The Use of Humor in the Workplace

Romero, Eric J.; Cruthirds, Kevin W.
May 2006
Academy of Management Perspectives;May2006, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p58
Academic Journal
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 toolkit, 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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