Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Light Humor In The Workplace Is A Good Thing, Review Shows

Date:
November 1, 2007
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
It is commonly believed that kidding around at work isn't a good thing. Well, it is, says a researcher, who has examined how workplace humor affects the working environment. Humor -- particularly joking around about things associated with the job -- actually has a positive impact in the workplace, according to the researcher. Occasional humor among colleagues, he said, enhances creativity, department cohesiveness and overall performance.

It is commonly believed that kidding around at work isn’t a good thing. Well, it is, says a University of Missouri-Columbia researcher, who has examined how workplace humor affects the working environment.

Related Articles


Chris Robert, assistant professor of management in MU’s Robert J. Trulaske, Sr. College of Business, said that humor – particularly joking around about things associated with the job – actually has a positive impact in the workplace. Occasional humor among colleagues, he said, enhances creativity, department cohesiveness and overall performance.

The conclusion was made by examining theories on humor and integrating literature from a wide variety of disciplines that touch on the subject. Several hundred sources were analyzed by Robert and collaborator Wan Yan, a business doctoral student, who have attempted to bring together literature from numerous disciplines to make the case that humor is serious business.

“Humor has a significant impact in organizations,” said Robert, who also teaches psychology in MU’s College of Arts and Science. “Humor isn’t incompatible with goals of the workplace. It’s not incompatible with the organization’s desire to be competitive. In fact, we argue that humor is pretty important. It’s not just clowning around and having fun; it has meaningful impact on cohesiveness in the workplace and communication quality among workers. The ability to appreciate humor, the ability to laugh and make other people laugh actually has physiological effects on the body that cause people to become more bonded.”

In their theoretical paper, Robert and Yan focus on three primary areas:

  • how humor works and its cognitive effects, which the researchers said influences creativity
  • why humor has a positive effect within an organization
  • the influence of humor on positive emotions and the link between positive emotions and improved performance in organizations, and how culture influences the use of humor – particularly in multinational organizations where people might have differences in their sensibilities and sense of humor

Robert stressed the international aspect is an important part of the research and said the paper addresses some of the key cultural differences between the United States and Asian economic powerhouses such as China and India.

“Humor is difficult in cross cultural situations,” he said. “It’s hard to know what’s going to be funny or when to use humor. Some people have suggested that you just avoid it all together; don’t be funny, don’t try to make jokes. We basically reject that and offer some ground rules for understanding when and what kind of humor might be appropriate.”

Reference: “The Case for Developing New Research on Humor and Culture in Organizations: Toward a Higher Grade of Manure,” was published as a chapter in Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Light Humor In The Workplace Is A Good Thing, Review Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071031130917.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2007, November 1). Light Humor In The Workplace Is A Good Thing, Review Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071031130917.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Light Humor In The Workplace Is A Good Thing, Review Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071031130917.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins