It’s been said that “The use of music in organizational management is a rare occurrence.” Rare maybe, but not unknown. A notable exception was Thomas John Watson, Sr. who was long-time chairman and CEO of International Business Machines – more commonly known as IBM. Authors Amal El-Sawad and Marek Korczynski of Loughborough University, UK have analyzed IBM’s ventures in motivational management music in their paper for Group & Organization Management 2007 32: 79.
“There is some dispute about Watson’s interest in music. According to Maney (2003),Watson Sr. loved to sing and dance, whereas his official biographers describe him as ‘tone deaf and unmusical’ (Belden & Belden, 1962), though of course these two descriptions need not be mutually exclusive.”
Bonus : Another, more modern, song about IBM “Cos we are special”
Improbable has not been able to verify the authenticity of this video. Can anyone tell us if it’s an ‘official’ IBM production?
IBM itself kindly provides a list of songs from the songbook, may we recommend :
• Song 39. TO WILLIAM MacLARDY, MANAGER, EXHIBIT AND DISPLAY, DEPARTMENT, I.B.M.
• Song 17. PAINTING THE CLOUDS WITH SUNSHINE, (By J. P. Saxton, Endicott Factory), and
• Song 56. OUR PRESIDENTíS MOTTO: “THINK”
Note: It’s far from clear whether Watson actually did say “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”