Applying Basic Gamification Techniques to IT Compliance Training: Evidence from the Lab and Field

38 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2014 Last revised: 22 Oct 2015

See all articles by Ryan J. Baxter

Ryan J. Baxter

Boise State University, College of Business and Economics, Department of Accountancy

Kip Holderness

West Virginia University

David A. Wood

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy

Date Written: October 21, 2015

Abstract

Companies depend on strong internal controls to protect the integrity of accounting information systems. IT security and data privacy training are critical controls to safeguarding company information. However, employees often dislike the training, which can cause a lack of attention to and poor understanding of training concepts, leading to less effective internal controls. To improve the training experience, companies are implementing principles of games into employee training modules; a practice known as gamification. Using a laboratory experiment of data privacy training and a field study involving a publicly-traded bank’s rollout of IT security training, we test whether a training environment with basic gamification elements results in greater trainee satisfaction and knowledge acquisition than traditional, non-gamified training. We find basic gamification results in much higher satisfaction levels in the lab and field, but only marginally significant improvements in learning. Furthermore, these learning improvements are quite small (e.g., 1 to 3 percent). Finally, we find that “gamers” (i.e., those who participate in gaming on their own time) gain more knowledge from gamified training than “non-gamers,” even though gamers are less satisfied with gamified training.

Keywords: Gamification, information security, data privacy, compliance training

JEL Classification: M4, M40, M41, M49, J31, M53

Suggested Citation

Baxter, Ryan J. and Holderness, Darin Kip and Wood, David A., Applying Basic Gamification Techniques to IT Compliance Training: Evidence from the Lab and Field (October 21, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2517022 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2517022

Ryan J. Baxter

Boise State University, College of Business and Economics, Department of Accountancy ( email )

Boise, ID 83725
United States

Darin Kip Holderness

West Virginia University ( email )

PO Box 6025
Morgantown, WV 26506
United States
3042937847 (Phone)
3042930635 (Fax)

David A. Wood (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University - School of Accountancy ( email )

518 TNRB
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
United States
801-422-8642 (Phone)
801-422-0621 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://marriottschool.byu.edu/employee/employee.cfm?emp=daw44

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