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

Wang, Rong and Chan, Darius Kwan Shing and Goh, Yong Wah and Penfold, Melissa and 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). pp. 175-195. ISSN 1038-4111


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.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2019 00:05
Last Modified: 30 May 2019 02:01
Uncontrolled Keywords: Australia, China, humor, longitudinal study, workplace stres
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200209 Multicultural, Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920505 Occupational Health
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1111/1744-7941.12157

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