Within organizations, the communicative phenomenon of humor is commonplace. Humorous talk is just as important and frequent to regular discourse that takes place between organizational members. In this inquiry we examine humor as a particular way of communicating between members of a small Midwestern United States organization. Specifically, we examine how three functions of humor (i.e., joking, sarcasm, and teasing) are used amongst members during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.). Using ethnography of communication, we conduct both fieldwork and interviews discovering that this organization exemplifies humor as a socially constructed phenomenon to complete the typical workday.


Humor, Ethnography, and Communication


The authors wish to thank Norman S. Greer, Craig Gingrich-Philbrook, Gene Roth, Michaela Winchatz, Ronald Chenail, Sally St. George, Dan Wulff, and the reviewers for their suggestions on this paper.

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