Leadership’s Online LabsCharmain Tan | Dongjie Lin | Fehd Trimech | Vaibhav Sathe
Agenda Massively Multiplayer online role playing game Gameplay of World of Warcraft Leadership skills evaluated Game play vs. Business world Personal Aspects Managerial Implications
MMORPG Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game Very large number of players interact in a virtual gameplay scenario assuming a particular character World of Warcraft is most subscribed MMORPG with 10.2 million with approx. $12-15/month subscription fees Released in 2004, 4 Expansions so far Competitive and Goal Oriented environment Real time strategy game, players have goals to accomplish based on resources, most tasks require group formation, sharing/trading of resources possible High black market (Real World) exists for well equipped accounts, trading as high as $9000 Trailer video
World of Warcraft – Game play Player vs. Player or Player vs. Environment Subscribers need to join one realm or server which is one instance of gameplay Characters belong to races – Orcs, Humans, Dwarves Players of same faction (alliance) can communicate each other through messages or groups Participation of dozens of players coordinating with each other in quests for several hours Over period of time characters mature and acquire skills Quest completion provides further experience points, items and in-game money
Leadership Skills Evaluated Works well Doesn’t match • Face organizational and • No real evaluation of “high strategic challenges like potential” as one needs to recruiting, retaining, assessing, achieve level to see great motivating, rewarding, etc. players in action • More challenging in some terms • No tangible stakes involved, due to volunteer workforce and increases risk taking digital medium of • Problems are well articulated communication and not discovered • Dynamic leadership, leaders • Identities adapted to gameplay, change, new ones come reduces “conflicts” forward
Two environments : Game world vs.Business world Similarities Differences • Motivation and incentives. • Stakes in games are lower Important motivational than in business world. challenges (incentive Players aim to achieve goals mechanisms that reward the strictly defined by the game individual performance of rules. players / employers). The • Players have avatars incentives can be either whereas employees involve short-term (and immediate) or their real personality. long-term. • Speed : things go faster in • Distribution of the loot that a games. team accumulates during a • Risk taking is encourages in successful raid / Distributing games but a dangerous in end-of-year bonus to business. employers. Making a strong connection between effort • The role of leadership is often and reward. temporary. The leader changes if the mission needs specific skills.
Two environments : Game world vs.Business world Similarities Differences • Transparency of • Transparency of information. information. Chosing a Detailed statistics on individual strategy in the heat of the and group performance, real-time action on the basis on the status reports on performance. updated data. • Lack of data makes the leader ignoring real skills of employers. • Managing like a meritocracy : • Rotation of leadership. Availability people are rewarded for their of data keep players always performance. ready to assume the leadership if • Most real-world companies needed. are already working on • Detailed data about players, capturing and integrating real- constantly and automatically time about people, activities updated / static employee files and results. with snapshots of someone’s past experience and training. • Failing and reattempting is a learning experience in game world / Reattempting is hard in business world.
Leadership: personal aspects Some similarity and discrepancy among the leaders in online games and real-world business. Professional Game Real Specialize Common in: sense in Ongoing business, recruitment Know the Creation of industry incentive and systems company Player well evaluation
Leadership: personal aspects Speedy and Game Ultraquick Real Efficient Considerat decision e decision making, making Based on Sometimes partial based on information incomplete information Game Since Real Risky failures is acceptable Cautious, , taking risk taking good is care of risk encourage d
Leadership: personal aspects Relationship Game Exceptional Real Respect & skills relationship support --> forming from effective below, teams, good delegating working responsibili atmospher ty e Communicatio Game Real n
Managerial Implications: Management Temporary leadership roles in gaming • Frequent swapping of leadership position helps avoid burnout • No single leader expert in all areas. Better matches individual expertise to tasks • Empowers employees to take lead, unearthing overlooked talent Game risk taking in trial and error • Organizations to foster a culture that tolerates failure • Mimic game structures by breaking down big challenges into smaller projects, thereby making risk more palatable Gamers must cooperate to advance • Encourage teamwork rather than individualistic work
Managerial Implications: Incentive systems Immediacy of compensation in gaming • Shorten lag time between successful outcomes and monetary compensation • Creates stronger connection between effort and reward Players know their reward points in advance • Creating clear and communication on reward system increases transparency and incentives • Individual compensation based on objective performance data is deemed as a fair and meritocratic reward system
Managerial Implications: Informationsystem Visible real-time information • Providing employees with better access to information and tools to make their own decisions. Bottom-up instead of top-down • Dashboards should be accessible to all instead of being located only in headquarters, access only by senior executives Speed-decision making in gaming • Leaders to be reactive to new information • Organizational culture that is flexible and responsive to contingencies Real-time player data • Composite view of employee’s voluntary information about the person’s informal skills and hobbies facilitates formation of teams
Conclusion - Takeaway Leadership is not always about an individual’s innate ability, but about the environment as well Business can learn to adopt online gaming environments to improve leadership at work