Beneath the surface of laughter
Practices of worker dissonance through humor in a high tech innovation R&D
Keywords:Dissonance, betrayal, resistance, teamwork, practice theory, emotions
This at-home ethnographic research examined acts of resistive humor in a cross-functional medical device innovation team. The worker level participants reacted as a resistive, dissonance to a managerial initiative and its enactment. These acts of resistive humor are at the intersectionality of work, work life, and personal expression. These acts transfer learned student engineering humor (Finnish: teekkarihuumori) to the workplace. These actions of resistive humor were unannounced, meaning that they were created and removed acts of installation humor, temporary installations created by members of the cross-functional engineering team with the goal of humorous appreciation from the team. These artefacts of installation humor were spontaneous, non-managerially aligned, occurred during the workday, and were present on a temporary basis in the workplace
Alvesson, M. & Sjöldberg, K. 2009. Reflexive methodology: new vistas for qualitative research (2nd ed). London, United Kingdom: Sage. ISBN: 978-1848601123.
Davies, C.A. 2002. Reflexive ethnography: a guide to researching selves and others. New York: Routledge. ISBN: 0-415-15190-2.
Feldman, M., & Worline, M. 2016. The practicality of practice theory. Academy of Management Learning & Education 15(2), 304-324. DOI: 10.5465/amle.2014.0356.
Felin, T., Foss, F. N.J., Ployhart, R.E. 2015. The Microfoundations Movement in Strategy and Organization Theory. The Academy of Management Annals 9(1), 575-632. DOI: 10.5465/19416520.2015.1007651.
Räsänen, K., & Trux, M-L. 2012. Työkirja. Ammattilaisen paluu. (transl: Workbook. The return of the professional). Helsinki: Kansanvalistusseura. ISBN: 978-951-9140-62-9.
Schatzki, T.R. 2003. A new societist social ontology. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 33(2), 174-202. DOI: 10.1177/0048393103251680.
Schatzki, T.R. 2005. The sites of organizations. Organization Studies 26(3), 465-484. DOI: 10.1177/0170840605050876.
Watts J. 2007. Can’t take a joke? Humour as resistance, refuge and exclusion in a highly gendered workplace. Feminism & Psychology. 17(2), 259-266. DOI:10.1177/0959353507076560.