University of Oulu

Yang, Jialei & Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, Pia & Oikarinen, Eeva-Liisa (2019) The contradictory role of humor in international competitiveness and innovativeness. Journal of innovation management, 7(2), 78-104.

The contradictory role of humor in international competitiveness and innovativeness

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Author: Yang, Jialei1; Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, Pia1; Oikarinen, Eeva-Liisa1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: University of Porto, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-10-02


This study explores the relationships among the use of different types of humor (affiliative, aggressive, reframing, and coping humor)—both among immediate co-workers (“ingroup”), and with actors external to the firm (“outgroup”), international competitiveness, as well as innovativeness. An exploratory study based on survey data suggests that humor, when connections exist, is negatively related to international competitive potential and performance. Whether or not these negative effects emerge, depends on with whom and which type of humor is used. However, the situation is not straightforward: innovativeness is positively related to international competitiveness, and to innovativeness, humor types relate in different ways, some positive, some negative. Overall, humor seems to play a relevant, but challenging-to-manage role especially in settings where borders—organizational or national—are crossed: Humor that works as a lubricant for innovation processes, does not necessarily work directly in advancing international competitiveness.

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Series: Journal of innovation management
ISSN: 2183-0606
ISSN-L: 2183-0606
Volume: 7
Issue: 2
Pages: 78 - 104
DOI: 10.24840/2183-0606_007.002_0006
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Copyright information: © 2019 The Authors and Journal of Innovation Management. JIM is an Open Acces Journal and according to the Budapest Open Access Initiative that refers to its free availability on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself. The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited.