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Article
Publication date: 23 January 2007

Matthew Vitug and Brian Kleiner

To explain how comedy can be effectively used in business.

Abstract

Purpose

To explain how comedy can be effectively used in business.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review covering: need for comedy; advantages of using comedy; applicability to business; tips for implementation; and contemporary examples.

Findings

There are two immediate benefits of applying comedy in a business setting. First, there is a natural physiological response experienced by both the sender and the receiver. Second, appropriate and effective use of comedy allows for a “humanizing” effect that creates a connection between the speaker and the audience. When applying comedy concepts to business, the speaker may utilize the three components of comedy or apply improvisation principles. However, the presenter should use comedy that is carefully calibrated and without using offensive material. If the individual is interested in applying comedy principles in business, it is recommended that they utilize one of three types of professional organizations that are available to help tailor messages to fit objectives.

Practical implications

The application of the ideas found in this article will help a speaker develop rapport with his/her audience, keeping them more alert and focused on what the speaker is desiring to communicate to them.

Originality/value

Comedy as a topic of business research inquiry for the purpose of improving productivity and performance has received very limited attention in relation to other topic areas. This article is intended to draw interest to this underappreciated subject for both additional research and practical management behavior.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 56 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2010

Paul Sturges

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the practice of comedians in relation to freedom of expression, so as to throw light on the issue of giving or avoiding offence.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the practice of comedians in relation to freedom of expression, so as to throw light on the issue of giving or avoiding offence.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature of comedy, newspaper coverage of comedy in the UK in 2008, observation of comedians in performance, and a small, informal interview programme with stand up comedians were used in the preparation of the paper.

Findings

Stand up comedians, despite their own sense that they defy restriction and popular perception of their material as often offensive, do monitor their material for potential offence. They assess the extent of offence and modify their performances in response. In some cases they apply personal formulae to this process.

Research limitations/implications

The interview programme is too small to claim to be fully representative and is intended only to give an indicative view of the field.

Practical implications

Examination of comedians' practice has implications for information service institutions and the giving of access to potentially offensive content.

Originality/value

The paper may be the first study of comedy in an information science context and it contains implications for further studies that use comedy as an example of content, and creative practice to further develop understanding of information provision issues.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 66 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1996

Barbara B. Stern

Defines the construct of “comedy” in electronic advertisements, using drama theory to derive a taxonomy of comedic types. Summarizes the controversies that form the…

Abstract

Defines the construct of “comedy” in electronic advertisements, using drama theory to derive a taxonomy of comedic types. Summarizes the controversies that form the background of humour research and proposes a revision in terminology that distinguishes the stimulus (called “comedy”) from the response (called “laughter”). Goes on to discuss the fundamental attributes of comedy from a drama perspective and uses Bergson’s theory of laughter as the cornerstone of two continua mapping four comic types: verbal/physical and romantic/satiric. Uses examples from television and radio commercials to illustrate the way that the classification scheme works in the media context. Discusses each comedic type in terms of associated audience responses relevant to consumer audiences. Concludes with comments on the social function of advertising comedy.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 30 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Book part
Publication date: 7 January 2019

David Calvey

This book chapter reflectively explores the challenges of studying provocation, satire, bad taste and offence in stand-up comedy. The author’s sociological lens on the…

Abstract

This book chapter reflectively explores the challenges of studying provocation, satire, bad taste and offence in stand-up comedy. The author’s sociological lens on the topic is situated within the broader field of humour studies, which is a relatively small yet creative and innovative field within the human, cultural and social sciences. This lost ethnographic project contains shelved and dormant interview data with a number of stand-up comedians, including the controversial and emotive late Bernard Manning and an early career Steve Coogan. The project also explores the author’s autoethnographic journey into rant poetry, as both a hobbyist and, on further reflection, a way of keeping the project informally but theoretically alive. The issues of censorship, political correctness and informed consent are key ones in the author’s confessional type analysis. Finally, the value and richness of loss, failure and resilience as marginalised yet significant and unacknowledged learning resources in our academic adventures are frankly discussed. The call here is for more lost ethnographic projects to be recognised and appreciated in academia.

Details

The Lost Ethnographies: Methodological Insights from Projects that Never Were
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-773-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Kristin Trefts and Sarah Blakeslee

Most instruction librarians know that library instruction can often be boring to teach, and boring for students, but we also know the value of library instruction and its…

Abstract

Most instruction librarians know that library instruction can often be boring to teach, and boring for students, but we also know the value of library instruction and its importance to our students. So what innovative approaches can we take to spice up our instruction and make the topic more appealing? The authors decided that using humor was the best approach. To this end, they went on a quest to: study and learn about comedy; take what they had learned to make themselves funnier; find ways to incorporate comedy into their library instruction; and share what they had learned with other librarians. The rest is history.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

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Article
Publication date: 6 December 2018

Alexander Styhre

Organization theory and management studies rely on a representational idiom to account faithfully for empirical data, but such research ideals do not always apprehend what…

Abstract

Purpose

Organization theory and management studies rely on a representational idiom to account faithfully for empirical data, but such research ideals do not always apprehend what is essential in the case at hand. Comedy and the comical remain an underutilized resource within, e.g. the critique of power imbalances and imprudent or illicit behavior in corporations, providing an entirely different set of mechanisms that do not sketch the “broad picture” but target elementary and constitutive empirical data. The purpose of this paper is to explore the possibilities for using such resources in management studies writing.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses the literature addressing the Enron bankruptcy as an exemplary case wherein an analytical framework recognizing a comic outlook of life can be fruitfully applied. Additional cases are presented to substantiate the proposed model.

Findings

The paper advocates a broader repertoire of analytical practices in organization studies, including techniques and modes of representation used in comedy.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a minor literature within management studies, drawing on a performative idiom and the use of comedy techniques, including the debasing of social situations, to extend the repertoire of styles. In the end, such a minor literature may be able to grapple with the current situation, characterized by organizational absurdities that preclude the use of a representational idiom.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2017

Maya Twardzicki and Norman Jones

The purpose of this paper is to provide first-hand reflections from a public mental health specialist, on developing an innovative comedy-based arts and health project…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide first-hand reflections from a public mental health specialist, on developing an innovative comedy-based arts and health project that engaged with UK military personnel.

Design/methodology/approach

Project partners included the Academic Department of Military Mental Health at King’s College London and Army Headquarters. The project used a repeat measures design. The intervention group (IG) received a mental health-focussed comedy show and the control group received a standard comedy show. Serving Armed Forces personnel participated in focus groups to inform show scripts, which also contained key mental health messages agreed by the project team. Evaluation questionnaires were given out before and after the show and three months later.

Findings

The comedy show format proved to be an acceptable/popular way to present mental health-related messages. Post-show there was a statistically significant reduction in mental health stigmatisation and significantly better mental health and stigma-related knowledge in the IG.

Research limitations/implications

Due to deployment, follow-up participation was limited, reducing the ability to assess whether the effects were durable.

Practical implications

The challenges of working with serving personnel are outlined and some recommendations made to improve future comedy interventions/research with this group.

Originality/value

This study provides a thorough evaluation of an arts and health intervention using a comprehensive survey methodology.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

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Book part
Publication date: 21 December 2010

Michael Jensen

This study focuses on how the creation of a new market identity, defined here by the social categories that specify what to expect of products and organizations, helps…

Abstract

This study focuses on how the creation of a new market identity, defined here by the social categories that specify what to expect of products and organizations, helps legitimize normatively illegitimate products and thereby facilitate the formation of markets for these products. A product is given a legitimate market identity by recombining existing product and status categories in a way that is both isomorphic with and differentiated from these preexisting categories. I argue that the creation of a new market identity helped create a market for feature films that combined legitimate comedy and illegitimate pornography following the legalization of pornography in Denmark in 1969. Topological analyses of the cultural content of all the film posters used to promote Danish films between 1970 and 1978, and regression analyses of the status of the actors appearing in these films document the importance of market identity in legitimizing illegitimacy.

Details

Categories in Markets: Origins and Evolution
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-594-6

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Alex Byron Barker and Gary Winship

The purpose of this paper is to describe an exploratory pilot study to assess the methods used to evaluate an innovative programme of comedy workshops for a small cohort…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe an exploratory pilot study to assess the methods used to evaluate an innovative programme of comedy workshops for a small cohort of people recovering from substance misuse problems. The comedy workshops involved participants working with a professional comedian to explore, develop, write and finally perform a stand-up comedy routine drawing from their own personal experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

The impact of the programme was gauged using questionnaires; the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, the General Self-Efficacy, Scale and the Life Orientation Test-Revised and Eco-Mapping Tool.

Findings

Ten participants began the programme with four participants following through to public performance at an evening showcase event. The quantitative measures showed favourable results on three positive outcome measures; psychological well-being, self-esteem and self-efficacy. Participant’s number of social relationships and strength of relationships decreased following the intervention, however, relationships were more mutual and were characterized by less conflict following the workshop.

Research limitations/implications

The small sample limits generalization of this study, but the methods for data collection were found to be feasible. Preliminary findings suggest that the workshops have a positive impact on recovery.

Originality/value

This paper describes an evaluation of an innovative programme of comedy workshops for people recovering from substance abuse problems. The preliminary findings point to a new hypothesis about recovery, that successful recovery might be characterized by a smaller social network, with stronger mutual bonds.

Details

Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

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Article
Publication date: 17 June 2021

Jonida Carungu and Matteo Molinari

This paper explores the stereotype of the accountant in Florentine medieval popular culture based on literary works and from a historical perspective. It aims to highlight…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores the stereotype of the accountant in Florentine medieval popular culture based on literary works and from a historical perspective. It aims to highlight how stereotypes change with time and represent the cultural and historical evolution of a society. This research challenges Miley and Read (2012), who stated that the foundation of the stereotype was in Commedia dell'arte, an Italian form of improvisational theatre commenced in the 15th century.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors applied a qualitative research method to examine the accountant from a medieval popular culture perspective. The analysis consists of two phases: (1) categorisation of the accountant stereotype based on accounting history literature and (2) thematic analysis of The Divine Comedy (1307–1313) and The Decameron (1348–1351). The authors explored a synchronic perspective of historical investigation through a “cross-author” comparison, identifying Dante Alighieri as the first key author of medieval popular culture. During his imaginary journey through The Divine Comedy, Dante describes the social, political and economic context of the Florentine people of the 14th century. Then, with its various folkloristic elements, The Decameron of Giovanni Boccaccio becomes the “manifesto” of the popular culture in the Florentine medieval times.

Findings

This study shows the change of the accountant stereotype from the medieval age to the Renaissance. The Divine Comedy mainly connotes a negative accountant stereotype. The 14th century's Florentine gentlemen (“i galantuomini”) are apparently positive characters, with an ordered and clean aspect, but they are accused of being usurers. Dante Alighieri pictures the accountant as a “servant of capitalism”, “dishonest person, excessively fixated with money”, “villain and evil” and “excessively rational”. Giovanni Boccaccio mainly portrays a positive accountant stereotype. The accountant is increasingly more reliable, and this “commercial man” takes a more prestigious role in the society. In The Decameron, the accountant is depicted as a “hero”, “gentleman”, “family-oriented person with a high level of work commitment” and “colourful persona, warm, and emotional”. Overall, the authors provided new evidence on the existence of the accountant stereotype in the Florentine medieval popular.

Originality/value

This study engages with accounting history literature accountants' stereotypes in an unexplored context and time period, providing a base for comparative international research on accounting stereotypes and popular culture. Additionally, it addresses the need for further research on the accountant stereotype based on literary works and from a historical perspective. Therefore, this research also expands the New Accounting History (NAH) literature, focussing on the investigation of the accountant stereotype connotations in the 14th century.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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