guinea, Tam Y. Hung

Publication: Journal of Business Research, Forthcoming

Abstract

Faced with growing pressures to become more environmentally sustainable, many companies are exploring innovative ways to incorporate “green” practices into their business processes. We focus on employees and their pro-environmental behaviours in the workplace. Drawing on gamification and persuasive design principles, we utilized five design cycles to develop and test a system that tracks employees' electricity usage on their computer-related equipment, engages them through a mobile application using a garden metaphor, and encourages them to reduce their energy consumption. The results of the design cycles built on each other, demonstrating that the system decreases employees' electricity consumption and increases their motivation to continue engaging in pro-environmental behaviours. Possible extensions to the system were also explored. Reflecting on our experiences, seven guidelines emerged related to gamification design and the wider field of design science research. Limitations and future research directions for gamification and environmental sustainability research are discussed