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Humor type, organizational climate, and outcomes: The shortest distance between an organization's environment and the bottom line is laughter

Anthony Michael Susa, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Abstract

This exploratory study investigated the relation between the three major classifications of humor (superiority, incongruity, and relief) and job satisfaction, organizational commitment, organizational creativity, perceived organizational support, absenteeism, and job performance. Humor's role relative to organizational climate was also investigated. One hundred seventy-five employees of a mid-sized financial service company participated in the survey research. The Organizational Humor Scale was developed and used to assess superiority, incongruity, and relief humor in an organizational setting. Early reliability and validity data indicate the Organizational Humor Scale may be a useful instrument in the assessment of humor in applied settings. As expected, correlations between scores on the organizational climate, organizational humor, and individual sense of humor measures, and job satisfaction, organizational commitment, organizational creativity, perceived organizational support, and overall job performance yielded distinct patterns based on humor type. Support was also found for the hypothesis that superiority humor would be negatively correlated to organizational climate and outcomes (low levels of satisfaction, commitment, creativity, and job performance and poor attendance). Findings also indicated that incongruity humor, and to a lesser extent relief humor, were more aligned with the positive organizational outcomes (high levels of satisfaction, commitment, creativity, and job performance). Overall the findings indicated that humor seems to be related to organizational climate, whether it is part of climate, or influences and shapes climate is a question for future research. The results also suggest that the type of humor used and observed in an organizational setting is important, but more empirical research is needed before any firm conclusions can be drawn about the potential positive or negative effects of humor in the workplace. At a minimum, future researchers need to address the importance of considering the type of humor in a discussion or investigation of this construct. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Social|Business Administration, Management|Psychology, Industrial

Recommended Citation

Susa, Anthony Michael, "Humor type, organizational climate, and outcomes: The shortest distance between an organization's environment and the bottom line is laughter" (2002). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3074105.
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/dissertations/AAI3074105

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