Managerial humor and subordinate satisfaction

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Wayne H. Decker
Cite this article:  Decker, W. (1987). Managerial humor and subordinate satisfaction. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 15(2), 225-232.

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Humor may be a useful managerial tool, contributing to effectiveness and subordinate satisfaction. A survey was administered to measure the job satisfaction of 290 workers and their impressions of supervisors as a function of participant age, participant sex, supervisor sense of humor, and supervisor sexual humor. Participants rating their supervisors high in sense of humor reported higher job satisfaction and rated other supervisor qualities higher than did participants rating their supervisors low in sense of humor. In general, the differences between ratings, given low and high sense of humor supervisors, were greater for younger (aged under 15) participants than older. Older females downgraded supervisors who used sexual humor, while younger females and males did not. Future researchers should attempt to relate humor to objective measures of leader effectiveness.

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