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Workplace fun: a matter of context and not content

Katerina Georganta (Department of Educational and Social Policy, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece)
Anthony Montgomery (Department of Educational and Social Policy, University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Greece)

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management

ISSN: 1746-5648

Article publication date: 18 October 2018

Issue publication date: 13 September 2019

1181

Abstract

Purpose

During the last years, workplace fun has emerged as a potential indicator of a healthy workplace. Congruently, organisations have become interested in enhancing positive experiences at work, such as joy in the workplace. While such trends have resulted in a growing literature on fun in the workplace, humour and play, academics and practitioners are still uncertain as to the nature of fun and its antecedents. The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of fun in the modern organisation and understand the underlying elements necessary for creating environments that valorise and promote fun.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted semi-structured individual interviews with open-ended questions with 34 employed individuals from a variety of professions. The data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings

The analyses revealed organised fun as a distinct type of workplace fun that can have a significant impact through its social support function and psychological safety as the underlying element for promoting healthy positive fun interactions. The culture of the organisation and management attitudes towards fun emerged as key issues in promoting a fun workplace.

Originality/value

Organised fun emerged as a new type of workplace fun. The relational characteristic of fun and its function as a social support method are discussed. The study has delineated the contextual factors that should be addressed by researchers when studying workplace fun.

Keywords

Citation

Georganta, K. and Montgomery, A. (2019), "Workplace fun: a matter of context and not content", Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management, Vol. 14 No. 3, pp. 317-336. https://doi.org/10.1108/QROM-06-2017-1541

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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