Managerial Humor and Its Impact on Employees’ Emotions and Psychological Resources

  • Nilupama WijewardenaEmail author
  • Ramanie Samaratunge
  • Charmine Härtel


Chapter  3 examined humor as a managerial tool that can be used to achieve employee and organizational outcomes. In particular, by reviewing the literature Chap.  3 developed a model showing proposed relationships between employees’ perception of managerial humor, their momentary emotions, long-term PsyCap, SWB and TI. Hypotheses 1–4 were developed accordingly. This Chapter presents the findings of a study conducted to test these relationships in actual work settings. The study paves the way for examining managerial humor as a possible tool for impacting employees’ momentary emotions and psychological resources.


  1. Avey, J. B., Reichard, R. J., Luthans, F., & Mhatre, K. H. (2011). Meta-analysis of the impact of positive psychological capital on employee attitudes, behaviors and performance. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 22(2), 127–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Basch, J., & Fisher, C. D. (2000). Affective events matrix: A classification of work events and associated emotions. In N. M. Ashkanasy, C. E. J. Härtel, & W. J. Zerbe (Eds.), Emotions in the workplace: Research, theory and practice (pp. 36–48). Westport, Connecticut: Quorum Books.Google Scholar
  3. Berenson, M. L., Levine, D. M., & Krehbiel, T. C. (2004). Basic Business Statistics. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.Google Scholar
  4. Brower, H. H., Schoorman, F. D., & Tan, H. H. (2000). A model of relational leadership: The integration of trust and leader-member exchange. Leadership Quarterly, 11(2), 227–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bryant, F. B., Yarnold, P. R., & Grimm, L. G. (1996). Toward a measurement model of the affect intensity measure: A three-factor structure. Journal of Research in Personality, 30, 223–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Christensen, T. C., Barrett, L. F., Bliss-Moreau, E., Lebo, K., & Kaschub, C. (2003). A practical guide to experience sampling procedures. Journal of Happiness Studies, 4, 53–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Larson, R. (1987). Validity and reliability of experience sampling method. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 175(9), 526–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Csikszentmihalyi, M., & LeFevre, J. (1989). Optimal experience in work and leisure. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56(5), 815–822.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Csikszentmihalyi, M., Larson, R., & Prescott, S. (1977). The ecology of adolescent activity and experience. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 6(9), 281–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Daniels, K., Wimalasiri, V., Beesley, N., & Cheyne, A. (2012). Affective well-being and within-day beliefs about job demands’ influence on work performance: An experience sampling study. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 85, 666–674.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Diener, E., Emmons, R. A., Larsen, R. J., & Griffin, S. (1985). The satisfaction with life scale. Journal of Personality Assessment, 49(1), 71–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dimotakis, N., Ilies, R., & Judge, T. A. (2013). Experience sampling methodology. In J. M. Cortina & R. S. Landis (Eds.), Modern research methods for the study of behavior in organizations (pp. 537–549). New York: Brunner-Routledge.Google Scholar
  13. Duncan, W. J. (1982). Humor in management: Prospects for administrative practise and research. Academy of Management Review, 7(1), 136–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fisher, C. D. (1997). Emotions at work: What do people feel and how should we measure it? Presented at the second Biennial Australian industrial and organisational psychology conference, Melbourne, Australia.Google Scholar
  15. Fredrickson, B. L. (2001). The role of positive emotions in positive psychology: The Broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. American Psychologist, 56(3), 218–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Graen, G. B., & Uhl-Bien, M. (1995). The relationship-based approach to leadership: Development of LMX theory of leadership over 25 years: Applying a multi-level, multi-domain perspective. Leadership Quarterly, 6(2), 219–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Greenberger, D. B., Strasser, S., Cummings, L. L., & Dunham, R. B. (1989). The impact of personal control on performance and satisfaction. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 43, 29–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Grund, A., Grunschel, C., Bruhn, D., & Fries, S. (2015). Torn between want and should: An experience sampling study on motivational conflict, wellbeing, self-control and mindfulness. Motivation & Emotion, 39(4), 506–520.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Harris, K. J., & Kacmar, K. M. (2006). Too much of a good thing: The curvilinear effect of leader-member exchange on stress. The Journal of Social Psychology, 146(1), 65–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hart, P. M., Wearing, A. J., & Headey, B. (1994). Perceived quality of life, personality and work experiences: Construct validation of the police daily hassles and uplifts scale. Criminal Justice and Behaviour, 21(3), 283–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hektner, J. M., Schimdt, J. A., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2007). Experience sampling method: Measuring the quality of everyday life. London, UK: Sage Publications Inc.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hom, P. W., Griffeth, R. W., & Sellaro, C. L. (1984). The validity of Mobley’s (1977) model of employee turnover. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 34, 141–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hormuth, S. E. (1986). The sampling of experiences in-situ. Journal of Personality, 54(1), 262–293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Howell, J. M., & Avolio, B. J. (1993). Transformational leadership, transactional leadership, locus of control and support for innovation: Key predictors of consolidated business unit performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78(6), 891–902.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Karatepe, O. M., & Karadas, G. (2014). The effect of psychological capital on conflicts in the work-family interface, turnover and absence intentions. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 43, 132–143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Larsen, R. J., Diener, E., & Emmons, R. A. (1986). Affect intensity and reactions to daily life events. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(4), 803–814.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Larson, R., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1983). Naturalistic approaches to studying social interaction: New directions for methodology of social and behavioural science. In H. T. Reis (Ed.), The experience sampling method (Vol. 15, pp. 41–56). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  28. Lundberg, C. C. (1969). Person-focused joking: Pattern and function. Human Organization, 28, 22–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Luthans, F., Avolio, B. J., Avey, J. B., & Norman, S. M. (2007a). Positive psychological capital: Measurement and relationship with performance and satisfaction. Personnel Psychology, 60(3), 541–572.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Luthans, F., Youssef, C. M., & Avolio, B. J. (2007b). Psychological capital. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Martin, R. A. P., Puhlik-Doris, G., Larsen, G. J., & Weir, K. (2003). Individual differences in uses of humor and their relation to psychological well-being: Development of the humor style questionnaire. Journal of Research in Personality, 37(1), 48–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Miner, A. G., Glomb, T. M., & Hulin, C. (2005). Experience sampling mood and its correlates. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 78, 171–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Nielsen, K., & Cleal, B. (2011). Under which conditions do middle managers exhibit transformational leadership behavior? An experience sampling method study on the predictors of transformational leadership behavior. The Leadership Quarterly, 22, 344–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Ohly, S., & Schmitt, A. (2015). What makes us enthusiastic, angry, feeling at rest or worried? Development and validation of an affective work events taxonomy using concept mapping methodology. Journal of Business Psychology, 30, 15–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Reis, H. T. (2012). Why researchers should think ‘real-world’: A conceptual rationale. In M. R. Mehl & T. S. Conner (Eds.), Handbook of research methods for studying daily life (pp. 3–21). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  36. Reis, H. T., & Gable, S. L. (2000). Event-sampling and other methods for studying everyday experience. In H. T. Reis & C. M. Judd (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in social and personality psychology (pp. 190–222). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Robert, C., & Wilbanks, J. E. (2012). The wheel model of humor: Humor events and affect in organizations. Human Relations, 65(9), 1071–1099.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rotter, J. B. (1966). Generalized expectancies for internal versus external locus of control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs: General and Applied, 80(1), 1–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Scandura, T. A., & Graen, G. B. (1984). Moderating effects of initial leader-member-exchange status on the effects of a leadership intervention. Journal of Applied Psychology, 69(3), 428–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Scherbaum, C. A., & Meade, A. W. (2013). New directions for measurement in management research. International Journal of Management Reviews, 15, 132–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schlett, C., & Ziegler, R. (2014). Job emotions and job cognitions as determinants of job satisfaction: The moderating role of individual differences in need for affect. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 84(1), 74–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Scollon, C. N., Kim-Prieto, C., & Diener, E. (2003). Experience sampling: Promises and pitfalls, strengths and weaknesses. Journal of Happiness Studies, 4(1), 5–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Siu, O. L., Cheung, F., & Lui, S. (2015). Linking positive emotions to work well-being and turnover intention among Hong Kong police officers: The role of psychological capital. Journal of Happiness Studies, 16, 367–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Stringer, L. (2006). The link between the quality of the supervisor-employee relationship and the level of the employees’ job satisfaction. Public Organization Review, 6, 125–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Teuchmann, K., Totterdell, P., & Parker, S. K. (1999). Rushed, unhappy, and drained: An experience sampling study of relations between time pressure, perceived control, mood, and emotional exhaustion in a group of accountants. Journal of Occupational and Health Psychology, 4(1), 37–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Trougakos, J. P., Beal, D. J., Green, S. G., & Weiss, H. M. (2008). Making the break count: An episodic examination of activities, emotional experiences and positive affective displays. Academy of Management Journal, 51(1), 131–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Tugade, M. M., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2004). Resilient individuals use positive emotions to bounce back from negative emotional experiences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 86(2), 320–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Volmer, J., Spurk, D., & Niessen, C. (2012). Leader–member exchange (LMX), job autonomy, and creative work involvement. The Leadership Quarterley, 23, 456–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegan, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: The PANAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 1063–1070.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Weiss, H. M., & Cropanzano, R. (1996). Affective events theory: A theoretical discussion of the structure, causes and consequences of affective experiences at work. In B. M. Shaw & L. L. Cummings (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (Vol. 18, pp. 1–74). Greenwich, C T: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  51. Wheeler, L., & Reis, H. T. (1991). Self-recording of everyday life events: Origins, types and uses. Journal of Personality, 59(3), 339–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Wood, R. E., Beckmann, N., & Rossiter, J. R. (2011). Management humor: Asset or liability? Organizational Psychology Review, 1(4), 316–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Wyer, R. S., & Collins, J. E. (1992). A theory of humor elicitation. Psychological Review, 99(4), 663–688.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nilupama Wijewardena
    • 1
  • Ramanie Samaratunge
    • 2
  • Charmine Härtel
    • 3
  1. 1.RMIT UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Monash UniversityClaytonAustralia
  3. 3.University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations