Going Beyond Bureaucracy Through Gamification: Innovation Labs and Citizen Engagement in the Case of “Mapaton” in Mexico City

  • Rodrigo Sandoval-AlmazanEmail author
  • J. Ramon Gil-Garcia
  • David Valle-Cruz
Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT, volume 25)


Public managers face new challenges to their decision making that extend beyond their current knowledge and prior experiences. To answer these challenges, they need help from actors outside government, including expert citizens. Gamification and innovation labs are emergent strategies to address these knowledge gaps in public administrations, which offer interesting opportunities to engage citizens, but also present important challenges. Using the Technology Enactment Framework and recent theoretical developments on gamification, open data intermediaries, and living labs, this paper analyzes the role of gamification and innovation labs in the public sector. The study is based on semi-structured interviews with public managers, government officials, and other stakeholders involved in an innovation project in Mexico City, called “Mapaton,” which uses gamification techniques to engage citizens in mapping transportation routes. We identify some of the characteristics of gamification as an open innovation strategy in government and explain how gamification and innovation labs help government go beyond traditional bureaucratic structures and rules.


Gamification Innovation labs Living labs Open innovation Digital government Open government 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodrigo Sandoval-Almazan
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. Ramon Gil-Garcia
    • 2
    • 3
  • David Valle-Cruz
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidad Autónoma del, Estado de MéxicoTolucaMexico
  2. 2.University at Albany, State University of New YorkNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Centro de Investigación y Docencia EconómicasMexicoMexico

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