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Title: Music listening in UK offices : balancing internal needs and external considerations
Author: Haake, Anneli B.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2725 1096
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis investigates the role of music in office-based workplace settings. While many studies in the past have examined the effects of researcher-selected music on work performance, fewer studies have taken into account the effects of self-selected music and situational aspects. No studies to date have explored office workers' music listening patterns. Music at work is a multidisciplinary topic of research, yet the topic is rarely conceptualised as such and there is a lack of integrated literature that takes into account the various disciplines involved. Adopting a multi-disciplinary approach and utilising mixed methods, three empirical studies were carried out, with a sample of over 300 employees. A survey investigated current listening practices, a field experiment examined the effects of a listening intervention on work appreciation, and semi-structured interviews were used to explore contextual aspects int1uencing the listening experience at work. ~lusic listening in offices is characterised by employees balancing internal needs (motivations for listening) and external requirements (situation-specific considerations). When employees consider these two aspects, they practice "responsible listening". Listening practices were coloured by desires to control the auditory environment and to intluence subjective well-being, inspiration and concentration. Music selections were \aried, often made at random and derived from home. No main effect of music on work peIi'ormance and well-being was found; music had positive as well as negative effects for different individuals in different situations. Employees avoided imposing music onto others or listening in an unsuitable way by modifying their listening behaviour (through listening technology, music styles and volume). No specific policies on music listening \\ere found, and music was often conceptualised as a "grey area". Music in offices can be considered as blurring the boundaries between private and public, and as a way to bring private habits into work for the purpose of regulating personal wellbeing in public spaces.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available