The integration of a mobile pervasive game in the new employee onboarding process
This dissertation research aimed to determine if adding a digital game to an onboarding process could increase employee satisfaction, socialization, and content retention for new employees. Framed by Deci and Ryan’s (1980) self-determination theory, this study explored two research questions: (a) Is there a difference in autonomy, competence, and relatedness in new employees based on their participation in a game-based onboarding activity compared to those who do not participate in a game-based onboarding activity?, and (b) Is there a difference in the retention of fundamental institutional information based on employee participation in a game-based onboarding activity compared to those who do not participate in a game-based onboarding activity? Literature was reviewed on research and practices of employee onboarding, game design and digital game-based learning, and self-determination theory in the context of both employee/work relations and game design. The study examined 40 new employee participants from a southeastern research university. Data were collected from a control group and a test group using a questionnaire, a pre- and post-test, two surveys, and a digital game activity. Information relevant to new employees was delivered to the test group via a digital game-based activity and to the control group via website hyperlinks. There was no significant difference in the levels of autonomy, competence, and relatedness between the control group and the test group, nor was there a difference in the retention of fundamental institutional information between the control group and the test group. The results, implications for practice, and recommendations for future research are discussed.