Date of Graduation

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Accounting

Advisor

O'Leary-Kelly, Anne

Reader

Leflar, Charles

Abstract

Music plays a big role in the daily life of an average person. Humans are almost constantly exposed to music in some form whether it is through commercials, movies, telephone music, or a variety of other sources. The centrality of music to life can be observed across cultures because music appeals to people’s “emotions and contributes to [an individual’s] ability to learn and remember information” (Brown and Brown, 1997, p. 349).

Music’s centrality to everyday life has inspired researchers to study the influence and impact that music has on individuals. Research that has been conducted over the past century has resulted in a variety of outcomes that reveal how music affects individuals. Music has many factors that influence the performance of individuals on cognitive tasks. These factors have been heavily studied in the context of educational settings. However, the relationship between music and task performance has not been studied in great depth in the working environment. Given the impact that music has on an individual’s brain as mentioned above, the effects of music on cognitive performance should be transferable to other work aspects present in a work environment that require similar cognitive or physical processes. In this paper, I will theorize about the impact that music has on individuals in the workplace. This is important because organizations may be able to utilize particular aspects of music to improve worker performance. I will be looking at the impact that the presence of music has on work performance and how that impact is altered by different moderators (structure of music, task complexity, interdependence of tasks, control over choice of music, preference of type of music, and generation-based preferences).

The research question of how the presence of music impacts work performance is important from the standpoint of contributing to research knowledge and such information can be used by employees and organizations. This paper will provide important insights for employees who want to improve their performance in the workplace. The results discussed by this paper will provide information about situations in which music would be beneficial as well as instances when music would have a negative impact on worker performance. Organizations will benefit from the information in this paper because this paper discusses the ways in which music can be utilized in the workplace environment to improve employee performance.

I will begin this paper by talking about the effect that music has on individuals. These effects have been researched in an academic setting. Next, I will discuss the existing research about the effects that music has on the work environment and present my model describing the relationship between the presence of music and work performance. This model includes both the factors that moderate the effect of music on work performance and a discussion of mediating factors that drive these effects.

Keywords

Music in the Workplace, Music Cognition, Music and Task Performance, Music and Performance

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