Photo of Dr Omar Khaled Elsayed

Dr Omar Khaled Elsayed B. Eng, MSc, MBA, PMP, PhD

Lecturer Operations and Supply Chain Management


Research Overview

Despite the dense literature around building organisational capabilities in the field of strategic management, there is still consistent demand for research on how organisational capabilities can be efficiently and effectively developed. Theoretical contributions around robust capability creation and development mechanism have been depicted as unclear, not uniformly defined, disconnected and sometimes contradictory. The demand is also evident in practice, especially in today’s rapidly changing environments, where industrial reports such as McKinsey and APM state that 75% of the companies “cannot figure out” how to build relevant organisational capabilities effectively. This is was the main motivation behind my research which led me to explore the topic in great detail in my PhD. My research explored relevant systems such as persuasive technologies, intrinsically motivating systems, and hedonic systems that draw from a wide set of disciplinary perspectives such as management, computer science, psychology, behavioural economics, human-computer interaction, and knowledge and learning to support strategic capability building objectives.
One particular concept that is closely related to this capability building process is called gamification. The technology-led concept has gained a massive momentum recently due to a) the witnessed and reported organisational impacts such as performance improvements, costs savings, customer retention, employee engagement and facilitation of organisational learning and b) the dynamic nature of the game elements involved in its design process that is capable of producing enactments that can overcome social inertia (that usually hinders the change needed to build new capabilities and adopt new technologies) leading to social change. Despite the early hype and the proliferation of literature on this topic, the growth of gamification started to quickly decline, going through the trough of disillusionment (according to Gartner’s hype cycle) due to the confinement of its implementation to merely engagement tools, neglecting the anticipated potential and capabilities such gamified technologies could achieve. My research (presented across four papers/studies) was an attempt to address this gap for which the theoretical lens of organisational capabilities is adopted to explore gamification’s complementarity potential. The established complementary capability angle is applied as the primary theoretical lens, which has been used for the examination of similar subjects in strategic management, organisational studies and operations management disciplines.
The study consisted of a number of key steps from theoretical reviews and examination of the subject to field studies and experimental exploration of ideas. Four distinct academic articles have been achieved as the result, each addressing a key aspect of the intended research. The first study develops a theoretical framework introducing gamification as a complementary addition to the organisation that has the potential to bring new (and contribute to) capabilities in the organisation. Built on a thorough theoretical examination of the concept, the framework depicts the different facets of gamification as a complementary asset, including a) the required game elements, b) the utilisation of engagement antecedents, c) the development of psycho-behavioural outcomes, and d) the alignment of these outcomes to build relevant individual and organisational capabilities. The second study builds upon this theoretical foundation and develops, through qualitative interviews with experts/practitioners, a gamification design method that can support achieving the strategic complementarity benefit for organisations through a) a user-centric design approach that develops intrinsic and extrinsic employee motivation, b) a goal-oriented design approach that factors in short-term and long-term individual constructs and targets organisational capabilities and c) an agile development process that incorporates robust/strategic evaluation metrics to successfully develop a complementary capability that fulfils organisational objectives.
The third study presents a showcase that utilises the outcomes from the first two papers and applies them to a critical area for most organisations, namely cybersecurity, as one of the major risks that currently face businesses and societies. The study attempts this by offering design methods to target the development of human capabilities for cybersecurity using two levels of gamification, namely content and structural, as an effort to develop an effective cybersecurity awareness platform for organisations. The fourth study is a different empirical experimentation of the concepts developed through direct application of the proposed frameworks and design methods to build relevant organisational capabilities in a targeted case. A longitudinal action research was undertaken with a UK-based company, where the researcher a) identified major internal challenges from the employees’ and customers’ perspectives, b) designed a gamified system to overcome the identified issues using the complementarity design approach developed in the previous studies, c) studied the effects, impacts and benefits on the firm’s capabilities through quantitative online surveys and qualitative focus groups, and d) offered not only strong validation and support for the proposed theoretical contributions, but added a range of new insights for the application of gamification complementarity and generally supportive technologies in organisations. The successful case study allowed the research to achieve and introduce a roadmap for organisations to adopt and properly foster (and harness) gamification’s strategic benefits.

Game-based learning

Digital Transformation

Artificial Intelligence

Research Grants

KTP with Kays Medical


November 2023 - October 2025