University of Oulu

Oikarinen, EL. The Boundaries of a Small Company’s Human Voice: Insights into Dark Humour in Internet Recruitment Advertising. Corp Reputation Rev 26, 223–241 (2023).

The boundaries of a small company’s human voice : insights into dark humour in internet recruitment advertising

Saved in:
Author: Oikarinen, Eeva-Liisa1
Organizations: 1Department of Marketing, Management and International Business, Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 8000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-06-06


This study develops a framework on how a small company’s human tone of voice involving dark humour can be communicated in Internet recruitment advertising. A case study approach with an abductive logic provided a synthesis of the different recruitment communication perspectives [sender, message, electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM)] and a dark humour tone of voice used in a small company’s Internet recruitment advertising in a holistic framework. The developed framework was able to demonstrate the dynamics related to a tone of voice based on dark humour from different communication perspectives in Internet recruitment advertising, and the process of how the limits for an acceptable human tone of voice are formed. Further, the study proposed a new definition for eWOM in recruitment advertising which included a human tone of voice as a relevant aspect of eWOM. For managers, the boundaries of the human tone of voice, in this case dark humour, should be handled as it might become an irritating employer brand message element and might negatively affect the construction of a positive and consistent employer image.

see all

Series: Corporate reputation review
ISSN: 1363-3589
ISSN-E: 1479-1889
ISSN-L: 1363-3589
Volume: 26
Pages: 223 - 241
DOI: 10.1057/s41299-022-00151-x
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Funding: The Foundation for Economic Education is gratefully acknowledged for Research Grant (170284) supporting this study.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit