Gaming the system

Gaming the system (also rigging, abusing, cheating, milking, playing, working, or breaking the system, or gaming or bending the rules) can be defined as using the rules and procedures meant to protect a system to, instead, manipulate the system for a desired outcome.[1]

According to James Rieley, a British advisor to CEOs and an author, structures in companies and organizations (both explicit and implicit policies and procedures, stated goals, and mental models) drive behaviors that are detrimental to long-term organizational success and stifle competition.[2] For some, error is the essence of gaming the system, in which a gap in protocol allows for errant practices that lead to unintended results.[3]

Although the term generally carries negative connotations, gaming the system can be used for benign purposes in the undermining and dismantling of corrupt or oppressive organisations.[4]