Why did the emu cross the road? Exploring employees' perception and expectations of humor in the Australian workplace

Wijewardena, W, Samaratunge, R, Hartel, C and Kirk-Brown, A 2016, 'Why did the emu cross the road? Exploring employees' perception and expectations of humor in the Australian workplace', Australian Journal of Management, vol. 41, no. 3, pp. 563-584.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Why did the emu cross the road? Exploring employees' perception and expectations of humor in the Australian workplace
Author(s) Wijewardena, W
Samaratunge, R
Hartel, C
Kirk-Brown, A
Year 2016
Journal name Australian Journal of Management
Volume number 41
Issue number 3
Start page 563
End page 584
Total pages 22
Publisher Sage Publications Ltd.
Abstract Workplace humor is currently an emerging area of study in management research. While studies on the functions and outcomes of workplace humor in the United States abound, there is little research on humor in Australian workplaces. This limits Australian organizations from tapping the rich potential of humor to achieve positive employee and organizational outcomes. This study aims to start a research agenda on workplace humor in Australia by conducting a survey study of Australian employees' perception of the occurrence and acceptability of humor behavior in their workplaces and by analyzing humor events at work. To achieve the latter objective, first, the scattered workplace humor literature is reviewed to develop a single framework that can effectively situate and capture humor events. Findings from 433 respondents indicate that humor occurs across a variety of organizations in Australia and that employees report positive views toward workplace humor. A surprising finding was that employees reported they expect their managers to use humor with them. Implications for managers and future research directions are developed.
Subject Organisational Behaviour
Keyword(s) Australia
humor behavior
humor events
managerial humor
workplace humor
DOI - identifier 10.1177/0312896215626231
Copyright notice © The Author(s) 2016.
ISSN 0312-8962
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