Critical evaluation of a external master thesis

Title of work: Gamification as a marketing and customer loyalty tool
Type of work: Master thesis
Author: Sebastian Eschenbacher
Date & Place: Mittweida University, 27.12.2014
Course of studies: Industrial Management

Level of design

The work has been created in a very simple way without any additional design or specially thought-out layout. The author uses tables and figures in some places to better illustrate his subject matter, but especially the figures could have been much larger, since they are mostly screenshots of the Spontacts app, on which you can see very little in small image size.

In order to support his theory Eschenbacher often uses illustrations which clearly show the models presented.

Degree of innovation

Since the paper was written in 2014, the term gamification was still something relatively new and therefore booming at that time. Eschenbacher takes up this concept in his work and applies it practically in his recommendations for action to spontaneous acts. With regard to theoretical and practical knowledge, he does not create new scientific findings in his work, but applies researched and already known knowledge in this subject area to Spontacts in order to strengthen their app community.


Independence

The detailed theoretical research as well as the considerations in the recommendation for action show that the author has independently dealt with the topic. I also think that the combination of different theories and the conversion of these into practical work has been very successful.


Outline and structure

The work, including introduction and conclusion, was divided into a total of 11 chapters and is structured from general definitions of terms and more detailed explanations of these to the practical implementation of the topic in the last two chapters. At the beginning Eschenbacher presents his problem definition, followed by an explanation of the term gamification, its associated elements and psychological correlations, and then to enter into marketing theory and establish a connection to gamification. Then the company and App Spontact are described in more detail and scientific findings from both theory areas that are relevant for the company are used to apply them in the practical part, a gamification action recommendation.

The structure seemed very logical to me in the setting, but the chapter with the company presentation of Spontact interrupts the flow of reading very much, since in this chapter only hard facts of the company are mentioned without further reference to the other master thesis topic. I find it important to analyze the company and its goals for the purpose of the thesis and to integrate them into the work, but details are also listed here whose connection to the rest of the thesis I do not see.

I was irritated by the fact that the author jumped from chapter to chapter in the summary in order to briefly explain and reflect on each one again. In my opinion, this connection could have been written down in a short, coherent text that summarizes the main points of the work.


Degree of communication

The work is written in a very understandable and simple way, so that someone who has hardly or not at all dealt with the topic so far can also follow. The logical structure of the work leads to the fact that the reader is gradually introduced to the practical implementation of the content. Eschenbacher also delimits the topic he has chosen very well by emphasizing his goals and non-targets in the text again and again and commenting on things which are not worked on, also giving reasons.


Scope of the work

The master’s thesis has 86 pages and is therefore in my opinion okay in terms of its scope, although one could have gone into more depth, since the theory part in particular is very broad and explains the topics of gamification and online marketing well, but is very general. The theory part of 55 pages is contrasted by a practical part of about 30 pages. The work is well-researched and it is noticeable that the author has consciously dealt with many theories of marketing and game theory in order to create appropriate contexts for his work.

Orthography as well as care and accuracy

The spelling was fine, I didn’t notice any major errors, but I found the language in some places not very objective and unsuitable for a master thesis. Sometimes, knowledge that had already been acquired in previous chapters was repeated under the note “as a reminder”, which I found good on the one hand to keep the thread, but on the other hand sometimes seemed like a filler.


Literature

The author used various technical literature and has a bibliography of four pages, half of which consists of books and journals and the rest of internet sources. With regard to the non-electronic literature, Mr. Eschenbacher looked for many different sources to which he could refer. Internet sources, on the other hand, were mainly information from Spontact or current statistics, which is, however, quite understandable when referring to the work.

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