Leveling Up Leadership: An Analysis on the Development of Leadership Skills Through Competitive Gaming

Alan Byssing Lafi & Anders Rud Liltorp

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

As gaming is rapidly becoming increasingly popular, the need for research on the effects and use of gaming as a tool for learning and personal development is increasing. Additionally, the need for leaders who feel at home in the digital world is rising, as technology is becoming an increasingly important factor in almost any business. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to investigate if participating in the in-game management of a competitive gaming team, can improve an individual’s leadership skills. The thesis adopts and interpretivist philosophy in order to understand the differences between humans as social actors. The research approach is deductive as the existing knowledge on leadership is integrated and summarized through a literature review, which is then used to create a framework of leadership skills. The framework is then tested by interviewing competitive video game players and analyzing the data they provided. The respondents were found by using a variety of websites that rank teams and players, in order to guarantee that the respondents were playing on a sufficient level. Based on the collected data, models were created to visualize and compare the differences in leadership skills across individuals, game genres and in relation to career length. The results showed that individuals with in-game leadership responsibility are rated higher in almost all leadership skill categories compared to players without any leadership responsibility. Additionally, the results show the leadership skill ratings are correlated to the length of the players’ careers, which means that the players who has been playing competitively for the longest time, also has a higher rating in leadership skills. In particular, the individuals’ strategic skills have a strong correlation to the length of the individuals’ careers. Finally, the thesis concludes that by being an in-game leader of a competitive gaming team, individuals gets to practice at least some of the same skills that are required to become a successful business leader. Because of this practice, those individuals will keep improving their leadership skills over the course of their competitive career.

EducationsMSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages175
SupervisorsHelle Zinner Henriksen