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Companies increasingly make employees face the music


Large corporations increasingly use hip pop music to develop loyal, hard-working employees, and encourage workers, literally, to sing from the same hymn sheet, according to new research.

Company songs, from IBM's rehash of a US fighting song to NCR's rendition of the Beatle's 'Back in the USSR', are being used to reinforce corporate culture and help with branding and team building.

The research paper on company song lyrics, by Martin Corbett from Warwick Business School, reveals that companies are taking cover versions to the extreme by incorporating tunes and phrases from well-known Gospel and pop songs into new compositions. Hewlett Packard's contribution to pop is a reworking of the band Pink's worldwide hit 'Get the Party Started'.

Upbeat company songs stress youthful exuberance, teamwork and ability to respond to customers. Asda, PricewaterhouseCoopers, McKinsey and KPMG are among the companies who are all getting in the groove.

While sing-along marching songs, as used by Wal Mart, induce positive feeling and happiness, so help control employee behaviour, a number of company songs, especially those in the style of Gospel anthems, such as 'Ahh Fujitsu', inspire dysfunction amongst employees. Fujitsu's attempt to get employees to join in a Japanese style sing-song using sheet music failed when few could read sheet music.

Martin Corbett, Researcher with Warwick Business School, said: "Motivational songs are still, at times, derided as nonsense and employees can be cynical about ageing companies trying to gain the respect of youths by linking to Platinum albums."



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