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The impact of leader humor on employee job crafting: a self-determination perspective

Wenhao Luo (School of Economics and Management, North China University of Technology, Beijing, China)
Maona Mu (School of Economics and Management, North China University of Technology, Beijing, China)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 30 April 2024

241

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the research is to examine the impact of leader humor on employee job crafting. Using the insights from self-determination theory (SDT), we investigate the underlying mechanism of employees’ flow at work and the moderating role of employees’ playfulness trait.

Design/methodology/approach

We adopted a three-wave field survey of 306 employees recruited from various industries. The moderated mediation model was examined using latent structural equation model analysis.

Findings

Results revealed that leader humor positively affected employees’ flow at work and subsequent job crafting. Moreover, both the direct effect of leader humor on employees’ flow at work and the indirect effect of leader humor on employees’ job crafting via flow at work were amplified by employees’ playfulness trait.

Practical implications

Leaders are encouraged to use jokes and humorous language to facilitate job crafting among playful subordinates. Organizations can create a work environment conducive to flow at work through job redesign, regardless of employees’ levels of playfulness trait.

Originality/value

The paper uncovers the critical role of flow in the relationship between leader humor and employee job crafting and identifies employees’ playfulness trait as a boundary condition in which leader humor works.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

We express our deep gratitude to the Associate Editor, Dr. Pablo Escribano and the two anonymous reviewers for their detailed and constructive feedback. We also sincerely thank Xiaoru Zhou for her great help in collecting the data.

Funding: This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No: 72072002) and the Project of Cultivation for Young Top-notch Talents of Beijing Municipal Institutions (No: BPHR202203037) to Dr. Luo.

Citation

Luo, W. and Mu, M. (2024), "The impact of leader humor on employee job crafting: a self-determination perspective", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-06-2023-0364

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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