Humour, Work and Organization  book cover
1st Edition

Humour, Work and Organization

ISBN 9780415384131
Published January 5, 2007 by Routledge
320 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Accessible and amusing in style, Humour, Work and Organization explores the critical, subversive and ambivalent character of humour, work and comedy as it relates to organizations and organized work. It examines the various individual, organizational, social and cultural means through which humour is represented, deployed, developed, used and understood.

Considering the relationship between humour and organization in a nuanced and radical way and this book takes the view that humour and comedy are pervasive and highly meaningful aspects of human experience.

The richness and complexity of this relationship is examined across three related domains. They are:

  • how humour is constructed, enacted and responded to in organizational settings
  • how organizations and work are represented comedically in various types of popular culture media
  • how humour is used in organizations where there is a more explicit relationship between the comedic and work.

An exciting and controversial text, Humour, Work and Organization will appeal to students of all levels as well as anyone interested the full complexities of human interactions in the workplace.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Theorizing Humour, Organization and Work

1. Introduction: Humour and the Study of Organizations (Robert Westwood & Carl Rhodes)

2. Humour as Practically Enacted Theory, or, Why Critics Should Tell More Jokes (Simon Critchley)

3. Humour and Violation (Heather Höpfl)

Part 2: Humour in Organizations

4. Theory as Joke (Robert Westwood)

5. The Little Book of Management Bollocks and the Culture of Organization (Martin Parker)

6. 'Don't Get Me Wrong, it's fun here, but...' Ambivalence and Paradox in a 'fun' work environment (Sam Warren and Stephen Fineman)

7. Representing the Unrepresentable: Gender, humour and organization (Allanah Johnston, Dennis Mumby & Robert Westwood)

8. Humour in Workplace Meetings: Challenging hierarchies (Meredith Marra)

Part 3: Humour of Organization

9. Representing d'Other: The grotesque body and masculinity at work in The Simpsons (Carl Rhodes & Alison Pullen)

10. Heidegger's Unfunny and the Academic Text (Damian O'Doherty)

11. The Comedy of Ethics (Stephen Linstead)

Part 4: The Organization of Humour

12. Advertising: The organizational production of humour (Donncha Kavanagh & Don O'Sullivan)

13. Grotesque Humour Regeneration of McDonaldization and McDonaldland (David M. Boje, Yue Cal-Hillon, Grace-Ann Rosile & Esther R. Thomas)

14. The Staging of Humour (Robert Westwood)

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Robert Westwood is Reader in Organization Studies at the University of Queensland Business School.

Carl Rhodes is Associate Professor of Organization Studies in the School of Management at the University of Technology, Sydney.


'From Heidegger to HucBuc, Bakhtin to Ronald McDonald, ready yourself for a hysterical ride when you open Westwood and Rhodes’ fascinating and refreshingly original collection. Anyone interested in the radical possibilities of a comic organizational frame should buy this book. I’m just off to purchase my ‘work sucks’ T-shirt.' - Peter Case, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK 

'Humour in the workplace has always fascinated researchers. Now Westwood and Rhodes have assembled a collection of chapters that finally does justice to our current understanding of organizational humour. If you think humour in the workplace is a serious business then this is the book for you.' - Graham Sewell, Imperial College London, UK