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The repatriated Vietnam prisoners of war are suffering almost no mental illness, and the effective use of humor seems to be one of the reasons for their health. The literature by and about prisoners of war from several recent wars indicates prisoners often found humor to be an effective coping mechanism, a way of fighting back and taking control. By defining humor as an element of communication and by thinking of resilience as a communication phenomenon, the links between humor and resilience become more apparent. This was a qualitative study that consisted of interviewing approximately 50 Vietnam POWs in unstructured interviews and 12 Vietnam POWs in a structured, topical format. Chronicling the subjective accounts of these men and framing them as communication allowed an examination of the results. Knowing that human connection contributed to the survival and resilience of these men implies that resilience is contagious, as humor seems to be. Through the creation of humor in a well-defined system of social support, these fiercely independent men learned to rely on their own power and to draw a sense of mastery from each other.
Linda D. Henman, Ph.D.
In 1973 the Vietnam Conflict drew to a close and 566 military prisoners of war were returned
from captivity in North Vietnam. Over 25 years later the medical and psychological tests of
approximately 300 of these repatriated prisoners show few medical, social, and psychological
problems. How can this be when other groups in history who have experienced captivity have
often shown extreme aftereffects? The answers are varied and complex, but one thing seems
clear. The Vietnam prisoners of war (VPOWs) had a system that worked, a system for human
connection based on control and grounded in the effective use of humor.
Psychologists tell us that human beings want power and authority over their futures. We want
to feel that we have a say in how things will go for us. When we perceive that our actions will
make an outcome likely, we feel optimistic and secure. When we don’t, we feel insecure. We
feel like victims. Sometimes people stay in a victim’s frame of mind after a loss or
disappointment. They doubt their capacity to make their lives happen according to their own
aspirations, so they wait to be rescued or blessed by good fortune. They start to feel undermined
and overwhelmed; and they can become totally immobilized.
But the VPOWs weren’t victims. They were certainly victimized by their captors, but they
never saw themselves as victims, no matter what was done to them. They weren’t victims
because the took control of the few things they could control. They were told when and what and
if they could eat; they were told if and when the could shower, sleep, and use the toilet. They had
no say about parts of their lives that people normally take for granted. But they did have control
over one thing, and that was their humor perspective.
Control and Human Connection
In 1958 William Schutz proposed a theory of behavior that suggested that control is one of
the salient variables of interpersonal relationships, and people form groups to fulfill their needs for
it. Their need for control served as a framework for the VPOWs who created and maintained a
system of strong interpersonal relationships and group affiliation that helped them survive over
seven years in captivity and thrive during the years since repatriation. Humor was one of the
elements of this system. The VPOWs taught each other how to use humor as a weapon for
fighting back and as a tool for building cohesion.
One way to break down a group's power is to reduce the feelings of control the members
have. If people have a need to feel control, authority, and influence in their lives and over the
lives of others, removing this perception can, according to Schutz, compromise the cohesion of
the groups. In the Nazi prison camps, the guards succeeded in doing just that. The prisoners
were forced to say "thou" to one another, which in Germany is indiscriminately used only among
small children. Using this term with adults shows a lack of respect, but the Nazi guards did not
permit the prisoners to address one another with the many titles to which middle and upper-class
Germans were accustomed. On the other hand, the prisoners had to address the guards in the
most deferential manner, showing respect by giving them all their titles (Bettelheim, 1953).
As Bettelheim pointed out, forcing these adults to live like children, to speak like and to be
spoken to like children caused them eventually to take on some characteristics of children. They
were unable to plan for the future, and they were unable to establish durable relationships. The
Nazi prisoners had no control over their lives, even to the extent that their most basic of human
needs for food, sleep, and using the toilet were controlled by the guards. Numerous accounts
claim many prisoners eventually reverted to such childlike behaviors as bed-wetting and soiling
themselves. The need for control was purposefully thwarted for these prisoners. Expressions of
independence, rebellion, and resistance were almost certain triggers for more abuse, so these
prisoners did not find control within their own lives or through forming relationships with other
Groups as Systems of Control
The VPOWs, on the other hand, did form groups and relied on their system to help them
overcome some of the adversity of the situation. These prisoners, like the Nazi prisoners, were
treated like children. Satisfaction of their basic physiological needs was also determined by their
guards; however, one significant difference is apparent. The Vietnam prisoners had a system for
resisting. They were forced to submit and comply with many of the guards' demands, but because
of their system of human connection, their group, they were able to rebel when prisoners in other
captivity situations had not been able to.
The Vietnamese captors, like the Nazi captors, tried to break the power of the group, but the
Vietnamese were not so formidable. The Nazis were successful in controlling the prisoners
because the prisoners had no system for resisting the coercion. When the North Vietnamese tried
to impose a rule similar to the Nazi's rule of saying "thou" to one another, they were met with
unexpected resistance. For example, the VPOWs refused to give into the captives' demands that
they refrain from addressing each other by rank.
The VPOWs also created humor among themselves, and in so doing, exercised control in
another sense. Humor has its basis in the individual, but it manifests itself in interpersonal
relationships. When responding to what helped them make it through, the research respondents
described humor from both an intrapersonal and interpersonal perspective. That is, they reported
a sense of humor within themselves and the laughter they shared with each other. One
participant’s observation that, “The larger the group, the more lighthearted things were. The
smaller the group, the more intense things were” reflected the comments of many.
As one man stated, “Believe it or not, even under the almost worst of conditions over there,
under the right circumstances, we could laugh.” They would say, “Well, boy, we’re going to look
back on this and laugh, but boy, it sure does hurt now.” Another participant added, “The first five
months I didn’t have a sense of humor. I was having great difficulty finding anything very funny
about the situation, and then I discovered by living with other people and the way we interacted,
that we eventually started being awfully funny.”
Henman Performance Group 636.537.3774
He went on to clarify the kind of humor he often found valuable. He remembers, “I lived next
to a guy in late ’67 who had been beaten very severely.” After several days of being beaten on a
routine basis, the friend reported he had been threatened that he would have both arms broken if
he did not answer the questions the next day. When asked what he intended to do, he replied, “I
don’t know. I suppose I’ll tap with my cast tomorrow.” The participant described this as an
“almost morbid sense of humor.” Another participant called this a type of “in-house humor.
“Those who have not experienced it could not understand how two men could find a discussion
about the honey bucket so funny. Taking off the lid and commenting that one had diarrhea and
one was constipated when they had both eaten the same thing was truly funny, but the humor is
lost on outsiders.”
A third participant called this “had to be there humor.” In explaining what he meant, he
mentioned an incident that the VPOWs found humorous. He had passed a worm of substantial
length, so he gave it to the guard, thinking the guard would take it to a doctor and request
medical attention for the parasites he obviously had: “So I handed it to him through the bars in
the door on a piece of bamboo stick, and the water girls were on the cell block at the time, and I
thought, ‘Hey, he’s going to take it to the doctor,’ you know, and ‘I’ll get some medicine here.’
So he closes the door and the starts chasing the water girls with it, screaming and laughing, and
the water cans tipped over.” He further commented that he too remembers mocking the situation
to find humor. He mentioned that one of the VPOWs with whom he was communicating tapped
to him that when he gets out and “he fills out his critique sheet,” he will tell them “The exercise is
real and it lasted too damn long.”
According to some VPOWs, the importance and the value of a sense of humor was first and
foremost. “Humor allows you to get up every morning and think this isn’t the end of the world,
so one’s sense of humor is pretty critical.” One VPOW reported that even after being beaten the
men ended up telling jokes to each other in spite of the miserable conditions of the cell. Some
others on the other side of the wall, who had also been beaten, tapped the question, “What’s so
funny?” The response was, “If you don’t have a sense of humor, you shouldn’t have joined up.”
One repatriated VPOW remarked on the link between humor and control. The value of order
and self-control is best appreciated in the light of the prisoner uncertainties and required
compliance's. In other words, taking charge of anything allowed a perception of some degree of
control (Naughton, 1975). Researchers Rahe and Geneder (1983) echoed Naughton’s
observations. They found that the use of humor was a way of exercising some control as well as
a means of coping. “Use of humor has an immense coping value. Getting the best of one’s
guards, on occasion, not only provides humorous remembrances that can be savored later, but
gives captives a moment of control in what otherwise is a totally uncontrolled situation” (p.580).
Human Connection at Work
To prevent a disjunction of the self and to find meaning in a situation void of meaning, the
VPOWs relied on resources many of them did not know they had. Their internal sense of mirth
and humor, their reliance on one another, and their group interactions all combined to create a
system for survival. Their humor perspective provided the framework for discovering how to
Henman Performance Group 636.537.3774
cope with their captivity, and their commitment to one another other gives an important
perspective about what coping is made of. The role humor can play in bouncing back from
adversity, especially when we are linked to others who will help us laugh, seems critical.
Groups operate as systems anytime people come together and communicate with one another
over a period of time to achieve a goal, but few groups rely on the system as much as a group in
crisis does. The VPOW system, with its related use of humor, acted as a type of anchor in
humanity for the VPOWs. Because they were cemented in a strong social structure, they had a
buffer against fragmentation of self or of the system. Humor within oneself and with others
allows for taking control of a senseless situation and for the establishment of groups.
The VPOW accounts indicate these men formed a system that defined and encouraged humor
among the group's members. These men relied on humor not in spite of the crisis but because of
it. The VPOWs' system was a powerful civilizing force that discouraged any antisocial slip into a
kind of jungle mentality. Control is central to individuals’ health, their personal benefits, and in the
case of the Vietnam POWs, their actual survival.
Bethelheim, B. (1953). Individual and mass behavior in extreme situations. Journal of
Abnormal and Social Psychology, 34. 417-452.
Naughton, R. (1975). Motivational factors of American prisoners of war held by the
Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Naval War College Review, 27. 2-14.
Henman Performance Group 636.537.3774
Rahe, R. & Geneder, E. (1983). Adaptation to and recovery from captivity stress. Military
Medicine, 148. 577-585.
Schutz, W. (1966). Interpersonal underworld. Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavioral Books,
Schutz, W. (1992). Beyond FIRO-B--Three new theory-derived measures--Element B:
Behavior , element F: Feelings, element S: Self. Psychological Reports, 70. 915-937.
Henman Performance Group 636.537.3774
... Wielowymiarowość humoru wyraża się zarówno w umiejętności jednostki do spontanicznego tworzenia dowcipów, zabawnych uwag i komentarzy, pamięci zabawnych historii, jak również w jej zdolności do używania humoru jako środka do radzenia sobie ze stresem (Ford i Spaulding, 1973;Kuiper, Martin i Olinger, 1993;Fry, 1995;Kuiper, McKenzie i Belanger, 1995;Henman, 2001;Abel, 2002;Radomska, 2003;Martin, 2007;Kuiper, 2012;Wu i Chan, 2013;Geisler i de Assunçăo, 2014;Sliter, Kale i Yuan, 2014;Melton, 2016). Kwestia ...
Introduction: The research on humour is part of the research on positive psychology which was borne at the end of the 20th century. In the source literature, humour was treated in a multidimensional way as a feature of personality, temperament, a tendency to laugh and joke at other people and the ability to do so. With the development of positive psychology, the focus started to be on the functional character of humour and in particu�lar on its role in shaping the psychological well-being of the individual. According to the cognitive-transactional theory of stress, humour can be treated as a subjective resource for an individual to cope with difficult situations. Research in this field allows us to recognise humour as an ex�tremely important mechanism regulating the psychophysical balance of the individual. When the excessive stress in the teaching work begins to take on a chronic, repetitive character and results from the imbalance be�tween teachers’ resources and the requirements of their work environ�ment, they can lead to the development of burnout syndrome. Significant adverse changes caused by the burnout syndrome occur in all spheres of teacher functioning. Due to the loss of caring for another person and ex�cessive distancing to his problems, professional burnout “impresses” on the quality of the teacher’s relationship with pupils, pupils’ parents, col�leagues, co-workers, and superiors. Determines the family life of teach�ers, causes more frequent conflicts. The aim of the study: The main purpose of the presented dissertation was to determine the relationship between humour, expressed in humour styles and coping humour and the intensity of professional burnout of teachers, taking into account the role of intermediary variables of so�cio-demographic and work-related nature. Method: The study group consisted of 536 teachers: 425 women (79%) and 111 men (21%) aged from 21 to 71 years old (M=43,04; SD=9,02), working in various types of schools: kindergarten, elementary school, junior high school, basic vocational school, technical school and gen�eral high school. The teachers participated in the questionnaire study, which used: a personal questionnaire, Perceived Stress at Work Scale (PSS-10-P) by Sheldon Cohen, Tom Kamarck and Robin Mermelstein in the Polish adaptation of Siegfried Juczyński and Nina Ogińska-Bulik in a modified version of Agnieszka Kruczek and Małgorzata A Basińska, Coping Humour Scale (CHS) by Rod A. Martin and Herbert Lefcourt in the Polish adaptation of Kruczek and Basińska, Humor Style Question�naire (HSQ) by Rod Martin, Patricia Puhlik-Doris, Gwen Larsen, Jeanette Gray and Kelly Weir in the Polish adaptation of ElżbietaHornowska and Jolanta Charytonik and Link Burnout Questionnaire (LBQ) by Massimo Santinello in the Polish adaptation of Aleksandra Jaworowska. Results: The surveyed teachers most often presented the affiliative hu�mour style and self-enhancing humour style. They experienced inten�sified dimensions of occupational burnout (psychophysical exhaustion, deterioration of relations with clients, job ineffectiveness, disappoint�ment) at an average level. Same as perceived stress at work. In the group of teachers there were associations between humour (expressed in hu�mour styles and coping humour) and intensification of professional burn�out: teachers who used positive humour styles more often (affiliative hu�mour style and self-enhancing humour style) were accompanied by less psychophysical exhaustion, less job ineffectiveness; in the case of using affiliative humour also lower deterioration of relations with pupil and their parents. In turn, teachers who used negative humour styles more often (aggressive and self-defeating humour styles) were accompanied by a greater deterioration of relations with pupil and their parents and greater disappointment with their professional work; when aggressive humour were used, also greater psychophysical exhaustion and a greater job ineffectiveness. In-depth analysis allowed to distinguish three types of use of humour by teachers: adaptive positive (teachers functioning in this type more often showed positive – adaptive humour styles and less frequently negative – non-adaptive humour styles) (teachers function�ing according to this type revealed the highest level of negative humour styles, aggressive and masochistic), adaptive negative (teachers of this type used with smaller (negative styles of humour) or average intensity (negative styles of humour) different styles of humour and coping with humour at the highest sense of stress at work. Teachers representing different types of humour use differed in terms of socio-demographic characteristics, work-related variables and Conclusions: In the light of the obtained research results, which were con�ducted among teachers, humour appears to be a very valuable personal resource, having a positive effect on reducing the severity of burnout. The surveyed teachers used diverse humour styles, also dealing with dif�ferent levels of humour. Hence, it was possible to distinguish three types of use of humour in the face of stress at work by teachers. Obtained re�sults of own research allow to indicate practical implications. The use of humour seems to be valuable in the prophylaxis of professional burnout as a strategy to deal with stress more effectively. Cognitive-behaviour�al interventions focused on shaping a humorous perspective seem to be particularly helpful. These include, for example, the conversion of neg�ative thoughts into positive and humorous thoughts; shaping the help word in dealing with humorous content (i.e. “I’m going to focus on the hu�morous aspect of this event”); as part of the ways of dealing with a stress�ful situation, choice of means containing humorous aspect – watching cabaret performances, comedy, reading jokes. Raising people’s aware�ness of the role of humour in coping with stress can also be important. Key words: coping humour, humour styles, professional burnout, teachers
... The literature by and about prisoners of war from several recent wars indicates prisoners often found humour to be an effective coping mechanism, a way of fighting back and taking control. Henman (2001) reported that the repatriated Vietnam prisoners of war are suffering almost no mental illness, and the effective use of humour seems to be one of the reasons for their health. Through the creation of humour in a well-defined system of social support, these fiercely independent men learned to rely on their own power and to draw a sense of mastery from each other. ...
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"Quarantine humour functions as a coping mechanism transcending a time lapse of one century between the 1918-1919 Spanish influenza pandemics and the 2020 Covid-19 ongoing crisis. The study aims at observing the main concerns related to the infections and their consequences for both the individuals and the societies. The paper focuses on the analysis of fifteen cartoons, six of them published in a newspaper in 1918-1919 and the rest in 2020 online media and social networks. The findings support the idea that pandemic humour is used not only for coping with the fear of death or illness, but also with coping with more mundane issues such as lack of commodities, losing one’s job, beauty concerns, online schooling or the lack of implication in solving the crisis on behalf of the authorities."
... Other studies (e.g., O'Neill & Rothbard, 2017;Pogrebin & Poole, 1988) have found that using humor eases the burden of distress and job strain, and defuses emotionally intense work situations for professionals such as managers, police officers and firefighters. Research unpacking the psychological mechanisms of humor has suggested that humor may confer a sense of control in stressful situations (Cheng et al., 2019; see also Henman, 2001), pointing to a sensemaking mechanism for how humor can help employees manage WLC. That is, humor informs how employees appraise their WLC-the extent to which they see WLC as relatively benign rather than stressful, consistent with the benign violation theory (BVT) of humor. ...
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Work–life conflict is a ubiquitous challenge for employees juggling work and family roles, yet little research has examined individual strategies to manage and mitigate its negative effects. We direct attention in this literature to a common-yet-understudied practical strategy: humor. Further, we take next steps in this literature to distinguish between co-worker and employees’ own use of coping humor. Integrating benign violation theory with the transactional theory of stress and coping, we develop and test a theoretical model of how both individual and co-worker coping humor may buffer the negative effects of work–life conflict on stress and subsequent withdrawal. In Study 1, we conducted an experiment to examine the causal effects of humor on the stress appraisals arising from work–life conflict. In Study 2, we conducted a three-wave survey to replicate these findings and disentangle the contributions of individual coping humor and co-worker humor. We found opposing effects of individual coping humor and co-worker humor; we further replicated and unpacked the unexpected stress-amplifying effects of co-worker humor in a post-hoc exploratory Study 3. Overall, these results suggest that we need to consider where humor is situated in order to understand when humor mitigates the negative consequences of work–life conflict on stress and withdrawal.
... Early psychoanalytic theory proposed that humor was a promising emotion regulation strategy for easing anxiety (Freud 1928). The literature on war prisoners indicated that prisoners found humor to be an effective coping mechanism for stress (Henman 2001). Anecdotal daily experience and clinical lore have long suggested that humor can be an effective and adaptive mechanism for coping with stressful events (Nezu et al. 1988;Erdman 1994). ...
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Humor has been considered an effective emotion regulation strategy, and some behavioral studies have examined its superior effects on negative emotion regulation. However, its neural mechanisms remain unknown. Our functional magnetic resonance imaging study directly compared the emotion regulation effects and neural bases of humorous coping (reappraisal) and ordinary reappraisal following exposure to negative pictures. The behavioral results suggested that humorous reappraisal was more effective in downregulating negative emotions and upregulating positive emotions both in the short and long term. We also found 2 cooperative neural pathways involved in coping with negative stimuli by means of humor: the “hippocampal–thalamic–frontal pathway” and the “amygdala–cerebellar pathway.” The former is associated with the restructuring of mental representations of negative situations and accompanied by an insightful (“Aha!”) experience, while the latter is associated with humorous emotional release and accompanied by an expression of laughter (“Haha!”). Furthermore, the degree of hippocampal functional connectivity with both the thalamus and frontal cortex was positively correlated with changes in positive emotion, and this result implied that the degree of emotion regulation could be strongly directly related to the depth of cognitive reconstruction. These findings highlight that regulating negative emotions with humor involves cognitive restructuring and the release of positive emotions.
... They use this strategy when they cannot change the situations which cause more stress (humour). This result is supported by Fairbank and his colleagues (1991); and Henman (2001) when indicated in their studies that former American POWs of Vietnam War used social humour as one of the coping strategies with stress (24,25) . One of the most effective strategies to cope with stressful situations for the IRPOWs could be religion (96.7% of them have medium to good levels) (table 4). ...
Over the past two decades a significant body of research has examined the effects of individual differences in humor style or humor occurrences (e.g. specific jokes, memes) on behavior. However, research examining whether these individual differences in humor styles influence the effects of humor occurrences on work behaviors has been scant. Drawing on Conservations of Resources (COR) theory, this paper seeks to fill this gap by examining one form of humor, self-deprecating humor, and its interaction with self-defeating humor style to influence task persistence behavior. Findings from an experimental study show that self-deprecating humor can bolster a person’s persistence at an assigned task. Findings also show that individual differences in self-defeating humor style influence the relationship between self-deprecating humor and persistence. Individuals low in self-defeating humor style show a significant increase in persistence while those high in self-defeating humor style did not show any significant increase.
The manifold functions of humor to generate relief, superiority and incongruity have been extensively studied. Building on this, the article is dedicated to exploring the role of humor as a means of nonviolent resistance. In a case study on Syria, it traces the evolution of the forms and functions of humorous production, following the stages of Bakhtin’s medieval carnival: from the pre-revolutionary “gallows humor”, over increasingly biting attacks against the Assad regime after the 2011 uprising, to the symbolic “de-crowning of the dictator”. Examles of cartoons, songs and sketches illustrate the role of humor as a resistance tool, across the four dimensions of non-violence by Vinthagen: dialogue facilitation, power breaking, normative regulation and utopian enactment. Despite the escalation and looming failure of the Syrian uprising, the article finds that humor has maintained its importance as a means of nonviolent resistance.
The aim of this paper is to investigate the uses of schm-reduplications, also known as deprecative reduplications, in current corona virus related discourse. The investigation shows that schm-reduplications, such as covid schmovid, corona schmorona and pandemic schmandemic, are often used in a spirit-lifting function, to show that, despite all the threats and complications posed by the virus and national lockdowns, we are still able to do things and that we also continue to have a sense of humour in our lives. Another common function of schm-reduplications is criticism of other people’s irresponsible behaviour. The functions identified in previous work on schm-reduplications—associations with aspects of irony, scorn, scepticism, disparagement and dismissal—are seldom present in the corona virus related formations. Access the paper and the journal website at
In diesem Kapitel werden die beiden auf die Regulation von Emotionen bezogenen Kompetenzen genauer betrachtet: Die Fähigkeit, im gegenwärtigen Moment die eigenen Emotionen regulieren und gegebenenfalls aushalten zu können, und die Fähigkeit, die eigenen emotionalen Reaktionsgewohnheiten langfristig verändern bzw. akzeptieren zu können. Bei der Emotionsregulation im gegenwärtigen Moment werden dabei sechs Ebenen herausgearbeitet, auf denen man versuchen kann, seine Emotionen zu regulieren: (1) Situationsselektion; (2) Situationsveränderung; (3) Aufmerksamkeitslenkung; (4) Situationsumdeutung; (5) Einflussnahme auf Emotionskomponenten; (6) Aushalten im Moment. Bei der langfristigen Veränderung emotionaler Reaktionsgewohnheiten werden zunächst die für die Veränderung der emotionalen Reaktionsgewohnheiten nötigen drei Schritte der Wahrnehmung, Reflexion und Planung genauer beschrieben. Zum Schritt der Reflexion wird dabei ein Flussdiagramm mit fünf aufeinanderfolgenden Entscheidungsebenen zur Frage vermittelt, ob man eine Emotion verändern oder stattdessen akzeptieren soll. Die für Akzeptanz der eigenen emotionalen Reaktionsgewohnheiten wichtigen Aspekte werden anschließend herausgearbeitet.
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.
In attempting to persuade employees to support an organizational change strategy, managers usually place their prime emphasis on the cognitive elements of persuasion, using mainly rational arguments. The central message of this article is that, in any change implementation program. the emotional elements of persuasion must be taken into consideration. The importance of emotions in organizations is discussed, and practical methods on how to use emotions in the change process are offered. These methods are organized around five domains: the core messages, how the messages are packaged. the characteristics of the change leaders, the interaction of change leaders with their audience, and the setting in which interactions with employees take place.
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.
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.
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.
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.