An Exploration of Corporate Social Responsibility and Gamification Paired with Virtual Reality Stimulating Empathy and Enhancing Employee Engagement

Ren-An Lo; Miko Ching-Ying Yu

This research suggests the trending technology of virtual reality (VR), as the primary vehicle to deliver a gamified corporate social responsibility (CSR) program driving employee engagement. The emergence of this topic stems from Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace Report, which states the employee engagement in 2017 was at a 15% rate. There is an array of corporate solutions adopted to tackle low employee engagement, however, lack overall effectiveness and user sustainability. Despite the previous statement, companies continue to invest in current and new engagement methods. The responsibility of these initiatives is commonly led by the human resource management (HRM) department. An observation of HRM is the multitude of task responsibilities ranging from fostering a corporate culture to recruiting top talent, which negatively fragments efforts and focus in one area. Conversely, the diverse task areas share overlapping traits that enables an investigative route for this research. The recent market growth of VR and application in HRM, specifically, CSR, presents an opportunity to develop employee-centric programs. Therefore, this investigation aims to uncover the application of VR and its moderation toward program effectiveness. Subsequently, VR acts as channel to foster empathy in the workplace, ultimately promoting employee engagement. This leads to Virtual-to-Reality (V2R), a merging concept of internal and external CSR application. V2R delivers an online application promoting employee wellness (internal), while contributing offline to a CSR provider (external). Furthermore, V2R will incorporate multiple research and literature to support market feasibility. A working prototype of V2R will act as a catalyst for first-hand data collection. The diverse impact of this research intends to offer company managers a multi-purpose HRM tool and employee engagement framework.

Key words: CSR, Empathy, HRM