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Contribution Details

Type Conference Presentation
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Laugh it up? Theoretical and Contextual Insights on Workplace Humor Within and Across Hierarchies
Organization Unit
  • Rashpal K. Dhensa-Kahlon
  • Jamie Lee Gloor
Presentation Type paper
Item Subtype Original Work
Refereed Yes
Status Published electronically before print/final form (Epub ahead of print)
  • English
Event Title Academy of Management Proceedings
Event Type conference
Event Location Boston, MA, USA
Event Start Date August 9 - 2019
Event End Date August 13 - 2019
Abstract Text Humor, a social communication intended to be amusing (Cooper, 2005), is ubiquitous at work. Although research on humor in organizations has increased in recent years, existing work heavily focuses on leader humor. As leaders are by definition higher in the hierarchy and formal status than employees relatively lower or within the same hierarchy, leaders enjoy a wider range of acceptable behaviors, including humor. Thus, the research within this symposium extends our knowledge of humor, its motives and effects by examining a broader range of humor users and humor use within and across hierarchies (e.g., among team members and bottom-up or top-down, respectively). Within their respective hierarchical niche, each of the four papers also focuses on a specific context that shapes humor use (i.e., front-line workers, workplace incivility, interpersonal tension, and followership), while also exploring the theoretical mechanisms through which humor exerts its effects (i.e., social or relational capital accumulation, power approach theory, and territoriality theory). In this way, this symposium also builds on existing humor research that has examined general humor use collapsed across all types of situations, often overlooking potentially meaningful differences in context and the theoretical mechanisms by which humor influences outcomes. In summary, this symposium contributes mixed methods research to paint a more comprehensive picture of humor use within and across hierarchies and in specific contexts.
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