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Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 152, Issue 1, pp 27–39 | Cite as

Gamification of Labor and the Charge of Exploitation

  • Tae Wan Kim
Article

Abstract

Recently, business organizations have increasingly turned to a novel form of non-monetary incentives—that is, “gamification,” which refers to a motivation technique using video game elements, such as digital points, badges, and friendly competition in non-game contexts like workplaces. The introduction of gamification to the context of human resource management has immediately become embroiled in serious moral debates. Most notable is the accusation that using gamification as a motivation tool, employers exploit workers. This article offers an in-depth analysis of the moral charge of exploitation. This article maintains that there are no clear grounds for believing that gamification of labor is exploitative and that if gamification of labor involves a wrong or vice, it must be something other than exploitation.

Keywords

Gamification of labor Gamification ethics Labor relations The ethics of human resource management Incentives Motivation Exploitation 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tepper School of BusinessCarnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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