Smile, smile and be a leader? Differences in male and female leaders’ use of humor
European Business Review
Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
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Marcie, V., & Nadkarni, S. (2018). Smile, smile and be a leader? Differences in male and female leaders’ use of humor. European Business Review, [online only] http://www.europeanbusinessreview.com/smile-smile-and-be-a-leader-differences-in-male-and-female-leaders-use-of-humour/
The use of humour at the workplace gets mixed reviews. While humour can create positive energy in teams and help to improve leaders’ likeability, humour can also destroy a manager’s credibility, prevent them from being taken seriously and offend people. Yet how do male and female leaders use humour differently in the workplace? In a study conducted at University of Cambridge Judge Business School, we found that women often hold back in using humour even when it may be effective – and this represents a major lost opportunity in gender equality in the workplace. The issue of whether male and female leaders use humour differently in the workplace is an important question because studies have shown that men and women differ in their leadership styles. So we sought to identify how and why humour and gender are linked at the workplace. To answer these key questions, we conducted two studies. The first was a survey-based study of 100 middle and senior executives to identify the broad patterns of differences in how males and females use humour in workplace settings. In the second study, we build on these findings and interviewed successful female and male leaders about the humour strategies they use in enhancing their leadership. These studies indicate that gender differences are central to understanding the link between humour and leadership, and provide food for thought on how female leaders can better use humour strategically to become successful leaders.
External link: http://www.europeanbusinessreview.com/smile-smile-and-be-a-leader-differences-in-male-and-female-leaders-use-of-humour/
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/286703