Design Considerations for a Serious Game on using HR to Shape Employee Behavior for the Digital Transformation


  • Luuk Collou Saxion
  • Guido Bruinsma Twente university, Netherlands



serious games, HR, human resources, employee behaviour, digital transformation


Organizations increasingly embrace the digital transformation (DT): organizational change shaped by the widespread diffusion of technology. This results in specific demands in terms of employee behavior. Organizations need to adapt to technology-driven work methods and proactively set out to reap the benefits of new technology. Shaping employee behavior conjures a significant challenge for organizations. While aligned HR configurations shape employee behavior, the number of interrelated HR practices to select from is vast. Currently, no tool aids professionals with the design of an HR configuration that shapes DT behaviors. DITInLine is a serious game that captures this challenge; it invites professionals to design an HR configuration that shapes the DT behaviors of employees. Departing from the state of the art HRM literature, it presents professionals with a set of granularly defined HR practices that can combinedly be implemented during the game. The game provides feedback on the impact of their decisions. Professionals are challenged to combine those HR practices into a strategy-aligned HR configuration that shapes the employee behaviors most effectively. After each round, feedback on the HR configuration design is provided to the players. By providing an abstract representation of the HR and DT challenges that organizations face, DITInLine constitutes a valuable tool for professionals tasked with designing aligned HR configurations. DITInLine forces managers to be explicit about their HR decisions. It provides a risk-free environment for them to experiment with HR practices and gauge the effects of their decisions, potentially enabling learning. From a research perspective, the HR choices of these professionals are made explicit. It enables studying HR decisions. Furthermore, the serious game introduces a promising level of detail, providing a falsifiable theoretical framework on the impact of HR for DT.