The paper "Defining Humor in the Workplace " is a great example of management coursework. The most striking feature in most organizations today is changing. Organizations are changing faster than before, and the change continues to increase. In recent years, organizations have recognized that if they want to thrive and survive in the global market they have to be able to adapt. One of these changes being experienced by most organizations is the sense of humor in the workplace. Humor is all around and is used constantly used at the workplace, homes, in the media and many places where people interact.
As a result, humor cannot be easily defined and; therefore, it does not lend itself to a general definition. However, Schö nfeldt and Miznikova (2010) argue that due to the various definitions that different researchers have on the term, workplace humor can be defined as the comical communications that produce positive cognitions and emotions in the individuals, organizations and groups of individuals. Despite the belief that at the workplace business is serious, workplace humor can lighten the mood within the environment and make work-life more enjoyable (Romero & Cruthirds, 2006).
Within an organizational environment, human interaction is a significant aspect and, therefore, understanding the multifunctional role of humor can significantly contribute to the effective performance of the individuals within the organization. Workplace humor can be divided into several styles that leaders have a choice on how to introduce into an organization. There are four workplace humor styles that leaders can introduce into their organizations depending on their situation; affiliative, self-enhancing, self-defeating, and aggressive humor (Schö nfeldt and Miznikova, 2010). Affiliative humor plays the role of improving the relationship between individuals within an organization.
“ It loosens the wheels of communication and permits the establishment of social relations with minimum dis” agreement (Schö nfeldt & Miznikova, 2010, p. 12). This style of humor allows the leaders within an organization to tell funny things and jokes to provide their workers with a sense of comfort and ease social tensions within the organization. The second style of humor is the self-defeating humor, which involves individuals who produce an excessive amount of cynical and self-disparaging humor to ingratiate others at their expense.
This style of humor is vital in gaining approval as we as fostering interpersonal communication. Leaders who use this style of humor facilitate closer relationships with their juniors and in doing so, they become more approachable. Thirdly, self-enhancing humor is vital in the sense that it allows individuals to cope with negative emotions, workplace stress. Leaders can utilize this humor within an organization to enhance their image about others within the organization. It also assists leaders to demonstrate to their subordinate that a leader is a positive person who can handle stress and face any threat directed to him.
Aggressive humor does not produce any positive emotion and leaders or workers of an organization need to avoid this style of humor (Schö nfeldt and Miznikova, 2010). Benefits of Humor Workplace humor and creativity within the organization are becoming topics of great interest to modern world managers. According to Lang and Lee, there is a need to understand the role of humor in developing creativity and performance in the workplace (Lang & Lee, 2010). Workplace humor has several benefits when used appropriately and can facilitate an effective working environment.
Organizational benefits of workplace humor include reduced conflict, increased group cohesion, improved communication, and increased leadership effectiveness among others (See Appendix A for a summary of organizational outcomes, moderators and humor styles and how they relate to each other). Workplace humor is an effective method of encouraging and motivating employees to be productive. According to Smith and Khojastehto (2014), humor have a unique ability to create group cohesiveness. In addition to this, humor within an organizational environment assists the managers and the subordinates to form a group identity and develop solidarity.
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