Journal Article

Putting humour to work: To make sense of and constitute organizations


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.

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Huber, Guy

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Business and Management


Year of publication: 2022
Date of RADAR deposit: 2021-09-28

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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