Author: Wu, Wai Yee
Title: The impact of humor on others' helping intention : the shadow of clown personality
Advisors: Huang, Xu (MM)
Liu, Wu (MM)
Degree: D.B.A.
Year: 2019
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Wit and humor -- Psychological aspects
Wit and humor -- Social aspects
Humor in the workplace
Interpersonal communication
Department: Faculty of Business
Pages: ix, 154 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Humor, as a double-edged sword, not only is a lubricant but also can be detrimental to interpersonal relationships. It is a key to developing interpersonal relations as it reduces social distances (Mesmer-Magnus, Glew, & Viswesvaran, 2012) and establishes interpersonal connectedness (Treger, Sprecher, & Erber, 2013). Humor blurs the social hierarchy (Ziv, 2010) and reduces the social distance within the group (Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012; Romero & Cruthirds, 2006). However, A bad joke or failed humormay lead the recipients to view the actor as stupid, undesirable, unlikeable, unattractive, incompetent, and foolish (Williams&Emich, 2014). Along the same line, clown personality can also weaken the positive consequences of humor. Even though there is often a clown in every workplace, clown personality, which is undermined and perceived as useless, stupid, and unprofessional, has been seldom discussed in the management literature. According to Ackroyd and Thompson (1999), clown personality is defined in the workplace as enjoyment of making fools of oneself for the amusement of others. In this study, I intend to leverage the social exchange theory to explore the relational consequences of humor in an interpersonal dyad under clown personality. Specifically, this research further looks into how humor influences interpersonal helping behavior and the moderation effect of clown personality. Based on the three scenario-based experiments, the link between an individual's humor, recipient's reciprocal respect, and the helping behavior was successfully proven. The findings demonstrate that the facilitating effect of an individual's humor on the recipient's reciprocal helping behavior, through the recipient's respect towards the focal individual was essential. Futhermore, it exhibites that an individual's clown personality weakens the positive consequences of humor. That is, when an individual has a strong clown personality, the individual's humor would less likely lead to the recipient's respect or reciprocal helping behavior. This study offers theoretical contributions to the humor literature and practical implications on the use of humor which could be beneficial to individuals and organizations.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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