Humor in the academia and research on humor

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Maria José Tonelli
Felipe Zambaldi


We started the editorial of the previous edition—the first of the year—with a brief joke and were confronted by some colleagues as if we had committed heresy: “What is this in an editorial?” Well, perhaps it was not a good joke, but the question was great and calls for reflection. Does the academia necessarily need to be bland and colorless? Cannot humor be part of researchers’ lives? Do we need to be stern and monotonous? To me, this view seems to disregard studies that evidence the role of humor in increasing creativity, well-being, and health as well as producing better results in organizations (Mesmer-Magnus, Glew, & Viswesvaran, 2012). Humor is embedded in work processes (Korczynski, 2011) and is a fundamental element in the development of human relationships. Humor facilitates work (Rodrigues & Collinson, 1995), as the seminal article on humor in the area of organizational studies, written by the Brazilian researcher Suzana Braga Rodrigues, states. Humor is important for individuals, organizations, and the society (Duarte & Duarte, 2016). There is even a journal focused exclusively on humor: The European Journal of Humour Research. Reinforcing the positive role of this human trait for work, the articles by Romero and Cruthirds (2006), considering the international context, and Castro Silva and Brito (2014), considering the Brazilian context, show that humor has a positive impact on communication, group cohesion, and leadership. Humor is part of the organizational discourse (Koester, 2010) and workspace (Chefneux, 2015; Vivona, 2014). In summary, the role of humor in sociability at work seems to be fundamental for the proper functioning of organizations.


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How to Cite
TONELLI, M. J.; ZAMBALDI, F. Humor in the academia and research on humor. RAE - Revista de Administracao de Empresas , [S. l.], v. 59, n. 2, p. 80–81, 2019. DOI: 10.1590/S0034-759020190201. Disponível em: Acesso em: 21 jul. 2024.


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