The Influence of Leader Humor on the Relationships between Leader Behavior and Follower Outcomes

Document Type



Drucker School of Management (CGU)

Publication Date



Leadership Studies


Although it is widely suspected that a leader's use of humor can have an enhancing effect on follower performance, relatively little empirical evidence has been gathered that clearly substantiates this belief (Duncan, Smeltzer, and Leap, 1990). Generally, scholarship devoted to the topic of humor in the workplace has been suggestive of how humor might impact group climate or organizational culture (Collinson, 1988; Holmes and Marra, 2002; Linstead, 1985; Lundberg, 1969; Robinson and Smith-Lovin, 2001) or build unit cohesion (Lennox-Terrion and Ashforth, 2002). In his early article, Malone (1980) argued that humor may contribute to enhancing both employee satisfaction and performance.