Humor and workplace stress: a longitudinal comparison between Australian and Chinese employees

Article


Wang, Rong, Chan, Darius Kwan Shing, Goh, Yong Wah, Penfold, Melissa, Harper, Timothy and Weltewitz, Tim. 2018. "Humor and workplace stress: a longitudinal comparison between Australian and Chinese employees." Asia Pacific Journal of Human Resources. 56 (2), pp. 175-195. https://doi.org/10.1111/1744-7941.12157
Article Title

Humor and workplace stress: a longitudinal comparison between Australian and Chinese employees

ERA Journal ID22101
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsWang, Rong (Author), Chan, Darius Kwan Shing (Author), Goh, Yong Wah (Author), Penfold, Melissa (Author), Harper, Timothy (Author) and Weltewitz, Tim (Author)
Journal TitleAsia Pacific Journal of Human Resources
Journal Citation56 (2), pp. 175-195
Number of Pages21
Year2018
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN1032-3627
1038-4111
1744-7941
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/1744-7941.12157
Web Address (URL)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1744-7941.12157
Abstract

This study investigates how humor usage (including positive and negative humor styles) influences employees’ responses to the same stressful events, namely, the auto-correlation between stress experiences at two time points. Moreover, it examines differences between Australian and Chinese employees in such effects via bicultural comparisons. Results from a two-wave survey of 109 Australian and 141 Chinese employees indicated that humor usage moderated the StressTime1 – StressTime2 relationship for Australian employees but not for Chinese employees. Specifically, the positive relationship between the two stress measures became weaker for Australians who were higher in humor than those lower in humor. Similarly, Positive humor mitigated the relationship between StressTime1 and StressTime2 only for the Australians but not the Chinese. However, Negative humor exerted no influence on the focal relationship in either sample. Organizations should encourage employees to use humor in effective ways, thereby improving stress coping skills and reducing workplace stress.

KeywordsAustralia, China, humor, longitudinal study, workplace stres
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470212. Multicultural, intercultural and cross-cultural studies
520104. Industrial and organisational psychology (incl. human factors)
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Psychology and Counselling
Chinese University of Hong Kong, China
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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