The Impact of Large-Group Drumming Events at Work on Employee Emotions

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Organization Development & Change (D.O.D.C.)


Organization Development

First Advisor

Steven Cady (Committee Chair)

Second Advisor

Robert Green II (Other)

Third Advisor

Colleen Boff (Committee Member)

Fifth Advisor

Truit Gray (Committee Member)


The influences on organizational health, productivity and effectiveness are vast and complicated. Gaining in popularity are interventions steeped in unique modalities such as percussive experiences like group drumming. Clinicians leverage drumming as therapy for its physiological, psychological, and social benefits (Yap et al., 2017), but many corporate organizations are now seeing a positive lift from group drumming’s ability to address stress, burnout, and other desired organizational outcomes (Bittman et al., 2003). Organizations invest a significant amount on employee development, employee engagement, and overall wellness, but the empirical support for attaining the desired benefit(s) for the organization is either suspect, achieved over long and resource-intensive periods, or nonexistent altogether (Woodman & Sherwood, 1980). This study leverages a quasi-experimental approach to gain quantitative insights that led to significant results from a single group drumming event that improved emotional and affective states of a large number of co-workers within 60 minutes.