How do people use humour to make sense of and constitute organizations? To understand this, I consider humour as a dynamic discursive practice, through which people (re)produce, complicate and potentially transform relations of power in the workplace. To extend the reach of humour research to this end, I have reviewed and synthesized the literature on humour to identify five contextual resources for agentic sensemaking in the use of humour through which discourses are destabilized and critiqued. I then consider six discursive practices, exercised through humour, that generate power and help constitute organizations. To complete my conceptual framework, I identify and discuss five potential avenues for future research on humour and power at work. I aim to inspire researchers to associate, use and analyse the processes in my framework to generate critically orientated evidence of how people use humour to substantiate organizational/workplace realities. I conclude that humour offers rich potential to better understand how people subjectively constitute organizations in practice.
Department of Business and Management
Year of publication: 2022Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-09-28