The Psychology of Humor at Work: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Psychology of Humor at Work

1st Edition

Edited by Christopher Robert


160 pages

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This is the first book to look at the psychological processes that enable humor to affect people and teams in the workplace. It recognizes that humor plays many roles beyond making people feel happier and more productive, and acknowledges humor’s potential darker side as well.

Bringing together a small but growing field of study, the book features chapters around core psychological topics such perception, creativity and stress, while also addressing organizational issues such as leadership, teamwork, and social networks. The collection concludes with chapters on the role of humor in recruitment processes, as well as how humor consultants work with organizations.

Each chapter in The Psychology of Humor at Work not only provides a comprehensive review of what is known in that area, but also considers future directions for research and practice. It will prove fascinating reading for students, practitioners and researchers in organizational psychology, HRM, and business and management.


'The Psychology of Humor at Work makes a significant contribution to our understanding of humor in the workplace across a wide range of contexts. This is an important book for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the serious business of humor.' Chuck Gulas, Wright State University, USA

'The authors bring perfect order to the paradoxes inherent in research on humor in the workplace, humor being both "simultaneously everywhere and nowhere" and "extraordinarily complex but also very simple". They do this by presenting a clear and valuable outline of crucial research questions, empirical findings and prevailing theories and models; and by convincingly encouraging researchers to just go ahead, embracing the above ambiguities.' Lita Lundquist, Professor Emeritus, Department of Business and Politics, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark

Table of Contents

List of contributors 1. Humor at work: Often experienced, seldom studied. Christopher Robert 2. Humor and Leadership. Cecily D. Cooper 3. Humor and person perception. Lisa M. Finkelstein, Cynthia A. Cerrentano, & Elora C. Voyles 4. Humor and organizational networks: Functions and dysfunctions. James D. Westaby & B. Alan Echtenkamp 5. Humor and creativity. Emuna Eliav, Ella Miron-Spektor, & Julia B. Bear 6. Humor, stress, and coping. Melanie Booth-Butterfield & Melissa Bekelja Wanzer 7. Humor in workgroups and teams. John Crowe, Joseph A. Allen, & Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock 8. Humor in job search and recruitment. Serge P. da Motta Veiga 9. Humor consulting. John Morreall 10. Paradoxes in workplace humor research: Theory, culture, and the messy work of moving forward. Christopher Robert & Scott U. Seyrek. Index

About the Editor

Christopher Robert is an Associate Professor of Management in the Trulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri, Columbia. His research focuses on humor at work, as well as cross-cultural management, work groups and teams, and conflict.

About the Series

Current Issues in Work and Organizational Psychology

Current Issues in Work and Organizational Psychology is a series of edited books that reflect the state-of-the-art areas of current and emerging interest in the psychological study of employees, workplaces and organizations. 

Each volume is tightly focused on a particular topic and consists of seven to ten chapters contributed by international experts. The editors of individual volumes are leading figures in their areas and provide an introductory overview.

Example topics include: digital media at work, work and the family, workaholism, modern job design, positive occupational health and individualised deals.

Professor Sir Cary Cooper, CBE is the 50th Anniversary Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at the ALLIANCE Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, President of the CIPD, President of the British Academy of Management, President of RELATE, and President of the Institute of Welfare. He is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute and one of only a few UK Fellows of the (American) Academy of Management.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Applied Psychology