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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2002

James Poon Teng Fatt

Outlines the benefits of humour in the workplace. Briefly looks at the place of humour in advertising and the effect of it in areas such as attention, comprehension…

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Abstract

Outlines the benefits of humour in the workplace. Briefly looks at the place of humour in advertising and the effect of it in areas such as attention, comprehension, persuasion and likeability. Discusses humour in the workplace and provides some suggestions for employers. Covers humour in training and concludes that modest investment in all these areas can bring benefits to the workplace.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 1986

Jack Mendleson, Steven Golen and Patricia Adams

Until recently most managers were wary of using humour as a communication technique in the business setting, believing that the two did not mix. Now comic techniques are…

Abstract

Until recently most managers were wary of using humour as a communication technique in the business setting, believing that the two did not mix. Now comic techniques are gaining acceptance as tools of business communication. Humour and laughter are coping skills. One of the most important tasks of a manager is to implement these skills throughout all levels of the firm to preserve the individual health of the employees and the entire firm. Humour can promote “good feelings” on the job and enhance oral presentations. Managers may not adopt a humorous approach themselves but should accept it in others and try to see the humour in situations. Those who do not want to employ humorous techniques should match it to the situation and/or audience, and never use it at the expense of an individual.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 86 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1991

Gundars E. Kaupins

This article compares the humour used in university and corporatetraining programmes and discusses survey implications. Based on a surveyof 183 university business…

Abstract

This article compares the humour used in university and corporate training programmes and discusses survey implications. Based on a survey of 183 university business professors and 243 corporate trainers, both groups were found to use similar types of humour (e.g. short stories, exaggeration), have similar reasons for using humour (e.g. help trainees relax, keep training interesting), and use humour in similar settings (e.g. humour occurs in lectures most often). Based on survey results and a literature review, both groups should consider making their humour understandable, non‐coercive, and relevant to the training situation. University and corporate trainers should also listen to what types of humour can be students like. Practising humour can be a way to gain these humour skills.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

John McIlheran

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how humor can be used to help improve understanding of a message, as well as to validate the findings of the Booth‐Butterfield…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how humor can be used to help improve understanding of a message, as well as to validate the findings of the Booth‐Butterfield humor orientation scale.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used the Booth‐Butterfield humor orientation scale to measure the effectiveness of using humor to maintain focus on written or verbal messages.

Findings

The results showed that participants who rated higher on this scale are more apt to understand and use humor in their daily communications with each other and the home office. The study also showed that there is no significant difference in the frequency and effectiveness of humor usage by participants based on age or geographic location.

Research limitations/implications

All of the managers for this conservative company are currently male. This limits any analysis of this study based on gender. It also removes gender as an additional variable, which could have complicated the results.

Practical implications

Humor has been proven to contribute to increases in compliance, learning, attitude shifts and enjoyment. It also contributes to improved organizational cohesiveness. By knowing whether an audience perceives humor differently, based on age or location, the sender can target the message more effectively.

Originality/value

This paper took the findings of the Booth‐Butterfield study and expanded the parameters to include a larger age range and demographic area to test the impact on the humor orientation scale.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 20 October 2022

Ayesha Tabassum and Len Karakowsky

This paper aims to draw upon extant theory and research to delineate the fundamental factors that impact how women evaluate disparaging humor directed at them. The…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to draw upon extant theory and research to delineate the fundamental factors that impact how women evaluate disparaging humor directed at them. The conceptual framework presented outlines the most fundamental organizational-, interpersonal- and individual-level factors that influence the accuracy of such evaluation.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper that offers both a review of extant humor and gender research and theory and the presentation of a theoretical model that classifies sources of influence on evaluations of sexist humor from the perspective of the target.

Findings

Organization-, interpersonal- and individual-level factors are identified as sources of influence on women’s perception and evaluation of sexist humor leveled at them. This classification identifies factors including organizational power dynamics, egalitarian norms, interpersonal trust, target self-esteem and feminist identity.

Research limitations/implications

This paper offers a conceptual framework to guide future studies in more systematically examining the sources of influence on female targets’ capacity to recognize when they are the “punchline” of sexist humor.

Practical implications

The conceptual model developed in this paper offers important implications for managers and leaders in organizations in assisting targets to recognize instances of sexist humor directed at them. The aim is to arm potential victims with the knowledge necessary to foster awareness of their treatment in the workplace and to improve the accuracy of evaluation of workplace attitudes that may often nurture a sense of approval or apathy regarding displays of sexist humor.

Originality/value

This paper presents a novel classification of sources of influence on female targets’ evaluation of sexist humor in the workplace.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Article
Publication date: 6 October 2022

Fei Kang, Jiyu Li, Han Zhang and Ying Zhang

Despite the increasingly growing empirical research on leader humor, the critical issue of how and when leader humor affects newcomer adjustment was largely overlooked…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the increasingly growing empirical research on leader humor, the critical issue of how and when leader humor affects newcomer adjustment was largely overlooked. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between leader humor and newcomer adjustment. Based on social information processing theory, the authors identify newcomers' role breadth self-efficacy (RBSE) as the mediator and suggest that newcomers' cognitive flexibility moderates the effects.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were obtained from a 2-wave sample of 195 newcomers. The authors utilized the PROCESS procedure developed by Hayes to assess the hypothesized moderated mediation model.

Findings

The findings showed that leader humor could boost newcomers' RBSE which, in turn, was beneficial to newcomer adjustment. Besides, newcomers' cognitive flexibility plays a moderating role in the relationship between leader humor and newcomers' RBSE.

Research limitations/implications

This study utilized a cross-sectional research design, making the design difficult to obtain causal conclusions. Moreover, the data were all based on self-reports from newcomers, which may raise a concern of common method bias.

Originality/value

This paper extends the literature on leader humor and newcomer adjustment by treating RBSE as the mediator and newcomers' cognitive flexibility as the moderator. This study is one of several empirical studies to test the link between leader humor and newcomer adjustment.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 43 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article
Publication date: 6 September 2022

Arthur Asa Berger and Freda Gonot-Schoupinsky

This paper aims to elicit insight on how humour may support mental health from Arthur Asa Berger, Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University, author of more than…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to elicit insight on how humour may support mental health from Arthur Asa Berger, Professor Emeritus at San Francisco State University, author of more than 150 articles and 90 books, many on humour and humorous artist.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study, followed by a 10-question interview, intentionally embraces visual autobiography to present Arthur’s creative humorous contributions.

Findings

Arthur conveys the importance of humour, not so much from joke-telling, which can be problematic, but in fun conversations, witty remarks and puns. We learn of his 45 humour techniques, and ways to apply humour in teaching, writing and drawing for therapeutic benefit.

Research limitations/implications

This is a personal narrative, albeit from someone who has been academically and personally involved with humour for over 60 years.

Practical implications

Evidence of the benefits of humour for mental health is mounting. Appreciating and harnessing humour, including with the 45 humour techniques, whenever you can, is recommended.

Social implications

Humour supports relationship building and social inclusion. Social humour is best when it amuses others, offers positive insights into social relationships and is life affirming to both the humourist and their audience.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, Arthur was the first to publish a PhD dissertation on a comic strip and has been at the vanguard of humour application in teaching, academic writing, drawing, popular comedy and humorous murder mysteries for decades. Arthur will be 90 years old in 2023.

Details

Mental Health and Social Inclusion, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-8308

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2022

Petru Lucian Curșeu, Andreea Gheorghe, Mara Bria and Ioana Camelia Negrea

The authors present a fist attempt to test the mediating role of humor in the relation between unruly passenger behavior and occupational stress in cabin crews.

Abstract

Purpose

The authors present a fist attempt to test the mediating role of humor in the relation between unruly passenger behavior and occupational stress in cabin crews.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used an experience sampling design to investigate the relationship between a frequent job hassle in air service provision, namely unruly passenger behavior (UPB), and the stress experienced by flight attendants.

Findings

The results of multilevel analyses show that UPB is positively related to the use of aggressive humor and negatively related to the use of affiliative humor in cabin crews. Moreover, humor mediates the relationship between unruly passenger behavior and stress. In addition the results show that general self-efficacy as a personal resource buffers the association between passenger misconduct and the use of aggressive humor.

Originality/value

This study is among the first empirical attempts to explore the role of humor as a mediator between uncivil customer behavior and stress in air service employee.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 1 September 2015

Katja M. Guenther, Natasha Radojcic and Kerry Mulligan

In this paper, we demonstrate the linkages between humor and political and cultural opportunities and present an analysis of the importance of humor for collective…

Abstract

In this paper, we demonstrate the linkages between humor and political and cultural opportunities and present an analysis of the importance of humor for collective identity and framing in the New Atheist Movement, a social movement focused on reducing the social stigma of atheism and enforcing the separation of church and state. Drawing on a qualitative analysis of interview, ethnographic, and web-based data, we show why the New Atheist Movement is able to use humor effectively in the political and cultural environment. We further demonstrate that humor is central to the development and maintenance of collective identity and to the framing strategies used by the New Atheist Movement. Through a diverse range of forms, including jokes, mockery, and satire, humor is a form of resistance and also can be harnessed to support the goals of social movements. We use this case study as a basic for advocating for greater attention to humor within social movement studies, and greater attention to social movements in humor studies.

Details

Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-359-4

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 5 December 2018

Dong-Woo Koo, Min-Seong Kim and Young-Wook Kang

This study investigates the structural relationships among humor leadership, psychological empowerment, innovative behavior, and job performance in the Korean hotel…

Abstract

This study investigates the structural relationships among humor leadership, psychological empowerment, innovative behavior, and job performance in the Korean hotel industry. This study reveals following key major findings. First, a leader’s use of humor in leadership significantly and positively influences an employee’s psychological empowerment. Second, an employee’s psychological empowerment significantly and positively influences innovative behavior and job performance. However, innovative behavior does not significantly influence job performance. In the final section, theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

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