Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


International Journal of Humor Research

Editor-in-Chief: Ford, Thomas E.

IMPACT FACTOR 2018: 0.558
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 1.084

CiteScore 2018: 1.00

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.367
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.614

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 27, Issue 2


Humor in leader-follower relationships: Humor styles, similarity and relationship quality

Barbara Wisse / Eric Rietzschel
Published Online: 2014-05-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2014-0017


The present study focuses on how humor may affect the quality of the relationship between leader and follower (LMX). More specifically, we examined the impact of follower self-reported humor style and leader self-reported humor style on the extent to which followers perceived their relationship with their leader to be of high quality (in terms of affect, loyalty, contribution and professional respect). We also investigated the role of congruence between leader humor style and follower humor style in the reported quality of their relationship. We present the results of a multi-level study of leaders (N = 88) and their followers (N = 257) showing that LMX is positively related to follower affiliative humor style and negatively related to follower aggressive humor style. In addition, LMX is higher with stronger congruence in self-defeating humor styles: leaders' self-defeating humor was positively associated with LMX when followers were high (and not when they were low) in self-defeating humor. These results imply that future studies may benefit from differentiating between different humor styles in order to better understand the role of humor in the intricate relationship between leaders and their followers.

Keywords: humor styles; similarity; leadership; LMX

About the article

Barbara Wisse

Barbara Wisse is an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Groningen. She received her Ph.D. from Leiden University in 1999. Her research interests include leadership, power, self and identity, emotions, and change.

Eric Rietzschel

Eric Rietzschel is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Groningen. He received his Ph.D. from Utrecht University in 2005. His research interests include creativity, motivation, and team performance.

Published Online: 2014-05-09

Published in Print: 2014-05-01

Citation Information: HUMOR, Volume 27, Issue 2, Pages 249–269, ISSN (Online) 1613-3722, ISSN (Print) 0933-1719, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2014-0017.

Export Citation

©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Pia Stalder
TIPA. Travaux interdisciplinaires sur la parole et le langage, 2019, Number 35
Dick M. Carpenter, Marjory J. Webster, and Chad K. Bowman
Presidential Studies Quarterly, 2019, Volume 49, Number 1, Page 23
Alexander Pundt, René Fröhlich, and Friedemann W. Nerdinger
Zeitschrift für Arbeits- und Organisationspsychologie A&O, 2017, Volume 61, Number 3, Page 105
Nilupama Wijewardena, Charmine EJ Härtel, and Ramanie Samaratunge
Human Relations, 2017, Page 001872671769180
Laura Vetter and Christine Gockel
Gruppe. Interaktion. Organisation. Zeitschrift für Angewandte Organisationspsychologie (GIO), 2016, Volume 47, Number 4, Page 313
Yaozhong Liu and Leqin Wang
Psychology, 2016, Volume 07, Number 10, Page 1307
Panagiotis Gkorezis and Victoria Bellou
Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 2016, Volume 37, Number 7, Page 882
Alexander Pundt and Laura Venz
Journal of Organizational Behavior, 2017, Volume 38, Number 1, Page 87
Henri de Jongste
Journal of Pragmatics, 2016, Volume 95, Page 107

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in