Humor Style Clusters: Exploring Managerial Humor

Thomas Evans, Gail Steptoe-Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
147 Downloads (Pure)


The current study is the first to explore the relationships between managerial humor and workplace facets using cluster analysis. Two-hundred and two employed adults rated their managers’ humor and workplace facets online. K-means cluster analyses identified three managerial humor clusters, mostly replicating those found in the existing literature. A significant pattern of differences in stress, communication, creativity, perceptions of leader power, and job satisfaction were found between the clusters. Findings suggest negative humor use is most likely to be damaging to organizations when not used alongside positive humor types, and it is not merely the frequency with which a manager uses an individual humor type, but the holistic view of their humor, which is of importance in gauging valence of organizational facets. Using cluster analysis was beneficial in challenging assumptions from the existing literature, further contextualizing our understanding of humor and reinforcing the importance of humor use in the workplace.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443–454
JournalInternational Journal of Business Communication
Issue number4
Early online date15 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • humor
  • communication
  • aggression
  • leadership
  • cluster analysis


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