WSU Newsline: Is March Madness a boon or bane to the workplace?
Thursday, March 6, 2008 10:34 AM

The scripts are available for printing and for sound bite identification.

Go to http://www.wichita.edu/newsline to get the current Wichita State University Newsline. If you cannot access the Newsline at the Web address above, contact Joe Kleinsasser at (316) 978-3013 or joe.kleinsasser@wichita.edu. Newsline cuts may be edited to suit your needs. If you have additional questions for Harpool after listening to the WSU Newsline, please contact her at (316) 978-6018 or dorothy.harpool@wichita.edu.


College basketball peaks with March Madness, and many workers will slip away to check NCAA Tournament scores, participate in office pools or watch videocasts of the games on their office computers. Nevertheless, Wichita State University management trainer Dotty Harpool says there are some positive aspects to March Madness in the workplace.

Voice wrap:

Announcer: It's that time of year again when college basketball fans turn their attention to March Madness, also known as the NCAA Basketball Tournament. According to one study, productivity lost along the road to the Final Four will cost companies up to $3.8 billion. But Wichita State University management trainer Dotty Harpool says there are some positive aspects to March Madness in the workplace.

Harpool: "Some of the positive outcomes of participating or being active in discussions about March Madness would be the whole friendliness and communication that occurs, that people come out of their cubes or come out of their office and they talk and they participate. So they have much more personal interaction during that week."

Announcer: Harpool has seen the research that shows a loss in workplace productivity during March Madness, but she says most people are still going to get their jobs done. This is Joe Kleinsasser at Wichita State University.

Sound bite #1

Harpool explains how March Madness affects the workplace. The sound bite is 12 seconds and the outcue is "for everybody."

Harpool: "Well, March Madness is a big event here in the United States. Many people in the workplace have gone to college and have college teams that are their favorites, and it's just a fun time for everybody."

Harpool says some research shows that productivity drops during March Madness. The sound bite is 16 seconds and the outcue is "during breaks."

Harpool: "There has been some research done that productivity goes down during the first week of March Madness. I have to wonder, though, with productivity that most people are still going to get their job done. They know that they need to get their job done, but they also have this on the side during breaks."

Sound bite #3

Harpool says office pools can create some friendly competition. The sound bite is 19 seconds and the outcue is "cohesive event."

Harpool: "Office pools can be some friendly competition. It can create some comaraderie amongst employees. It can create a little bit of competition, which, in the workplace, is good. As long as they're legal, and friendly and optional, they really can be a cohesive event."

Sound bite #4

Harpool says the negative aspects of March Madness in the workplace may be overrated. The sound bite is 15 seconds and the outcue is "for the organization."

Harpool: "Well, there could be people spending more time on the Internet, more people taking breaks, but considering the fact that people are going to join together and have a common discussion topic, that actually could be good for the organization."

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Contact: Dotty Harpool, (316) 978-6018 or dorothy.harpool@wichita.edu.