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A Cluster Analysis of Managerial Humour Tendencies: Identifying the Workplace Consequences of the Aggressive Joker Thomas Rhys Evans

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Presentation on theme: "A Cluster Analysis of Managerial Humour Tendencies: Identifying the Workplace Consequences of the Aggressive Joker Thomas Rhys Evans"— Presentation transcript:

1 A Cluster Analysis of Managerial Humour Tendencies: Identifying the Workplace Consequences of the Aggressive Joker Thomas Rhys Dr Gail

2 Humour A silly topic? Bullying costs UK employers upwards of £2 billion a year The most likely roles for those accused of bullying are line managers and peer colleagues 83 per cent of UK employers have a policy on bullying/harassment (90 per cent in the public sector) (CIPD, 2004)

3 Humour in Workplace Context Managers are key generators or suppressors of humour (Collinson, 2002; Obthani, Omar, & Bakri, 2012) Numerous questions remain regarding the underlying processes and consequences of managerial humour (Robert & Wilbanks, 2012) Workplaces are complex due to ‘interference’ (Aubé and Rousseau 2011)

4 Humour Humour is not like any other communication type Humour can achieve positive and negative things – E.g. communicate prejudices (Evans, Goodman, & Jowett, 2014) Yet remains self-evidentially positive (idelogically positive - Billig, 2005)

5 Humour Types (Martin et al., 2003) AffiliativeAggressive Self- Defeating Self- Enhancing

6 Issues with previous studies Capturing general humour, often ideologically positive ‘Interference’ often ignored by basic analyses Self-reported humour - humour-based communications are defined by the receivers’ interpretation (Byron, 2008)

7 A Structural Equation Model of Managerial Humour and Organisational Outcomes Evans, T. R., Hughes, D. J., & Steptoe-Warren, G. (under review) Exploring the Organisational Humour Model: A Structural Equation Model of Managerial Humour and Organisational Outcomes

8 Acknowledging Complexities through Cluster Analysis Can acknowledge the interactions between, and complexities of, humour types (Everitt et al., 2011) Clustering creates groupings where the differences within groups are minimised and differences between groups are maximised.

9 Participants and Method Reanalysed data shown in SEM model 202 P’s, all 18 years+ and currently employed Predominantly female (142), part-time (124), in retail (94) or public service (72), M=20months Participants completed battery of psychometrics on their managers’ humour and their workplace environment

10 Results All measures were refined through factor analysis to minimum acceptable standards All results were then standardised to z-scores Participants’ managers were then clustered according to the four humour types Informed by past literature (Galloway, 2010; Leist & Müller, 2013) 4 clusters were expected

11 Results – Cluster Structure

12 Results – Differences Between Clusters No significant differences were found between clusters on participant sex, manager sex, work type (PT/FT), work environment or time working together Asked whether they had a positive or negative relationship with their manager, 14 of the 18 who responded negative were later found in this ‘aggressive’ managerial cluster

13 Results – Cluster Structure

14 Results - Consequences of Humour Style

15 Discussion Is the 1 st paper to explore humour clusters in OccPsych environment, and counters many previous critiques of the field Cluster 1 – average humour but above average outcomes – shows quantity is not as important as previously suggested Cluster 2 – not the highest aggression, but highest aggression in comparison to other humour types Suggests high levels of aggressive humour use, in comparison to positive humour use, is associated with a poor workplace environment for subordinates

16 Conclusion It appears to be of significant personal and organisational benefit for managers to be aware that inappropriate use of humour e.g. use of more negative than positive humour types, could be counterproductive for a satisfied and functional workforce (Mesmer-Magnus et al., 2012) Small managerial efforts to be more sensitive to others e.g. humour and cake, can be of significant impact!

17 A Cluster Analysis of Managerial Humour Tendencies: Identifying the Workplace Consequences of the Aggressive Joker Thomas Rhys Dr Gail


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