Humour, Work and Organization

Edited by Robert Westwood, Carl Rhodes

© 2007 – Routledge

320 pages | 15 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415384131
pub: 2006-12-14
US Dollars$67.95
Hardback: 9780415384124
pub: 2006-12-21
US Dollars$195.00

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About the Book

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.


'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

Table of Contents

Part A: Theorizing Humour, Organization and Work 1. Introduction: Humour and the Study of Organizations 2. Humour as Practically Enacted Theory, or, Why Critics Should Tell More Jokes 3. Humour and Parody: The Power of Inversion Part B: Humour in Organizations 4. What Does Fun ‘Make’ Of Us? 5. The Little Book of Management Bollocks: Kitsch Artefacts 6. Organizing Humour: A Feminist Perspective 7. Humour in Workplace Meetings: Challenging Hierarchies Part C: Humour about Organization 8. Humour as Critique in Popular Television: Work and Organizations in The Simpsons 9. Another Average Day in The Office: Humour and the Brentist Striation of Modern Work Spaces 10. How Sick Are These People? Organizational Bystanding, Seinfeld’s New York Four and the Duty of Care Part D: The Organization of Humour 11. The Comedy Club: The Staging of Humour 12. Grotesque Humour Regeneration of McDonaldization and McDonaldland 13. Budweiser’s Lizards and The Organizational Production of Humour Part E. Coda 14. Theory as Joke

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior