To read this content please select one of the options below:

Reviewing congruity effects in the service environment musicscape

Steve Oakes (University of Liverpool Management School, Liverpool, UK)
Adrian C. North (School of Life Sciences, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, UK)

International Journal of Service Industry Management

ISSN: 0956-4233

Article publication date: 14 March 2008




The purpose of this paper is to present a literature review that highlights significant findings from empirical research examining the impact of music within various real and simulated service environments.


The paper examines the results of studies that have manipulated specific musical variables (genre, tempo, volume, and liking), and attempts to identify consistent patterns of findings to guide managers and researchers. The studies focus upon a range of dependent variables including evaluation of the environment, perceived wait and stay duration, consumption speed, affective response, and spending. Possible explanations for apparently inconsistent findings are discussed.


A variety of studies reveal the positive influence of musical congruity upon desired outcomes. Future research proposals identify the need to examine defining‐attribute and prototype theories of musical congruity.


The review highlights a range of implications drawn from the studies that will be of value to service organization managers who use music as a key component of their servicescape in order to enhance desired cognitive and affective responses.



Oakes, S. and North, A.C. (2008), "Reviewing congruity effects in the service environment musicscape", International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 63-82.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles