Two Emerging Topics for Humor Research and Practice: Diversity and Virtuality

  • Tabea ScheelEmail author
  • Christine Gockel
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Psychology book series (BRIEFSPSYCHOL)


In this concluding chapter, we discuss two important new avenues for humor research. First, globalization, as well as demographic changes in organizations, increase diversity with regard to age, gender, nationality, and so on. Thus, there will also be more diversity in communication, the expression of emotions, and the use of humor within work units. As one consequence, humorous comments may be accompanied by misunderstandings. In worse cases, the workflow might suffer. Second, due to increasing workplace flexibility in organizations, more communication will take place virtually, for instance, via email, chat, or skype. All of these media transmit less information than traditional face-to-face communication. Therefore, it becomes more difficult for receivers to decipher those social and emotional cues that signal that a comment is not meant seriously. More misunderstandings in humorous communications should result. We discuss to what extent these misunderstandings might be mitigated by the use of emoticons and other virtual signals of emotions. Taken together, leaders and employees alike are advised to establish some common ground for their humorous communications in their work units.


Diversity Age Gender Culture Virtuality Computer-mediated communication (CMC) Face-to-face (FTF) communication Virtual teams Emoticons Media richness theory 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Work and Organizational PsychologyFernUniversitaet in HagenHagenGermany
  2. 2.SRH University of Applied SciencesBerlinGermany

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