Author ORCID Identifier



Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Industrial and Managements Systems Engineering

Committee Chair

Thorsten Wuest

Committee Member

Ashish Nimbarte

Committee Member

Zhichao Liu

Committee Member

Jannicke Baalsrud Hauge

Committee Member

Melanie Despeisse


In this dissertation, the applications of gamification for manufacturing with a focus on effects to workers and productivity were studied. Gamification is a relatively new research area, with the term being officially defined in 2010. Since then, several fields (education, health, and marketing) have benefitted from its application. Despite exhibiting strong potential, the application of gamification had remained rather unexplored in the manufacturing domain. To explore this further, by employing a comprehensive literature review, four research gaps were identified: the need for i) the use and acceptance of Deterding’s definition of gamification, ii) a clearer definition for various game element terms, iii) additional empirical research, and iv) the development of step-by-step guidelines for implementing gamification for manufacturing. The importance of Deterding’s definition was established through documentation and explanation in the state of the art. A classification framework was developed by sorting the game elements into eight groups based on characteristics of implementation specific to manufacturing. An empirical study focusing on implementing gamification for a monotonous assembly task was designed and completed. The experimental setup utilized a build kit for a Lego Telehandler (kit #42133). Cycle time data, Myers Briggs Type Indicators, and NASA TLX assessment data from 20 participants for 15 repetitive builds were collected, with data collection alone amassing well over 110 hours and approximately 1,100 data points. The results of the 98 unique analyses indicated that gamification had a significant effect on the productivity for the last build in a series of assembly tasks and temporal demand at the first build. While statistical significance was not found for many of the analyses, thorough discussions regarding trends in the data and limitations of the study indicate that, with additional research, statistical significance may potentially be established for these analyses as well.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that systematically evaluates gamification as a possible manufacturing productivity improvement tool by considering manufacturing data (cycle time), task load of the user, and user-specific attributes (personality). The study makes the following contributions to the body of knowledge: i) supports the slowly growing set of empirical studies in gamification for manufacturing, ii) provides a transparent methodology that can be used by others to continue contributing empirical data on gamification for manufacturing, iii) showcases a method of design and implementation of gamification for manufacturing, and finally, iv) provides considerations for the future of research in gamification for manufacturing assembly tasks.

Embargo Reason

Publication Pending

Available for download on Thursday, April 18, 2024