Article

A meta-analysis of positive humor in the workplace

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Abstract

Purpose The benefits of humor for general well‐being have long been touted. Past empirical research has suggested that some of these benefits also exist in the work domain. However, there is little shared understanding as to the role of humor in the workplace. The purpose of this paper is to address two main gaps in the humor literature. First, the authors summarize several challenges researchers face in defining and operationalizing humor, and offer an integrative conceptualization which may be used to consolidate and interpret seemingly disparate research streams. Second, meta‐analysis is used to explore the possibility that positive humor is associated with: employee health (e.g. burnout, health) and work‐related outcomes (e.g. performance, job satisfaction, withdrawal); with perceived supervisor/leader effectiveness (e.g. perceived leader performance, follower approval); and may mitigate the deleterious effects of workplace stress on employee burnout. Design/methodology/approach The authors examine the results of prior research using meta‐analysis ( k =49, n =8,532) in order to explore humor's potential role in organizational and employee effectiveness. Findings Results suggest employee humor is associated with enhanced work performance, satisfaction, workgroup cohesion, health, and coping effectiveness, as well as decreased burnout, stress, and work withdrawal. Supervisor use of humor is associated with enhanced subordinate work performance, satisfaction, perception of supervisor performance, satisfaction with supervisor, and workgroup cohesion, as well as reduced work withdrawal. Research limitations/implications Profitable avenues for future research include: clarifying the humor construct and determining how current humor scales tap this construct; exploring the role of negative forms of humor, as they likely have different workplace effects; the role of humor by coworkers; a number of potential moderators of the humor relationships, including type of humor, job level and industry type; and personality correlates of humor use and appreciation. Practical implications The authors recommend caution be exercised when attempting to cultivate humor in the workplace, as this may raise legal concerns (e.g. derogatory or sexist humor), but efforts aimed at encouraging self‐directed/coping humor may have the potential to innocuously buffer negative effects of workplace stress. Originality/value Although psychologists have long recognized the value of humor for general well‐being, organizational scholars have devoted comparatively little research to exploring benefits of workplace humor. Results underscore benefits of humor for work outcomes, encourage future research, and offer managerial insights on the value of creating a workplace context supportive of positive forms of humor.

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... Proposed as an effective yet mysterious management tool, leader humor has long been advocated in the practice and recently been reinvented in the academia (Cooper et al., 2018;Kong et al., 2019;Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012;Romero & Cruthirds, 2006;Yam et al., 2018). Leader humor, referring to "a behavior enacted by a leader and directed toward a subordinate that is intended to be amusing to the subordinate and that the subordinate perceives as critical role for creative processes (Kim et al., 2019;Zhou & Hoever, 2014). ...
... However, team creativity differs from individual creativity in the aspects of team interactive process among team members and team contextual characteristics (Anderson et al., 2014;Bogilović et al., 2017), and team creativity is not a mere result of an individual employee's efforts. There has been a lack of empirical examination at the team level, and whether the relationship and underlying mechanisms could be extended to the team level remains unclear (Acar et al., 2019;Gockel, 2017;Gockel & Vetter, 2017;Kong et al., 2019;Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012). Thus, to fill up this research gap, this study seeks to explore the influence of leader humor on team creativity, and to provide a more comprehensive understanding of leader humor in team contexts and add theoretical values. ...
... Our study intends to make several contributions to the extant humor and creativity literature. First, this research establishes the positive relationship between leader humor and team creativity, which extends the consequence pool of leader humor and the antecedent pool of team creativity (Anderson et al., 2014;Cooper et al., 2018;Kong et al., 2019;Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012;Yam et al., 2018). This has answered the recent calls to examine the utility of leader humor at the team level, which helps to build a more comprehensive picture of leader humor in organizational context (Cooper, 2008;Gockel, 2017;Gockel & Vetter, 2017;Kong et al., 2019;Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012). ...
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Although leader humor has been widely advocated in the workplace, the influence of leader humor on team creative outcomes remains to be explored. Drawing on social information processing theory and the superiority theory of humor, we proposed that leader humor, as the origin of relevant and significant information for team members, could nurture team psychological safety and subsequent team creativity. Moreover, due to the ambiguity nature of leader humor as well as the duality function of leader humor, leader behavioral integrity and leader humor differentiation act as the boundary conditions for the utility of leader humor in teams. Specifically, leader behavioral integrity strengthened, but leader humor differentiation weakened the positive relationship between leader humor and team psychological safety, as well as the positive indirect relationship between leader humor and team creativity through team psychological safety. Using a sample of 380 members and 110 team leaders, we found support for the first-stage moderated mediation model. Theoretical and managerial implications about leader humor are discussed.
... After that, since Malone [17] illustrated the case for and against humor in the workplace, researchers have explored the circumstance that humor may promote effectiveness in the workplace [18][19][20]. Results of subsequent studies highlighted an extensive array of links between humor and desirable organizational outcomes, such as enhanced work performance [21], organizational creativity [22,23], employee well-being [24,25], workgroup cohesion [26][27][28], and workers-to-workers communication [29]. A further advance stemmed from studies in psychoneuroimmunology, establishing that the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis are activated by humor [30]. ...
... A further advance stemmed from studies in psychoneuroimmunology, establishing that the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis are activated by humor [30]. In this line, workers used positive humor as a coping mechanism [31,32] to mitigate the detrimental effects of workplace stress, decreasing burnout and work withdrawal [21]. While research has advanced the understanding of the construct in the working environment, humor defies a globally accepted definition, partly due to its multi-dimensional characteristics [29]. ...
... In the workplace, health-promoting humor styles seem to favor workers' well-being and positive organizational outcomes; in contrast, health-endangering styles seem to be negatively associated with well-being of workers and desirable work outcomes [21]. Furthermore, from a strengths-based perspective [8], health-promoting humor styles have emerged as promising dimensions [10] to fostering workers' psychological resources and healthy organizational attitudes to overcome the challenges of the 21st-century world of work [1,2,36]. ...
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In this study, we investigated the relationship between the four humor styles (Affiliative, Self-enhancing, Aggressive, and Self-defeating) assessed via the Humor Styles Questionnaire (HSQ) and the ten facets of the Big Five Questionnaire (BFQ) through network analysis. Four hundred and sixty-two Italian workers (61.3% women; Mage = 48.59; SD = 10.75) participated in the study and filled out the HSQ and the BFQ. Both centrality indexes (Expected Influence [EI]) and bridge nodes were calculated. In addition, the stability and accuracy of the network were checked. The network analysis revealed that HSQ Self-enhancing (EI = 0.63) showed the highest centrality among the HSQ styles, whereas BFQ Emotion Control (EI = 1.10) showed the highest centrality among BFQ facets; it also revealed that they were positively linked. Furthermore, HSQ Self-defeating emerged as the second-most-central humor style, negatively associated with BFQ Emotion Control. Concerning Bridge dimensions, four nodes were identified: HSQ Aggressive Humor, BFQ Emotion Control, BFQ Dynamism, and BFQ Dominance, with positive links between humor and personality except for Aggressive humor and Emotion Control, which showed negative links. On the basis of these results, the high centrality of HSQ Self-enhancing indicates the possibility of using this node as a starting point to foster positive and adaptive humor styles. The centrality of HSQ Self-defeating suggests that strength-based interventions could be focused to increase adaptive humor styles and to decrease them in order to enhance health-promoting humor styles. Furthermore, the bridge node of the HSQ Aggressive humor style with specific personality facets shows its possible use in intervention to both resize to adaptively improve relationships between humor and personality.
... The benefits of humor in increasing general well-being have been well-known for a long time, and workplace humor in particular has been connected to better performance, work satisfaction and a sense of togetherness. Humor has also been found to have a positive effect on health, managing workrelated stress, easing exhaustion and worker retention (Mesmer-Magnus et al. 2012, Goswami et al. 2015. Humor also serves functions such as building and maintaining collegiality and good relationships (Holmes 2006, p. 26). ...
... Often certain colleagues understand each other"s humor better than others because of their similar senses of humor (Mesmer-Magnus et al. 2012). This is entirely natural, as people are different and form connections easier with certain people. ...
... This is entirely natural, as people are different and form connections easier with certain people. We can also identify people who laugh and are generally more amused than others (Mesmer-Magnus et al. 2012). Such people"s company is often actively pursued, as their laughter and positivity can be infectious. ...
Article
The low appeal of nursing is currently a challenge in Finland and many other countries. Retaining factors that would keep nurses within the field have been discussed, as have attracting factors that would draw new workers to the field. Finnish discourse often focuses on the heaviness of nursing, shift work, bad leadership and low work wellbeing. The last can be influenced by many things, such as the use of humor. Workplaces can learn to use positive humor, which raises spirits and increases a sense of community. The purpose of this study was to survey fun workplace experiences in the social and health care field and what was learned from them. As there has been little research on the use of humor in social and health care work in Finland, the aim of this study is to increase knowledge and discussion of the topic. The study was conducted in 2016-2017 by collecting narratives (N=34) from master’s degree students in Leadership. The data were analyzed through inductive content analysis. Fun experiences in personnel leadership showed and reinforced social capital and a sense of community at the workplace. The sense of community included developing workplace community skills, maintaining a sense of togetherness, advancing workplace well-being and doing activities, spending time and using professional skills together. Learning from fun experiences through reflection was formed from leadership that increases workplace well-being. This consisted of four categories: reinforcing a fun work atmosphere, reinforcing togetherness, appreciative leadership and the multiplicity of the supervisor’s role. Positive humor can be used to advance workplace well-being and personnel retention. Keywords: leadership, humor, work well-being, experience-based learning, Finland
... Recently, leader humor has attracted wide attention from management scholars (e.g., Cooper et al., 2018;Kong et al., 2019;Yam et al., 2018). Leader humor generally acts as a lubricant for social communication and a heater for building relationships between leaders and subordinates (Kong et al., 2019;Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012;Romero & Cruthirds, 2006). ...
... Exploring the possible drawbacks of leader humor is theoretically essential because it can help us build an accurate and comprehensive theoretical framework about the utility and the functional mechanism of leader humor in the workplace (Gockel, 2017;Gockel & Vetter, 2017;Kong et al., 2019;Romero & Cruthirds, 2006). Practically, since scholars have advocated cultivating workplace enjoyment with leader humor (Cooper, 2005;Cooper & Sosik, 2012), we can offer timely and effective practical guidance on how to use leader humor without possible costs (Gockel, 2017;Gockel & Vetter, 2017;Kong et al., 2019;Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012;Romero & Cruthirds, 2006). ...
... On the one hand, one group of scholars, represented by Martin et al. (2003), regard leader humor as a stable individual style. They illustrate the embedded motives and functions of leader humor in the form of interpersonal affiliation, interpersonal aggression, self-enhancement, and self-disparagement (Huo et al., 2012;Martin et al., 2003;Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012). On the other hand, another group of scholars, represented by Cooper (2008), view humor as a variant and strategic act. ...
Article
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Extant research has identified various effects of leader humor on subordinates and work groups. In contrast, less research has explored the influence of leader humor on leaders themselves and leaders’ subsequent behaviors. To address these issues, we drew from ego depletion theory and investigated when and how leader humor impacted leader workplace deviance. We argued that leader humor along with high impression management motive would bring increased ego depletion to leaders themselves and ultimately result in more leader workplace deviance. We tested our theoretical model using a three-wave time-lagged field survey data collected from 103 leaders and 595 subordinates, as well as an experiment involving 487 leader participants, which provided overall support for our hypotheses. Our findings revealed the possible dark side of leader humor influencing both leaders themselves and organizations. Theoretical contributions and new avenues for future research are addressed.
... Serving as a key information source, leaders' behaviors play a vital role in shaping subordinates' perceptions of their work environment (Shamir et al., 1993) and guiding their attitudes and behaviors (Chiu et al., 2016). Research has found that leader humorthe extent to which leaders use humor to interact with subordinates-could provide positive social information cues (Yam et al., 2018) that reduce hierarchical distance between leaders and subordinates (Graham, 1995;Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012) and help alleviate subordinates' concerns about potential risks at work (Cooper et al., 2018). Therefore, we propose that leader humor could increase subordinates' willingness to take interpersonal risks (i.e., psychological safety) (Edmondson, 1999) and engage in boundary-spanning behavior. ...
... Leader humor reduces hierarchical distance between leaders and subordinates in organizations (Graham, 1995;Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012), which implicitly symbolizes leaders' willingness to violate hierarchical systems and deemphasize the hierarchy (Cooper, 2008). Moreover, leader humor displays leaders' inclination to show vulnerability and to have more uncomplicated and open exchanges with subordinates (Yam et al., 2018). ...
... As noted, when subordinates have high levels of interpersonal influence, they capitalize on their observations and appropriately adapt their behavior to the situation (Ferris et al., 2005). Faced with declining hierarchical distance as signaled through leader humor (Graham, 1995;Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012), subordinates with high interpersonal influence tend to make sense of leader humor and tailor their initiatives (Wihler et al., 2017). Such subordinates are thus more likely to react with positive responses (Gervais and Wilson, 2005;Lynch, 2010), thereby increasing psychological safety. ...
Article
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Based on social information processing theory, we provide a novel theoretical account of how and when leader humor influences subordinate boundary-spanning behavior. We develop a moderated mediation model explicating the mechanism of psychological safety and the boundary condition of subordinate interpersonal influence. Using multiwave data, we tested our research hypotheses with a sample of 452 members from 140 teams in a Chinese information technology (IT) company. Results showed that leader humor positively affects subordinate boundary-spanning behavior via increased psychological safety. Moreover, this mediated effect is stronger when subordinates have high interpersonal influence. These findings offer theoretical and practical insights into boundary-spanning activities and leader humor, which we discuss.
... Beard (2008) has pointed out the important aspect of intentional humour as an advertiser's intentional effort of being humorous, and it is relevant manager's perspective also in this study and represents more tactical aspects of using humour. Next, instead of taking individual approach to humour mechanism, more social aspect of humour is acknowledged when humour is shared in social settings (Mesmer-Magnus et al. 2012). Martin et al. (2003) presents a useful two-dimensional categorization of humour. ...
... The second dimension define the nature of humour as positive or negative. This classification is able to develop the widely known typology of different humour categories (self-enhancing/coping, affiliative humour as positive and self-defeating and aggressive humour styles as negative ones) (see Mesmer-Magnus et al. 2012). Aggressive humour is used to enhance the self and it is described as the tendency to express humour (e.g. ...
... Self-defeating humour aims to enhance the relationships with others, and it refers to self-disparaging humour, for example attempting to gain the approval of others by behaving in a funny way at one's own expense (Martin et al. 2003). Here, it is good to point out the reader that Mesmer-Magnus et al. (2012) categorize self-defeating humour as focusing on intraphysical aspects/the self and aggressive humour with a focus on 'interpersonal/social' aspects. This is different interpretation compared to Martin et al. (2003) and indicates the confusion among academics about understanding similar way the functions of negative humour. ...
Article
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This study develops a framework on how a small company's human tone of voice involving dark humour can be communicated in Internet recruitment advertising. A case study approach with an abductive logic provided a synthesis of the different recruitment communication perspectives [sender, message, electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM)] and a dark humour tone of voice used in a small company's Internet recruitment advertising in a holistic framework. The developed framework was able to demonstrate the dynamics related to a tone of voice based on dark humour from different communication perspectives in Internet recruitment advertising, and the process of how the limits for an acceptable human tone of voice are formed. Further, the study proposed a new definition for eWOM in recruitment advertising which included a human tone of voice as a relevant aspect of eWOM. For managers, the boundaries of the human tone of voice, in this case dark humour, should be handled as it might become an irritating employer brand message element and might negatively affect the construction of a positive and consistent employer image.
... Defined as "amusing communications that produce positive emotions and cognitions in the individual, group, or organization" (Romero & Cruthirds, 2006, p. 59), humor serves diverse social functions in human interactions, such as reducing social distance and facilitating communication and promoting motivation (Ziv, 2010). In the workplace context, research demonstrated beneficial effects of humor on a range of relevant constructs including sensemaking (Blanchard et al., 2014), team cohesion (Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012), leader effectiveness (Evans et al., 2019), job satisfaction and commitment (Decker, 1987), and employee performance (Avolio et al., 1999). In the gender context, two comprehensive reviews revealed small but persistent differences in areas such as humor production, humor use, and humor appreciation (Hofmann et al., 2020;Kotthoff, 2006). ...
... Previous work has revealed the benefits of humor to the organizational domain. Humor can improve social and work relationships (Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012;Romero & Cruthirds, 2006). It may help to make sense of ambiguous situations interpreting them such that identification with the organization increases (Blanchard et al., 2014). ...
... It may help to make sense of ambiguous situations interpreting them such that identification with the organization increases (Blanchard et al., 2014). Also, humor has the potential to boost performance (Lehmann-Willenbrock & Allen, 2014;Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012). ...
Article
Meetings are at the core of organizational life. Yet, gender, as a central social cue, is poorly understood in this context. Here, we investigate how gender and humor, an integral communicative element, influence meeting experiences by analyzing a subsample of a larger database on meeting research with U.S. working adults across different industries (N = 662). Confirming our hypotheses, perceived positive and interactive humor positively related to perceived meeting satisfaction. This relationship was moderated by gender such that women benefited more from high perceptions of positive and interactive humor in terms of their meeting satisfaction, compared to men (β = .14, p = .010, Cohen’s f2 = .01). This study highlights the importance of individual attendee characteristics in meeting science and addresses previously overlooked gender differences in meeting experiences. It also informs meeting leaders on the benefits of promoting a meeting culture that fosters both benign and social humor.
... Researchers began to investigate the possibility that a sense of humor may contribute to workplace effectiveness in the 1980s [11]. Humor is defined as anything people think, say, or do that could be perceived as amusing and causes people to laugh [12]. ...
... Studies have displayed that humor boosts performance, enhanced workplace communication, and strengthens relationships [8]. In their metaanalysis, Mesmer-Magnus et al. [11] discovered that positive workplace humor alleviates monotony and dissatisfaction and may have the potential to mitigate the negative impacts of workplace stress by acting as a coping mechanism (promoting relaxation, tension reduction, and dealing with disappointments), as well as its ability to lubricate social relationships in stressful situations. Yang et al. and Vecchio et al. [18,19] further argued that positive humor decreases employees' work withdrawal behavior and turnover intentions. ...
... Specifically, the results showed that affiliative humor, whether positive on task-coping or negative on emotion-coping and avoidance-coping, is more substantial than the impact of self-enhancing humor (as shown in Figure 2, bold lines for affiliative humor). This can be attributed to the fact that affiliative humor is used to enrich one's relationships with others in a way that is relatively benign and self-accepting, whereas self-enhancing humor is centered internally and is used to help an individual to cope with stress [11]. ...
Article
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Working in the hospitality industry is stressful due to the intensive workload and extended work hours; this stress has increased after the COVID-19 pandemic due to high levels of job insecurity, downsizing, and laying off procedures. Employees in the hotel industry can deal with stress positively by utilizing task-coping styles or negatively by emotion- and avoidance-coping styles. Building on the transactional theory of stress and coping, and the benign violation theory of humor, the current study explores the relationships between positive humor and work withdrawal behaviors with the mediating effects of coping styles. A total of 407 hotel employees participated, and the obtained data were analyzed by structural equation modeling with partial least squares (PLS). The results asserted that affiliative humor is able to reduce coping with stresses via the negative styles and to increase coping with stresses via the positive style. The results also demonstrated the ability of task-coping in reducing work withdrawal behavior. Significant insights into theoretical and practical implications are further discussed.
... To fill this research gap, in this study, we focus on managerial humour, a special kind of management behaviour by which managers intentionally amuse their followers (Cooper et al., 2018), to examine its effects on nurses' affective states and behaviour. As a newly emerging leadership construct, existing research has initially shown that managerial humour has plenty of good effects on both organizations and their members, such as increasing morale and productivity (Avolio et al., 1999;Cann et al., 2014), enhancing team cohesiveness (Duncan, 1982), and promoting management efficiency (Avolio et al., 1999;Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012). However, whether and how managerial humour impacts followers' helping behaviour remain unclear. ...
... It is worth noting that previous research has identified numerous humour styles (e.g. affiliative humour, aggressive humour) (Martin et al., 2003), some positive and some negative (Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012;Veselka et al., 2010). In line with Cooper et al.' (2018) (Robert & Wilbanks, 2012), which we manifest as nurses' feelings of energy in the current study. ...
Article
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Aims The aims of the research are to investigate (1) the influence of managerial humour on nurses' coworker‐directed helping behaviour, (2) the mediating effect of nurses' feelings of energy between managerial humour and nurses' coworker‐directed helping behaviour and (3) the moderating effect of nurses' power distance orientation. Design This is a quantitative study. A three‐wave survey design was conducted to collect data from direct managers to nurse dyads. Methods The random sampling method was employed. Data were collected from the supervisor to subordinate dyad at three time points during the first half of 2021. A total of 235 paired data sets of nurses and their direct managers were collected from a large state‐owned Chinese hospital. We used hierarchical regression analyses via SPSS 22.0 software to examine the hypotheses. Results (1) Managerial humour can foster nurses' coworker‐directed helping behaviour via accumulating their feelings of energy. (2) Power distance orientation moderates the effect of managerial humour on feelings of energy as well as the indirect effect of managerial humour on nurses' coworker‐directed helping behaviour via feelings of energy, in a way that these effects are stronger when nurses have higher (vs. lower) level of power distance orientation. Conclusion Managerial humour can increase nurses' feelings of energy, which in turn, motivates them to help their coworkers. Nurses' power distance orientation is an important boundary condition that constrains managerial humour effectiveness. Impact Hospital managers could use more humour during their interactions with nurses because managerial humour can promote nurses' feelings of energy and coworker‐directed helping behaviour. Hospitals can take humour into account during managers' selection and training to improve management effectiveness. Managers in eastern countries should use more humour during their interactions with followers. Patient or public contribution Nurses and their direct managers from a large state‐owned Chinese hospital contributed to this study by completing the survey.
... However, the majority of workplace humour research has focused on positive, successful humour (Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012). In order to advance the understanding of how different humour styles are related to professional quality of life, the first aim of this present study is to analyse the relationship between both positive and negative humour styles and the dimensions of professional quality of life. ...
... Based on previous literature (e.g. Martin et al., 2003;Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012), we anticipate that: self-enhancing humour and affiliative humour will be positively related to compassion satisfaction and negatively related to burnout and secondary traumatic stress; self-defeating and aggressive humour will be negatively related to compassion satisfaction and positively related to burnout and secondary traumatic stress. ...
Article
Background: Professional quality of life pertains to the balance between compassion fatigue and compassion satisfaction. In recent years, there was an increase in compassion fatigue among medical staff due to the pandemic, all over the world, while compassion satisfaction was reported at a moderate level. Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify the relationship between workplace humour and professional quality of life among medical staff, as well as the moderating role of compassion in this relationship. Method: The sample consisted of 189 participants (Mage = 41.01; SD = 9.58). Of the total sample, 57.1% are physicians, 32.3% are nurses and 6.9% are clinical psychologists. The participants completed scales measuring compassion, workplace humour, and professional quality of life. Results: The results showed that self-enhancing and affiliative humour were positively related, while self-defeating humour was negatively related to compassion satisfaction. Burnout and secondary traumatic stress were negatively related to self-enhancing humour and positively related to self-defeating humour. Compassion moderated the relationship between affiliative humour and secondary traumatic stress. Conclusions: Encouraging coping strategies based on adaptive humour (i.e. affiliative humour, self-enhancing) and raising awareness about negative humour strategies (i.e. self-defeating) could contribute to an increase of quality of life among healthcare provides. Another conclusion derived from the present study sustains that compassion is a valuable personal resource positively related to compassion satisfaction. Compassion also facilitates the relationship between affiliative humour and low secondary traumatic stress. Thus, encouraging compassionate skills could be beneficial for the optimal professional quality of life.
... This may be because organizations have often overlooked these benefits. Furthermore, the use of humour in workplaces remains a debatable issue in business management (Mesmer, Magnus et al, 2012). While some academics and philosophers praise humour and encourage its use; others see it as a frivolous distraction from a job. ...
... Relying on humor in situations of intense traumatic and emotional impact has been shown to be a functional coping strategy to maintain individuals' well-being among funeral professionals [37], emergency personnel [38], and body handlers [39]. In a metaanalysis on humor in the workplace, this personal resource was found to be positively associated with group cohesion, satisfaction, and job performance, while negatively associated with stress, burnout, and work withdrawal [40]. Humor was also found to be an important factor in balancing perceived stress and exhaustion during the COVID-19 pandemic [32, 41,42]. ...
Chapter
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This chapter focuses on the importance of workers’ personal resources during difficult times, such as the pandemic period. In particular, the role of self-compassion in the work context is examined as an important resource for maintaining psycho-physical well-being. Further attention will be given to the impact of self-compassion on neuroscience research and possible organizational interventions to develop and/or support self-compassion in workers.
... According to the social interaction theory (SIT), individuals' attitudes and behaviors are determined by the atmosphere and feel of their daily interactions with others (Mesmer-Magnus, Glew & Viswesvaran, 2012). In other words, when leaders frequently use SD humor in teams, they allow members to feel fresh, interesting, and playful, which increases their trust and support (Meyer, 2000; Kazarian & Martin, 2006). ...
Article
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Recently, several organizations have used humorous leaders to improve the effectiveness of team operations. Based on the leader-member exchange theory and social interaction theory, this study examines the relationship between leader self-deprecating humor and team performance and investigates the moderating effects of team harmony and team efficacy. The results using three-wave and 369 valid leader-employee dyads (113 team leaders and 369 employees) from 12 companies in Taiwan showed that: (1) leader self-deprecating humor positively affects trust in the leader; (2) trust in the leader positively affects team performance; (3) trust in the leader mediates the relationship between leader self-deprecating humor and team performance; (4) Team harmony moderates the relationship between leader self-deprecating humor and trust in the leader; and (5) Team efficacy moderates the relationship between trust in the leader and team performance. Implications for behavioral researchers and human resource managers are discussed.
... There is robust evidence that humor has positive effects in various life contexts, such as improving private life (e.g., romantic relationships; Hall, 2017), working life (e.g., job satisfaction, motivation; Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012), or education (e.g., student learning; Savage et al., 2017). Moreover, studies have shown that self-directed activities targeting humor (e.g., McGhee, 2010;Wellenzohn et al., 2016) increase happiness and resilience and, in positive psychology, humor is even considered as a morally positively valued trait (i.e., a character strength; Müller & Ruch, 2011;Peterson & Seligman, 2004). ...
Article
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It has been argued that humor serves as a crucial resource for healthcare professionals (HCPs). For example, they can use it to cope with work stress, to build relationships with patients, and/or to educate medical students and residents-to name but a few functions. However, empirical studies on the importance of humor among HCPs are still scarce. Existing studies primarily focus on nurses and physicians and rarely distinguish between different humor styles (e.g., light and dark). Based on qualitative interviews with 14 German Medical Assistants (MAs), we investigate the potential of humor as a resource for MAs' work and education. We focus on the perceived functions and conditions of MAs' successful use of humor as well as the role of humor styles (i.e., comic styles). Results indicate various functions of humor in MAs' everyday work (e.g., soothing patients, coping with mistakes, fostering team cohesion, or promoting apprentices' education) as well as different conditions for a successful use of humor (e.g., positive social basis, current well-being, and social sensitivity). Further, the results suggest that the use of a certain humor style depends on the interlocutor as well as the intended goal of the humor. The results not only stress the multifaceted potential as well as the relevance of conditions of successful humor for MAs' everyday work and education, but also provide valuable real-life insights into MAs' everyday humor, thus offering several implications for practice to promote humor as a positive resource in MAs. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s41042-022-00074-2.
... First, this research confirmed the predictions relating to the direct effects of positive humor styles (self-enhancing humor and affiliative humor) on organizational creativity. These results support and extend prior studies investigating the effect of positive humor on organizational outcomes (Mesmer-Magnus, Glew, & Viswesvaran, 2012;Romero & Arendt, 2011;Romero & Cruthirds, 2006;Wisse & Rietzschel, 2014) and specifically on organizational creativity (Amjed & Tirmzi, 2016;Lang & Lee, 2010;Lee, 2015). This means leaders who do not lose a humorous view even in difficult situations and use humor to entertain other people, to improve relationships, and to make the organization enjoyable contribute to the increase of the organizational creativity of the employees. ...
Article
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The purpose of this research is to determine the relationship between the positive (self-enhancing, affiliative) and negative (self-defeating, aggressive) use of humor of leaders and the organizational creativity of employees. The moderating role of organizational tenure in the relationship between humor styles and organizational creativity is also examined. The data used in the research are gathered by questionnaire from 335 employees working in different organizations. Research hypotheses are tested by hierarchical regression analysis. As a result of the research, a positive relationship is determined between the use of self-enhancing and affiliative humor of leaders and organizational creativity, and a negative relationship is determined between the use of aggressive humor and organizational creativity. The findings also indicate that organizational tenure has a moderation role in the relationship between affiliative humor and organizational creativity and between aggressive humor and organizational creativity.
... Humor has often been described as an adaptive strategy deployed to cope with stressors in the health (Di Giuseppe et al., 2018;Ko and Youn, 2011) and work domains (Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012;Sliter et al., 2014;Wanzer et al., 2005). When faced with stressors, people use humor to soothe negative emotions and reappraise adverse events in order to reduce anxiety and stress. ...
Article
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.
... Reiss, 2006 for a concise review of the evolutionary psychology of humor). Perhaps due to its adaptive social function, humor has many benefits including regulating emotions (Samson & Gross, 2012), reducing the negative impact of stressful events on mental health (Yuan et al., 2008), and improving work-related outcomes (Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012). At the same time, humor can also be used to denigrate others. ...
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A lot of popular comedians are known for their transgressive humor towards social groups, but disparagement humor is not just restricted to stages or media performances. We encounter it everywhere or perhaps use it ourselves. In this paper, we were interested in how people react to disparaging jokes (i.e., homophobic jokes) across different relational settings. Adapting Fiske´s relational models theory, we examined how status differences in relationships affect the perception of and cognition about socially disparaging jokes. In Study 1 (N = 77), we piloted seven potentially disparaging jokes about gay men in relation to how they are perceived. In Study 2 (N = 288), using one joke from Study 1, we constructed vignettes manipulating the sexual orientation of the source of the joke in the dyad (i.e., heterosexual, gay, both heterosexual) and their status differences across relational models (i.e., high, equal, and low status). We found that the joke was perceived to be less funny, more offensive, and more morally wrong, and to contain more harm intent if it came from a heterosexual person rather than a gay person. Study 3 (N = 197) used concrete status differences in relationships in terms of existing intergroup dimensions. Results showed that the joke was perceived as more offensive, less acceptable and more morally wrong when it came from a high authority source (e.g., professor rather than a student). Overall, these findings bring the first evidence to link disparagement humor with relational models and show the importance status differences in the perception of disparagement humor.
... La importancia creciente que está cobrando el humor como estrategia de salud en nuestra sociedad se debe en gran parte a los diversos beneficios psíquicos, físicos y sociales que se le atribuyen en la literatura científica [8][9][10] . En el entorno sanitario, el humor ha demostrado importantes beneficios en la mejora del entorno de trabajo, en el afrontamiento de situaciones complicadas, en la comunicación con compañeros, gestores y pacientes, y en la satisfacción laboral, así como en la reducción del estrés y la ansiedad, entre otros [11][12][13][14][15][16] . Estos efectos positivos en el profesional sanitario repercuten directamente en la calidad del cuidado del paciente 17,18 . ...
Article
Resumen Objetivo Diseñar un instrumento de medida del humor en los profesionales sanitarios. Método Estudio descriptivo, observacional y transversal de metodología mixta. Se elaboró el instrumento en varias fases: revisión bibliográfica, generación de los ítems, determinación del formato, evaluación por panel de expertos, estudio piloto, reevaluación por panel de expertos y test-retest. Se analizó la pertinencia, la relevancia y el grado de comprensión de los ítems. Se calculó la validez interobservador con el índice kappa y el coeficiente de correlación intraclase, considerándose los valores ≥ 0,61. Se utilizó la t de Student para muestras relacionadas y el coeficiente de correlación de Pearson. Para todas las pruebas se aceptó un valor de p < 0,05. Resultados La Escala Tridimensional del Humor en Profesionales Sanitarios consta de 50 ítems medidos con una escala Likert de 5 puntos en función del grado de acuerdo. El panel de expertos valoró la escala global con 3,57 (0,79) puntos sobre 5. Se obtuvo una fiabilidad interobservador de 0,69 (p < 0,001) en el estudio piloto, un coeficiente de correlación de Pearson de 0,71 (p = 0,002) y un coeficiente de correlación intraclase de 0,69 (p = 0,001) en el test-retest. No se observaron diferencias estadísticamente significativas entre las puntuaciones del test-retest. Conclusión La Escala Tridimensional del Humor en los Profesionales Sanitarios es una herramienta innovadora en la medida del humor en el contexto sanitario, creada específicamente para profesionales sanitarios. Antes de su utilización, es necesario analizar su validez y fiabilidad en futuros estudios.
... Prior studies suggest that among the three components of commitment, affective commitment is more predictive of critical organizational consequences (e.g., turnover, performance, and organizational citizenship behavior) than normative and continuance commitment (e.g., Cooper-Hakim and Viswesvaran 2005;Meyer et al. 2002;Mercurio 2015;Solinger et al. 2008). Likewise, psychological states other than commitment, such as affect (Mesmer-Magnus et al. 2012), job satisfaction (Harter et al. 2002, and motivation (Yalabik et al. 2013), have been related to organizational outcomes. However, separate streams of research have also shown that, at the managerial level, affective commitment, normative, and continuance commitment are uniquely related to different and relevant work-organizational outcomes. ...
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Senior managers play a fundamental role in organizations. They shape organizational strategy and culture, set the mission, including opportunities for new markets, and construct the business models. Their commitment to the organization is vital to organizational performance, yet research on personality traits of senior managers and their commitment to organizations is limited. Drawing on self-affirmation theory, we investigate the consequences of senior managers’ ‘Dark Triad Traits’ (narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism) for their organizational commitment. We use the three-component model developed by Allen and Meyer (J Occup Psychol 63:1–18, 1990) to distinguish affective, continuance, and normative commitment. Our findings from a dataset of 394 senior French managers collected between 2017 and 2018 show that narcissism positively affects continuance commitment and normative commitment. This study contributes to a neglected stream of research investigating the relationship between Dark Triad traits and organizational commitment; contributes to ‘destigmatizing’ Dark Triad traits, often considered problematic for individuals; and adds to the minimal research currently on manager personality and organizational commitment.
... Humour is aimed to reduce stress and anxiety in students . Many studies related to humour have been carried out, across many fields, such as in the research context of leadership and organization, communication and many more (Romero & Cruthirds, 2006;Mesmer-Magnus, Glew, & Chockalingam, 2012). ...
... Revolusi teknologi komunikasi dapat juga dimanfaatkan secara optimal dan efektif selama masa pandemi untuk membantu menjaga mental tetap sehat, salah satu di antaranya, menurut Hsieh dan Tseng (2017) (Capps, 2006); 2) Meningkatkan kapasitas kepemimpinan, kohesivitas kelompok, komunikasi, kreativitas, dan budaya organisasi serta kemanfaatan lainnya di tempat kerja (Romero & Cruthirds, 2006;Caudron, 1992;Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012;Neves & Cunha, 2018;Noel, 2006); 3) Kepuasan dalam relasi perkawinan dan kesejahteraan dalam relasi (Bazzini et al., 2007;Hahn & Campbell, 2016); 4) Pengembangan pribadi (Gonot-Schoupinsky et al., 2020); 5) Keceriaan dan kebahagiaan subyektif (Yue et al., 2016;Monahan, 2015); 6) Memperkaya lingkungan pembelajaran dan mendorong perbaikan pembelajaran (Morrison, 2008;Bell & Pomerantz, 2016;Cheung & Yue, 2013;Banas et al., 2011); 7) Membantu mengurangi beban caregiver (Parrish & Quinn, 1999) c) Manfaat ekonomis dari humor dan yang terkait, antara lain: 1) Mendorong keterlibatan dan hubungan interpersonal yang positif dengan pelanggan (Chiew et al., 2019); 2) Memperkuat modal psikologis positif karyawan (Hughes, 2008) ...
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Dampak pandemi COVID-19 di seluruh dunia sangat serius karena meluas ke berbagai aspek kehidupan, mencemaskan dan merenggut nyawa teramat banyak sehingga dikatakan sebagai situasi amat sulit, bahkan dapat dikatakan sebagai situasi ekstrim. Secara khusus, pandemi COVID-19 ini sangat berdampak buruk terhadap kesehatan mental. Terdapat sejumlah cara yang dapat ditempuh untuk menjaga mental tetap sehat, salah satu di antaranya adalah humor. Humor memberikan banyak kemanfaatan fisik, psiko-sosial, bahkan ekonomis. Selera humor dapat dilatih menjadi kebiasaan dengan mengikuti beberapa tahap praktis yang diharapkan dapat menjadi strategi penanggulangan stress yang efektif dalam situasi pandemi bahkan situasi ekstrim lainnya.
... Moreover, appropriate humor could be a strategy for building rapport in the classroom (Tatum, 2021). Humor represents a form of interpersonal communication that fosters positive emotions within the group, which can further influence important work attitudes and behaviors like satisfaction, performance, cohesion and engagement (Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012;Robert & Wilbanks, 2012;Rosenberg et al., 2021). As such, in this study we focus on the type of humor within student groups as an antecedent of teamwork engagement. ...
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Given the widespread use of collaborative learning as an instructional practice in education, our study focuses on teamwork engagement, a key factor influencing the success of collaborative efforts. We use a longitudinal multi-level approach to test the impact of social context and engagement in student groups and examine the effect of social interdependence and type of humor on teamwork engagement. We collected data at six-time lags in a sample of 435 students organized in 97 groups. Our results show that positive interdependence has a positive influence on teamwork engagement, while negative interdependence as well as social independence have a negative effect on teamwork engagement. Moreover, affect mediates the influence of affiliative and aggressive humor communication on teamwork engagement. Practical implications are discussed.
... [8][9][10] In health care, humour has demonstrated major benefits in improving the work environment; in coping with complicated situations; in communication with colleagues, managers, and patients, and in job satisfaction, in addition to the reduction of stress and anxiety, among others. [11][12][13][14][15][16] These positive effects in the healthcare professional have been shown to produce a positive effect on the patient's quality of care. 17,18 Humour also has its risks, particularly if it is conceived of as a personal human experience and is therefore not always universal; instead, it is deeply influenced by cultural norms, beliefs, attitudes, and values. ...
Article
Aim The objective of this study was to develop an instrument for measuring humor in health professionals. Methods Observational, transversal and descriptive study of mixed methodology. The instrument was designed in several phases: literature review, item generation, determination of the scale format, review by the expert panel, pilot study, reevaluation by the expert panel, and test-retest. The pertinence, relevance and comprehension of the items were analyzed. Interobserver agreement was calculated with Kappa and the intraclass correlation coefficient considering values ≥ 0.61. Pared sample Student's t test and Pearson's correlation coefficient were used. A level of statistical significance was established at P < 0,05. Results The Three-Dimensional Scale of Humor in Health Professionals consists of 50 items measured with a 5-point Likert scale based on the degree of agreement. Experts’ panel evaluated the global scale with 3.57 (0.79) points out of 5. An interobserver reliability of 0.69 (P < 0.001) was obtained in the pilot study. A Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.71 (P = 0.002) and an intraclass correlation coefficient of 0.69 (P = 0.001) resulted in the test-retest. No statistically significant differences were observed between test-retest scores. Conclusion The Three-Dimensional Scale of Humor in Health Professionals is an innovative tool for measuring humor in the health context. This scale is created specifically for health professionals. It’s necessary its validation in future studies.
... Martin et al. (2003) have conceptualized humor as a multifaceted individual difference characteristic. Two humor styles--affiliative and self-enhancing humor styles (Martin et al., 2003)--have been viewed as adaptive coping strategies (Martin & Ford, 2018;Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012) acting as a psychological resilience factor (Kuiper, 2012) with healthpromoting effects (Menéndez-Aller et al., 2020) and valuable components of psychological resilience (Kuiper, 2012). Self-enhancing humor is an emotion regulation mechanism that minimizes distress by inducing cognitive and emotional distance from an overwhelmingly negative stimulus and providing options for reframing and reinterpreting stress (Martin & Ford, 2018). ...
... Raskin (2008) on the other hand focused on various disciplines perspectives on humour like linguistics, psychology, folklore, philosophy and others to give a solid foundation to researchers new to the field of humour research. The effect of laughter during breaks in the workspace was described as an efficient buffer for stress (Scheel et al., 2017b) and a meta-analysis stressed the value of the use of humour of supervisors to efficiently improve output performance of subordinate workers (Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012). But what is the effect of humour on staff working in palliative care? ...
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Palliative care teams frequently use humour as a coping instrument. Humour used within the professional team has to be distinguished from humour in the interaction with patients. Humour among staff members working in palliative settings is widely accepted and the positive effect has been demonstrated. Four humour-workshops were organized for staff working in a palliative care unit. All participants completed the State-Trait-Cheerfulness-Inventory (STCI-S and T) and the Distress-Thermometer. Before and after the last two workshops, saliva samples were collected for analysis of oxytocin concentrations. The humour workshops were performed by two coaches based on a concept for the use of humour and mindfulness in the nursing routine. Overall 31 staff members out of 37 participated. Representatives of all professions were included, 28 women, 3 men, 24 to 59 years old. Saliva samples demonstrated a small but not significant oxytocin increase from a mean of 1.52 pg/ml to 1.80 pg/ml after the intervention ( p .26). The mean p value of distress was reduced from 5.24 to 3.90 with an effect of p = .05 and bad mood was reduced from 11.19 to 9.43 ( p = .36), seriousness decreased from 15.06 to 12.26 ( p .01) and cheerfulness changed from 16.33 to 19.03 ( p = .02). Despite the small sample size, the reduction of distress and seriousness and the increase of cheerfulness was significant. The changes in Oxytocin and bad mood proved to not be significant. Feedback from participants confirmed the value of humour in palliative care.
... Humor and joking, and its role in the affective and cognitive domains, points to new considerations for purposeful pedagogy, experiential learning, and human-centered design in teaching and learning. A primary function of humor evidenced in the observational data is to provide a psychological buffer for processing negative information (Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012). Coping humor can also establish relations of avoidance and emotional distancing within small group dynamics, creating the social space necessary for members to negotiate shifting roles and identities while demonstrating conceptual fluency (Fiss & Laura, 2019;Plester, 2009). ...
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In response to ongoing philosophical and pedagogical debates in university-based entrepreneurship education (EE) research, this study offers a cross-disciplinary perspective of how hospitality management students experience a high-stakes, experiential entrepreneurship project. We present vignettes of dialogues, experiences, and interactions among “student-manager” members of a small group engaged in developing and implementing a real-world, fine dining pop-up restaurant. By triangulating our analysis of classroom observation data, social network maps, and student artifacts, we chronicle four vignettes of how students experience learning during ideation, design, launch, and evaluation modules. Theory–practice gaps, coping humor in load–overload states, and complex affective–cognitive interactions emerge as salient elements of high-stakes experiential EE. We discuss implications for learners and educators and put forward recommendations to inform and improve the design of cross-disciplinary models of experiential EE.
... With the continuous progress of modern humanized management concept, people pay more and more attention to the workplace positive and harmonious atmosphere, how to create a good working environment for employees, so as to arouse their enthusiasm for work, improve their work attitude, behavior and performance, etc., become the focus of contemporary scholars and leaders. Leadership humor, as an unconventional leadership behavior, abandons traditional dogmatic management, and aims to relax employees in "laughter" (Mesmer-Magnus, 2012), create a relaxed and pleasant organizational atmosphere, and establish a positive organizational culture. As a result, many leaders began to incorporate humor into their daily management activities as an effective management strategy (Dampier Walton, 2013), and more and more scholars in the field of organizational behavior began to explore the potential role and mechanism of leadership humor. ...
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In recent years, leadership humor research has flourished, but reviews focusing on leadership humor research mainly use qualitative research methods and less quantitative methods. In view of this, this paper selected 36 related documents in CNKI database from 2015 to 2020, and 59 related documents from 1999 from WOS core database to 2020. With the help of visual analysis tool CiteSpace software, the results show that the field of humor research lags behind foreign countries, and the researchers and research teams with high yield and high influence. Finally, according to the shortcomings of leadership humor research at home and abroad, the future research direction of leadership humor is proposed from the perspectives of research methods, research topics and research level.
... The outcome of humor is dependent on a number of factors such as the context of the humor and the intent of the person who is telling it (Gaut, 1998). After reviewing the literature on humor, Mesmer-Magnus et al. (2012) came up with four factors that make the definition of humor difficult: (1) "humor" and "sense of humor" are terms used interchangeably; (2) humor is diverse and multi-dimensional; (3) humor is quantified; and (4) humor has several styles, some positive and some negative. Romero and Cruthirds (2006, p. 59) defined humor as "amusing communications that produce positive emotions and cognitions in the individual, group, or organization." ...
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This study examines the effects of humorous posts on Twitter during an uncertain time, such as the Coronavirus pandemic, which brought panic globally. In Kuwait, many Twitter users have posted humorous tweets about the Coronavirus to influence the public’s understanding of the pandemic and exert pressure on government to take measures to stop the spread of the disease. However, the impact of many of humorous tweets was indirect and negative, causing panic and division among social groups. An online survey was employed to examine the effects of humorous Twitter messages on understanding the pandemic, causing hatred toward others and augmenting a sense of negative emotion in society. The response of 1,031 to the survey indicated that humor increased negative emotional reactions and increased understanding of the pandemic. There was no link between Twitter humor and hatred of others. The influence of humor during times of uncertainty and crises is discussed.
Article
Purpose Drawing on benign violation theory (BVT), this paper aimed to investigate the underlining mechanism and boundary condition of the relationship between follower perception of leader failed humor and follower advice seeking. Design/methodology/approach A three-wave survey with 256 leader-follower dyads and an online experiment with 117 participants were conducted to test the hypotheses. Findings The results showed that leader failed humor decreased follower liking toward leader and subsequently reduced follower advice seeking. Moreover, this negative relationship was exacerbated when leader and follower had infrequent interaction. Originality/value Existing research has encouraged leaders to use humor to build and maintain successful interpersonal relationships. However, the situation that a leader may fail when attempting to present humor is neglected. This study advances the concept of leader failed humor and explores its subsequent consequences.
Article
This study explores whether leader humor can encourage staff to exceed job expectations in their positive behavior toward customers, even in the notoriously stressful context of the hospitality industry. Based on our findings, leaders who use humor are more likely to prompt employees to engage in customer-oriented organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). Leader humor affects customer-oriented OCB through the mediating effect of relational energy. In addition, employee traditionality and relational energy differentiation moderate the process. Using time-lagged data collected from 456 employees in 71 teams in China’s hotel industry, this study adds significant knowledge to the under-researched area of humor and leader humor in the hospitality industry. The findings suggest that hospitality leaders can implement humor to obtain positive effects by raising relational energy and triggering customer-oriented OCB, particularly among less-traditional workers and in situations of low relational energy differentiation.
Article
The workplace is rife with the use of humor. However, the theoretical ties between the use of leader humor and common employee outcomes remain incomplete. This research extends social exchange theory to investigate the activities through which leader humor enables followers' physical, cognitive, and emotional engagement. The argument is made that leaders can utilize humor as a socioemotional resource to facilitate high-quality relationships with followers. Accordingly, hypotheses are developed to suggest a mediated relationship between leader humor and the three dimensions of engagement through the leader–member exchange (LMX). Data from a two-wave study in the United States support these hypotheses and highlight leader–follower exchange as a necessary linkage to follower engagement. These results suggest that it is not enough for leaders to be amusing. Instead, leaders need to build strong connections with their followers through the exchange of social and emotional support. This research adds to the knowledge of leader humor in the organizational setting by establishing a connection between leader humor and each of the engagement facets. Additionally, this research expands the LMX literature by drawing attention to leader humor as a valuable socioemotional resource.
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This research investigates whether companies’ use of humor is an effective strategy to address complainers’ incivility on social media. Using three main experiments, the authors examine observers’ evaluation of companies’ humorous responses on social media in relation to the degree of incivility of the complaints. The authors find, first, that observers develop greater purchase intentions toward companies that use humor to respond to uncivil complaints. Drawing on benign violation theory, they explain that observers are less committed to uncivil complainers, which makes the use of humor more benign and thus more amusing. Second, they compare the effectiveness of humor with an accommodative recovery (e.g., apologies). When the complaint is civil, an accommodative recovery is a more effective strategy than affiliative humor. However, when the complaint is uncivil, affiliative humor is more interesting than an accommodative recovery because of greater engagement with the post (i.e., likes and shares) and similar purchase intentions. Theoretical and managerial implications of these results are then discussed.
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This study aims to examine the way individuals use humor and its effect on organizational dissent behaviors. This study, which was carried out with academic and administrative staff in various units of a state university, it was investigated which type of dissent the individuals chose when reporting their dissatisfaction and whether they used humor as a dissenting message. As a result of the analysis, it has been seen that the way individuals use humor has an effect on the selection of organizational dissent behaviors. When individuals have a self-enhancing humor style, follow an articulated dissent, they move away from displaced dissent.
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Bu çalışmada bibliyometrik analiz yöntemi ile yönetim disiplini bağlamında örgütlerde mizah kullanımının tarihsel gelişimini belirlemek ve gelecekte bu alanda çalışma yapanlara kavramsal bir çerçeve oluşturarak yol gösterici olmak amaçlanmıştır. Bu amaç doğrultusunda, Web of Science veri tabanında yayımlanmış ve farklı endekslerde taranan örgütlerde mizah kullanımıyla ilgili 2022 yılına kadar yayımlanan makaleler bibliyometrik yöntemle analiz edilmiştir. Anahtar kelime, özet ve başlık alanlarında yönetim alanına odaklanan 306 makale incelenmiştir. Araştırma amacı doğrultusunda oluşturulan soruları yanıtlamak amacıyla çeşitli üretkenlik göstergeleri incelenmiş ve bibliyometrik analiz kapsamında atıf analizi, ortak atıf ve ortak kelime analizi yapılmıştır. Sonuç olarak,örgütlerde mizah kullanımına ilişkin çalışmalara yönelik yönetim alanında ilginin son 15 yılda artış gösterdiği bulunmuştur. Türkiye kaynaklı yayın sayısının 4 olması, örgütlerde mizah kullanımına ilişkin alanın ülkemizde gelişmeye açık olduğunun bir göstergesi olarak değerlendirilebilir. Sosyal medya, liderin mizah kullanımı, iş yerinde eğlence, statü ve içerik analizi konularının “örgütlerde mizah kullanımı” alanında güncel konular olduğu da tespit edilmiştir.
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In the present study, we examined the impact of humor’s positive functions on the perception of a job’s meaningfulness. We argued that liberating and stress-relieving humor act as job resources enhancing job crafting to increase social and structural resources to experience meaningfulness. We hypothesized that crafting the job to increase structural and social resources would mediate the link between organizational humor functions (i.e., liberating and stress-relieving) and meaningfulness. We conducted a cross-sectional study among 200 Turkish employees from different occupations. Our results revealed that increasing structural resources mediated the relationship between liberating humor and meaningfulness, while this mediation was partially for stress-relieving humor. The mediating role of increasing social resources was partial and conditional for both types of organizational humor functions. The practical and theoretical implications have been discussed from a positive organizational scholarship perspective.
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Prior research has shown that more resilient individuals report higher levels of happiness. Other research also shows that those who use positive humor styles (i.e., self-enhancing and affiliative) more often and use negative humor styles (i.e., aggressive and self-defeating) less often report higher levels of happiness. Resilience research has characterized resilience as involving multiple protective factors that contribute to functioning better than expected despite past or present adversities. The present research tested the hypothesis that the use of one or more humor styles may function as distinct protective factors of resilience in predicting happiness. An online survey study with a sample of 204 (105 men, 99 women) young adults showed that after controlling for resilience, less frequent use of the negative humor styles (i.e., aggressive and self-defeating) emerged as protective factors, related to higher levels of happiness. The use of the positive humor styles did not account for additional variance in happiness after resilience was controlled. The results are compatible with research suggesting that improvements in well-being are associated with behavioral changes.
Article
Researchers have displayed considerable interest in how and when team cognitive diversity leads to improved or impaired team innovation. When addressing this issue, scholars have adopted the information/decision making and social categorization theoretical perspectives. In contrast, we draw on conservation of resources (COR) theory when examining the cognitive diversity and team innovation relationship. We argue that in a team environment, cognitive diversity may result in the threat of losing valuable resources. This threat, in turn, encourages team members to engage in resource replenishment through the use of different humor styles (i.e., affiliative, self-enhancing, aggressive, self-defeating). We argue that, with such resource replenishment, four team-level humor styles emerge and mediate the relationship between cognitive diversity and team innovation. In addition, we expect team emotional intelligence to moderate the relationships between cognitive diversity and team humor styles. Our model has important theoretical implications for team diversity, humor, emotional intelligence, and innovation research. Plain language summary: Team cognitive diversity can be defined as the extent to which team members differ in their ideas, perspectives, or values. Cognitive diversity is important for teams to cultivate innovation although it may also result in relationship conflicts and the formation of subgroups in a team. Our paper views cognitive diversity as a signal that drives team members to use humor to cope with diversity. This may then result in different humor styles (i.e., affiliative, self-enhancing, aggressive, self-defeating) that characterize the way the team uses humor. For instance, while working in a cognitively diverse team, team members might make a joke about work that the whole team laughs together (i.e., affiliative humor). However, some members might use sarcasm to insult others who are different from the group norms (i.e., aggressive humor). We argue that the team humor styles will influence team innovation, which in turn will link cognitive diversity with team innovation. Moreover, we suggest that team emotional intelligence will influence the extent to which the four team humor styles link cognitive diversity and team innovation.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this study is to explore what contributes to egalitarian teams and facilitates for team learning in professional service teams. Design/methodology/approach A qualitative case study, including 41 in-depth interviews ( n = 18) of professional service team members and managers in one of Nordics largest professional service companies was conducted. Findings This study reveals how acknowledgement of generational differences and humour can facilitate egalitarianism and psychological safety for members of professional service teams. This in turn relates to team learning processes and behaviours. Humour creates a “safe space” between team members representing different areas of the novice–expert continuum for idea generation and knowledge sharing. Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is one of the first to contribute with insight on experiences and expectations of humour as an enabling mechanism for egalitarianism and team learning in professional service teams. The findings provide professional service firms with valuable and tangible insights, which could serve as a basis for designing learning and training practices.
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Different elements of humor have been used in pediatric settings to build rapport with medical and psychosocial team members, to alleviate stress during medical procedures, and as an adjunct to therapeutic interventions. Preliminary research has shown that using humor reduces stress and anxiety, increases distress tolerance, and decreases pain. All members of a multidisciplinary team can infuse humor in pediatric patient and family interactions to improve rapport and therapeutic outcomes; psychosocial team members are particularly well-suited for humor assessment and intervention. This chapter will provide an overview of the use of humor in psychosocial interventions for pediatric patients, including developmental and cultural considerations, assessment of humor, and practical applications of humor in psychological therapy.KeywordsHumorPediatric psychologyPediatric medical conditionsAssessmentInterventionCultural considerations
Article
Although leader humor research has investigated its benefits in a formal relationship, how leader humor, as an informal tactic, influences employee work outcomes has been neglected. Drawing on a relational perspective, we cast leader-member guanxi as a novel mechanism to explain the relationship between leader humor and employee organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). We also theorize team structure determines the extent to which leader-member guanxi is built by leader humor. Using data from 308 employees and their leaders in 76 teams at three time points, results of multilevel path analysis indicated that after controlling for leader-member exchange, the positive effect of leader humor on leader-member guanxi was enhanced when the team operated in an organic structure as opposed to a mechanistic structure, which in turn, facilitated employee OCB. These findings provide a novel insight into understanding the informal role of leader humor and offering important practices for relationship management.
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Humor a munkában: valóban oximoron? John Morreall filozófus nevéhez kapcsolódik az a megállapítás, miszerint a munkahelyi humor oximoronnak számít ("humor in work is an oxymoron", 1991: 359). Valóban nem lehet, nem érdemes professzionális szituációkban élni a humor lehetőségével? Nem lesz meglepetés, hogy az itt összegzett empirikus kutatások mind arra utalnak, hogy a jól alkalmazott humor a munkában is hasznos, előremutató, hatékonyságnövelő lehet. E tanulmány azt a kérdéskört járja körül a desktopkutatás módszertanával, hogy a jelenleg érvényes menedzsment-szakirodalom mit állít, esetleg mit tanácsol a humor munkahelyi szituációkban történő használatáról, a humor hogyan járul hozzá az egészséges munka-helyi légkör, továbbá a dolgozói elégedettség megteremtéséhez és megtartásához, külön kitérve az ajánlott és a kerülendő humorstílusokra. Öt szempont szerint összegzem a vonatkozó tanulmányokat: 1. hogyan hat a (vezetői) humor a munkahelyi teljesítményre és a munkahelyi légkörre, hangulatra; 2. miképpen befolyásolja a vezető humorhaszná-lata a státuszát (ezen belül kiemelten a női vezetőkét); 3. hogyan járul hozzá a vezetői kontrollhoz a humor; 4. létezik-e nem jó humor; 5. zárásképpen pedig azt vizsgálom, milyen szerepet tölt be a humor a szervezeti kommunikációban.
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Chapter
This article explores different challenges and opportunities of using humour and playfulness in online marketing. Humour has been investigated intensively in marketing, especially in advertising, yet there is little knowledge of the challenges and opportunities in online marketing faced by practitioners. This study analyses key studies conducted in the context of a unique case: a Finnish research project exploring humour as a strategic tool for companies. These studies can provide emerging insights of humour in online marketing which are relevant for practitioners: humour as a transformational appeal, individual differences related to humour appreciation, role of storytelling and playfulness in blogging and challenges related to use of humour such as credibility.
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Purpose This paper aims to study the effects of widespread stress and uncertainty that is characteristic of organizational crises on service employees and to explore the extent to which organizations may proactively use supervisors’ positive humor and discretionary organizational support that goes above and beyond service employee expectations to mitigate the pandemic’s negative impact on work engagement. Design/methodology/approach Cross-sequential survey-based data was collected from 172 service employees during the height of the pandemic to assess service employees’ perceptions of both their supervisors’ use of positive humor and their employers’ discretionary organizational support in response to the emotion-laden stress and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. PROCESS analysis was used to test the hypotheses and to conduct supplementary analyses. Findings Results suggest employee perceptions of supervisors’ use of positive humor positively impact dimensions of work engagement at Time 1. This engagement then positively impacts extra-role behavior, innovativeness and pride at Time 2. The impact from supervisor humor to the outcomes is fully mediated through work engagement. From a moderation perspective, discretionary organizational support was shown as a substitute for creating work engagement at low levels of supervisor humor suggesting that the two “resource builders” can act as substitutes in creating engagement. Originality/value This paper provides unique insights into both the valuable role of positive workplace humor for service workers’ work engagement during times of widespread crisis and the moderating role discretionary organizational support plays when perceptions of humor are relatively low. Moreover, the supplemental examination of the multidimensional work engagement construct as a mediator between humor and the service outcomes of extra-role behavior, innovativeness and organizational pride provides unique insights into how a crisis context may deferentially affect the experience and implications of engagement for other service worker outcomes. Understanding the proactive, ameliorative role in service effectiveness played by supervisor humor and discretionary organizational support during crises is an emerging question for service research.
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This meta-analysis examined how demand and resource correlates and behavioral and attitudinal correlates were related to each of the 3 dimensions of job burnout. Both the demand and resource correlates were more strongly related to emotional exhaustion than to either depersonalization or personal accomplishment. Consistent with the conservation of resources theory of stress, emotional exhaustion was more strongly related to the demand correlates than to the resource correlates, suggesting that workers might have been sensitive to the possibility of resource loss. The 3 burnout dimensions were differentially related to turnover intentions, organizational commitment, and control coping. Implications for research and the amelioration of burnout are discussed.
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In this article we examine the meaning of team process. We first define team process in the context of a multiphase episodic framework related to goal accomplishment, arguing that teams are multitasking units that perform multiple processes simultaneously and sequentially to orchestrate goal-directed taskwork. We then advance a taxonomy of team process dimensions synthesized from previous research and theorizing, a taxonomy that reflects our time-based conceptual framework. We conclude with implications for future research and application.
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This study examines the relationships between workplace humor, manager gender, and leadership outcomes. A sample of 321 business school alumni provided data on the use of both positive and negative humor by their managers and described their managers’ relative use of task behavior, relationship behavior, and overall effectiveness. While humor was expected to affect perceived leader behavior and effectiveness, an interaction between humor use and manager gender was hypothesized where male managers were advantaged in ratings relative to females. The results show that positive humor is associated with higher ratings of desirable leader behaviors. Negative humor use was only associated with lower task-behavior ratings. Significant interactions between gender and humor use were found on relationship behavior and effectiveness, however the direction was not as predicted. Female managers using positive humor at work were rated higher than males in leader outcomes while females using negative humor were rated lower than males in those outcomes. Positive humor use may benefit managers (especially females) by improving communication and group relations.
Book
This volume brings together the current approaches to the definition and measurement of the sense of humor and its components. It provides both an overview of historic approaches and a compendium of current humor inventories and humor traits that have been studied. Presenting the only available overview and analysis of this significant facet of human behavior, this volume will interest researchers from the fields of humor and personality studies as well as those interested in the clinical or abstract implications of the subject. © 1998 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co., D-10785 Berlin. All rights reserved.
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All published research examining effects of humor and laughter on physical health is reviewed. Potential causal mechanisms and methodological issues are discussed. Laboratory experiments have shown some effects of exposure to comedy on several components of immunity, although the findings are inconsistent and most of the studies have methodological problems. There is also some evidence of analgesic effects of exposure to comedy, although similar findings are obtained with negative emotions. Few significant correlations have been found between trait measures of humor and immunity, pain tolerance, or self-reported illness symptoms. There is also little evidence of stress-moderating effects of humor on physical health variables and no evidence of increased longevity with greater humor. More rigorous and theoretically informed research is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn about possible health benefits of humor and laughter.
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The field of organizational justice continues to be marked by several important research questions, including the size of relationships among justice dimensions, the relative importance of different justice criteria, and the unique effects of justice dimensions on key outcomes. To address such questions, the authors conducted a meta-analytic review of 183 justice studies. The results suggest that although different justice dimensions are moderately to highly related, they contribute incremental variance explained in fairness perceptions. The results also illustrate the overall and unique relationships among distributive, procedural, interpersonal, and informational justice and several organizational outcomes (e.g., job satisfaction, organizational commitment, evaluation of authority, organizational citizenship behavior, withdrawal, performance). These findings are reviewed in terms of their implications for future research on organizational justice.
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Humor has been suggested as an effecive management tool. Reviewed in this paper is the existing research on humor appreciation or what is funny to whom; the influence of humor on group characteristics such as cohesiveness, communications, power, and status; and the linkage, if any, between group dynamic variables and human performance. A list of guidelines for management in matching humor with the situation is given, and some priorities are suggested for research.
Chapter
Much has been said and written about humor that disparages, belittles, debases, demeans, humiliates, or otherwise victimizes. A myriad of observations and opinions on the subject eventually found expression in theoretical proposals, and these proposals have been reviewed in considerable detail (e.g., Berlyne, 1969; Keith-Spiegel, 1972). The research efforts spawned by the proposals, together with theoretical advances and refinements suggested or demanded by the findings, also have been detailed and summarized (e.g., La Fave, 1972; Zillmann & Cantor, 1976). Obviously, there is little merit in restating the various theoretical views and in rehashing research findings that have been reported repeatedly already. This chapter, consequently, traces the evolution of disparagement theory in its essentials only and then focuses on new developments, both theoretical and empirical, that have occurred since the publication of the reviews in the early and mid-seventies. More specifically, extensions of theoretical approaches to disparagement humor are reported and the generality and specificity of these approaches is assessed. Efforts at integrating disparagement theory with other approaches to humor are reported. New findings concerning the ontogeny of mirthful reactions to disparagement are discussed. Finally, the discontent with the “incompleteness” of disparagement-centered theories of humor is detailed, and recent efforts at removing the apparent incompleteness of older models in the construction of more integrative theories are described. Much attention is given to the issue of converting the potential enjoyment of disparagement into amusement.
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This study examined 359 business school graduates' self-reported sense of humor, the use of humor at work, and perceptions of their supervisors' use of humor. Regression analyses indicated subordinates' reported use of positive (unoffensive) humor was best predicted by Multidimensional Sense of Humor Scale scores, while reported use of negative (sexual and insult) humor was best predicted by their supervisors' use of negative humor. Negative humor may stimulate responses-in-kind more than does positive humor. Alternatively, respondents may have exhibited self-serving bias, blaming others for their use of negative humor but crediting themselves for use of positive humor. The results suggest supervisors' use of humor is associated with subordinates' use of humor and with various attitudes toward the work setting.
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This study extends previous work reviewing the cohesion-performance relationship by using meta-analytic techniques to assess the effects of level of analysis and task interdependence on the cohesion-performance relationship. A totel of 51 effect sizes from 46 empirical studies were obtained for the meta-analytic integration. Results suggest that level of analysis and task interdependence moderate the cohesion-performance relationship. Implications of the findings for future research on group cohesion and performance are discussed.
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Investigated the functional relations among cognitive appraisal and coping processes and their short-term outcomes within stressful encounters. The authors used an intraindividual analysis of the interrelations among primary appraisal (what was at stake in the encounter), secondary appraisal (coping options), 8 forms of problem- and emotion-focused coping, and encounter outcomes in a sample of 85 married couples (females aged 35–45 yrs and males aged 26–54 yrs). Findings show that coping was strongly related to cognitive appraisal; the forms of coping that were used varied depending on what was at stake and the options for coping. Coping was also differentially related to satisfactory and unsatisfactory encounter outcomes. Findings clarify the functional relations among appraisal and coping variables and the outcomes of stressful encounters. (47 ref)
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Three benefits of humor in the workplace are explored: its promotion of health, mental flexibility, and smooth social relations.
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In this study, we examined the links between leadership style, the use of humor, and two measures of performance. Results indicated that leadership style was moderated by the use of humor in its relationship with individual and unit-level performance. Implications for further research on the use of humor by leaders are discussed.
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Humor is a common element of human interaction and therefore has an impact on work groups and organizations. Despite this observation, managers often fail to take humor seriously or realize its numerous benefits. Humor is more than just funny concepts; it represents a multifunctional management tool that can be used to achieve many objectives. This article describes how managers can use humor to reduce stress and enhance leadership, group cohesiveness, communication, creativity, and organizational culture. Specifically, we suggest humor styles that are best suited to realize these outcomes. Additionally, the effect of humor on organizational outcomes is moderated by individual differences such as ethnicity and gender. Much like selecting the proper tool from a tootkit, managers can select the appropriate humor style suitable for the desired organizational outcome, adjust for individual differences, and achieve positive organizational outcomes.
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Previous research on ingratiation in organizations has identified various categories of ingratiatory behaviors. However, these studies have failed to mention or investigate the ingratiatory power of humor. I integrate past research on ingratiation with research on humor in organizations to propose humor as a type of ingratiatory behavior in the workplace. I describe how humor affects targets, including determinants of humor's effectiveness as an ingratiation strategy, and various outcomes of humor as an ingratiation tactic.
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Scores on a multidimensional scale of humor and a nonverbal indicator of creative ability for 86 adults indicate a significant positive association of creativity and a sense of humor. Adults who were classified as low on creativity scored significantly lower on the humor scale than adults classified as high on creativity. This result is congruent with previous research indicating a relationship between the two constructs.
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This article examines employee dissatisfaction and the resultant decreased organizational effectiveness caused by role conflict in multiple authority organizations where an employee is subject to conflicting loyalties and directives. Possible remedies to the problem are examined.
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Humor has been suggested as an effecive management tool. Reviewed in this paper is the existing research on humor appreciation or what is funny to whom; the influence of humor on group characteristics such as cohesiveness, communications, power, and status; and the linkage, if any, between group dynamic variables and human performance. A list of guidelines for management in matching humor with the situation is given, and some priorities are suggested for research.
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In a dyadic bargaining paradigm, at a predetermined point in the negotiation, subjects received an influence attempt from a confederate that varied in size and was administered in either a humorous or a nonhumorous way. Results support the major hypothesis that humor results in an increased financial concession. The use of humor led to a more positive evaluation of the task and marginally lessened self-reported tension, but did not increase liking for the partner. Consistent with past research using social tasks, females laughed and smiled more than males.
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Many have acknowledged the favorable, even therapeutic, effects of humor. However, few have attempted to relate humor to the functions of management and leadership. Research on this topic could possibly convert an undeveloped resource into a tool that could enhance our ability to get things done.
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A series of studies has shown that humor and intimacy are closely related. Since trust is an essential part of intimacy, it was hypothesized that there would be a close correlation between humor and trust. The Trust versus Mistrust Scale of the Measures of Psychosocial Development, Coping Humor Scale, Multi-dimensional Sense of Humor Scale, and Situational Humor Response Questionnaire were given to 89 subjects. There were significant correlations between the Trust versus Mistrust Scale and each of the humor scales. The positive relationship between trust and humor was explained in terms of such mediating variables as extroversion, stress reduction, and self-esteem. It was suggested that future studies should investigate the relationship between humor and other variables associated with intimacy and trust, such as self-disclosure.
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The revision of Feingold's Humor Perceptiveness Test and its construct validation are reported. The revision quantifies two components of humor comprehension, memory for jokes and humor-reasoning ability. The test items are in the form of joke completions (e.g., “Take my wife——–!”). Reliability coefficients (split-half, Kuder-Richardson, alternate form) of the test were .84 to .93. The Humor Perceptiveness Test-Revised was related to humor appreciation (interest in comedy movies) and to scores on a short form WAIS, the correlates varying as a function of intelligence. Scores on the humor measure correlated only with intelligence for a subsample of dull subjects but with both intelligence and humor appreciation for brighter examinees. The revised Humor Perceptiveness Test may be of use to researchers.
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Due to the shortcomings in understanding humor, a state-trait model of cheerfulness, seriousness and bad mood was introduced to describe the temperamental basis of the sense of humor [1-4]. This chapter sketches the development and characteristics of the postulated state-trait model and presents its relationship to different models of the sense of humor. Literature will be reviewed that shows that trait cheerfulness accounts for most variation in existing self-report assessment tools of the sense of humor. Further, the relation of trait cheerfulness to health and well-being related variables (e.g., flourishing [5]; coping [6] and life satisfaction, [7]) will be discussed. Attention is given to experimental and correlational evidence, which shows that trait cheerfulness is positively related to adaptive coping mechanisms, positive experience and well-being. This is particularly interesting for cheerfulness interventions to fostering well-being and overcoming adversities. Finally, implications for the study of positive traits and respective interventions will be discussed.
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After summarizing the literature on the various models for the role of social support in the process of work stress, two studies are reported. In the first study, correlations between (1) social support and workplace stressors and (2) between social support and strains as well as (3) incrementalR2s across 68 studies, when the interaction term of stressors and support was added to the regression of strain on stressors and support, were meta-analytically cumulated. Potential moderators of these relationships were weak, suggesting the presence of three general constructs of stressors, strains, and social support. In the second study, the various models for the role of social support in the process of workplace stress were tested for the general constructs identified in the first study. Results indicated that social support had a threefold effect on work stressor–strain relations. Social support reduced the strains experienced, social support mitigated perceived stressors, and social support moderated the stressor–strain relationship. Evidence for mediational and suppressor effects of social support on the process of work stress was weak. In addition, the argument that social support is mobilized when stressors are encountered was not consistent with the available empirical evidence. A similar lack of support was found for the arguments that support is mobilized when strains are encountered and that support is provided when individuals are afflicted with strains.
Article
This investigation sought to understand the impact of sense of humor on relationship development. High and low sense of humor subjects were paired with moderate sense of humor partners and were instructed to interact for 30 minutes. A post‐interaction questionnaire tapped attributional confidence and the desire to interact in the future. Results indicated that a high, rather than a low, sense of humor facilitated the reduction of uncertainty and also served to reduce social distance between interactants. These findings provide support for the facilitative nature of humor in the development of interpersonal relations. Indeed, sense of humor is an engaging personality trait that has direct implications for social relationships.
Article
Abstract This study explored relationships between sense of humor, stress, and coping strategies. Undergraduate,students (N=258) from,introductory psychology courses completed a perceived stress scale, an everyday problems scale, a state anxiety inventory, a sense of humor scale, and a scale assessing their preferred coping strategies. High and low sense of humor,groups were determined,by selecting participants with self-reported sense of humor,at one standard deviation above and below the overall mean,on the sense of humor,scale. The high sense of humor,group,appraised,less stress and reported less current anxiety than a low sense of humor,group,despite experiencing a similar number,of everyday,problems,in the previous two months. The high humor,group was more likely to use positive reappraisal and problem-solving coping strategies than the low humor,group. A weaker relationship existed between,appraisal of stress and number,of problems in the low humor,group because this group perceived greater stress at low and average,number,of everyday,problems,than the high humor,group. The results were discussed as supporting the role of humor,in restructuring a situation so it is less stressful, and the relationship of humor to both emotion-focused and problem-focused coping strategies. Numerous,studies have supported,the anecdotal,view that humor,and
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Every interacting social group develops, over time, a joking culture: a set of humorous references that are known to members of the group to which members can refer and that serve as the basis of further interaction. Joking, thus, has a historical, retrospective, and reflexive character. We argue that group joking is embedded, interactive, and referential, and these features give it power within the group context. Elements of the joking culture serve to smooth group interaction, share affiliation, separate the group from out-siders, and secure the compliance of group members through social control. To demonstrate these processes we rely upon two detailed ethnographic examples of continuing joking: one from mushroom collectors and the second from professional meteorologists.