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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2007

Bruce C. Sherony

The argument that the board of directors can be a helpful tool for entrepreneurships and small businesses derives from the rationale for using boards from both a macro and…

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Abstract

The argument that the board of directors can be a helpful tool for entrepreneurships and small businesses derives from the rationale for using boards from both a macro and a micro perspective.Society depends on boards to provide overall checks and balances in the running of businesses.This could not be more evident from the role of the board in Enron’s collapse (U.S. Senate 2002).

The boardʼs value to the entrepreneur is found in the application of the micro perspective.Two sets of recommendations are developed to formulate an improved model of directorship actions and behaviors. First, duties and responsibilities of the board of directors are expanded to help guide entrepreneurs.Second, five unique behavior patterns are then proposed that can be particularly helpful in carrying out the duties and activities of the board for guiding entrepreneurial success.

Details

New England Journal of Entrepreneurship, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2574-8904

Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Barbara Plester and Ann Hutchison

The idea of workplace fun seems positive, straightforward and simple but emerging research suggests a surprising complexity and ambiguity to this concept. Drawing on…

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Abstract

Purpose

The idea of workplace fun seems positive, straightforward and simple but emerging research suggests a surprising complexity and ambiguity to this concept. Drawing on recent literature and empirical data, the purpose of this paper is to use three different forms of workplace fun: managed, organic and task fun to examine the relationship between fun and workplace engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

Using an ethnographic approach, the qualitative data originated from four different New Zealand organizations, within different industries. Organizations included a law firm, a financial institution, an information technology company and a utility services provider. Data for this study were collected from semi-structured interviews with a range of participants in each company. In total 59 interviews were conducted with approximately 15 originating from each of the four organizations. One full-time month was spent within each company experiencing the everyday life and behaviours at all levels of each organization. The specific focus of the research is organizational culture and humour and during analysis findings emerged that linked to engagement, fun, disengagement and the concept of flow.

Findings

This paper offers exploratory findings that suggest some specific connections between the concepts of fun and engagement. Empirical connections between these concepts are not currently apparent in either engagement or fun research, yet the data suggest some firm associations between them. The exploratory findings suggest that some forms of workplace fun offer individual employees a refreshing break which creates positive affect. Participants perceive that such affect results in greater workplace and task engagement. Additionally the data show that some people experience their work tasks as a form of fun and the authors link this to a specific form of engagement known as “flow” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975; Moneta, 2010). The authors suggest an organizational-level effect, where workplace fun creates enjoyment which stimulates greater overall engagement with the team, unit or organization itself. Conversely the data also suggest that for some people managed or organic fun (see Plester et al., 2015) creates distraction, disharmony or dissonance that disrupts their flow and can foster disengagement.

Practical implications

The ambiguity and complexity in the relationship between these concepts is an emerging topic for research that offers a variety of implications for scholars and practitioners of HRM and organizational behaviour. The authors contend that workplace fun potentially offers practitioners opportunities for fostering a climate of high engagement which may include most employees and thus create additional workplace benefits. Additionally through highlighting employee reactions to different types of fun we suggest ways of avoiding employee disengagement, disharmony and cynicism and the associated negative effects.

Originality/value

The concept of fun is not empirically linked with current engagement research and the authors assert that workplace fun is an important driver of employee engagement. The authors identity engagement at the individual task level and further extend engagement research by emphasizing that fun has the potential to create engagement at the team, unit or organizational level. These differing levels of engagement have not thus far been differentiated in the extant literature.

Details

Employee Relations, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 October 2018

Katerina Georganta and Anthony Montgomery

During the last years, workplace fun has emerged as a potential indicator of a healthy workplace. Congruently, organisations have become interested in enhancing positive…

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.

Details

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5648

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