University of Oulu

Vuorela, Taina et al. (2017) Research agenda with empirical results of using humour strategically in business. In: Turpeinen J-M. (ed.) Yrittäjyyskasvatus – tulevaisuuden siltojen rakentaja ja raja-aitojen murtaja? : 11. Yrittäjyyskasvatuspäivät 2017 Oulussa: Artikkelikirja, Oulun yliopiston oppimateriaalia Didascalica Universitatis Ouluensis Kasvatustiede E 6 (pp 332-351). 11th Entrepreneurship Education Conference 2017 in Oulu. Oulun yliopisto.

Research agenda with empirical results of using humour strategically in business

Saved in:
Author: Vuorela, Taina1; Oikarinen, Eeva-Liisa; Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, Pia2;
Organizations: 1Oulu University of Applied Sciences
2University of Oulu
3University of Lapland
4University of Turku
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulun yliopisto, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-02-15


The aim of this project was to create a preliminary theoretical framework of how to utilize humour strategically in organizations with the aim of creating new business opportunities. The present multidisciplinary discussion paper will identify research gaps and combine viewpoints of international business management, international business communication, marketing and education in a novel way. It appears that in previous literature on humour in a business context, discussions have taken place in different ‘silos’ and as a result, the connections between different research fields have been scarce. Consequently, a more comprehensive understanding of the significance of humour in business innovations is necessary. Firstly, we are proposing a framework and a research agenda for exploring different strategic ways of using humour in companies. Secondly, in the Hurmos-project we have already collected empirical evidence based on this framework, and some preliminary results are also presented. Hence, the potential, as well as the limits and risks of humour in business have been examined in terms of both internal and external corporate communication. We have focused on such research aspects as corporate storytelling, corporate and employer branding, and work engagement. Peer group mentoring has been used as one tool for collecting relevant narratives from companies. Additionally, we have explored innovation communication, in particular how humour can be applied as a strategic tool in new business development both in facilitating creative Research, Development and Innovation (R&D&I) work environments, and in incorporating humour into product and service innovation in practice. Our empirical results will provide a much needed more comprehensive view of the role of humour as a strategic tool in corporate communication and business innovation. The results also provide a point of departure for further research. Besides academia, results and generated know-how will be of interest to managers of large corporations as well as start-up companies.

see all

Series: Oulun yliopiston oppimateriaalia. E, Kasvatustieteet
ISSN: 1457-3555
ISSN-L: 1457-3555
ISBN: 978-952-62-1789-5
Issue: 6
Pages: 332 - 351
Host publication: Yrittäjyyskasvatus – Tulevaisuuden siltojen rakentaja ja raja-aitojen murtaja? : 11. Yrittäjyyskasvatuspäivät 2017 Oulussa: Artikkelikirja
Host publication editor: Turpeinen, Juha-Matti
Conference: Yrittäjyyskasvatuspäivät
Type of Publication: D3 Professional conference proceedings
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Copyright information: © The Authors.