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ERIC Number: ED556017
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 314
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-2681-7
The Role of Humor and Its Influence on the Self-Perceived and Others-Perceived Conflict Management Styles of Line Officers in Institutions of Higher Learning Serving Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, and Hearing Students
Brandt, Susan Elaine
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Gallaudet University
Although research literature has shown management circles the benefits of incorporating humor into the workplace and effective ways to resolve conflicts, none exists on the role of humor and its interplay with conflict management. This study addresses the question, "What relationships exist between the "Self-Perceived" and "Others-Perceived" Humor Styles and the "Self-Perceived" and "Others-Perceived" Conflict Management Styles of Line Officers who are employed in two institutions of higher education serving Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students in the Eastern and Northeastern United States, and in two institutions of higher education serving Hearing students in the Midwestern United States?" From the population sample, 33 Line Officers from the four institutions of higher learning, and 59 Staff from the three institutions of higher learning took the "Self-Perceived" and "Others-Perceived" versions of the Humor Styles Questionnaire© and the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument[TM] to assess the Line Officers' humor styles, and the Line Officers' conflict management styles, respectively. The quantitative data analyses demonstrated that Staff members perceived more significant relationships than did the Line Officers between the Humor Styles and the Conflict Management Styles used by their respective Line Officers. Without question, the study has yielded statistical evidence that the perceptions, as measured, of Line Officers and Staff showed that Caucasian Line Officers--unlike their African-American counterparts--tend to provide humor that is expressed at their own, self-deprecating, expense. The higher the educational degree the Line Officers obtained, the more inclined they were to use a "Collaborating" Conflict Management Style. The more experienced Line Officers, in terms of length of work experience, tend to use (1) less "Self-Defeating" ("Self-Deprecating") Humor; (2) less "Competing" Conflict Management Style; and, (3) more "Collaborating" Conflict Management Style. Those University Line Officers, who employ "positive" humor--including "Affiliative" and "Self-Enhancing" Humor Styles--also use "Collaborating" and "Compromising" Conflict Management Styles, but avoid using a "Competing" Conflict Management Style. When Line Officers employ "negative" humor--such as "Self-Defeating" ("Self-Deprecating") Humor to bring more intimacy and less social gap into the relationship with others--they are "Compromising." On the other side of the conflict pendulum, when Line Officers at universities serving Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students use "Self-Enhancing" and "Self-Defeating" ("Self-Deprecating") Humor Styles, then they are "Collaborating" and "Competing," respectively. When Line Officers at universities serving Hearing students use: (1)"Affiliative" Humor, then they are "Collaborating," and addressing, rather than "Avoiding," issues; (2) "Self-Enhancing" Humor, then they are not" Compromising," and will "Compete" to get what they want; and, (3) "Aggressive" Humor, then they are not "Collaborating." By "Competing" and not "Collaborating" or "Compromising," not only are they at risk in alienating their Staff, but Line Officers are also at risk for losing rapport, collegiality, integrity, and creditability--resulting in reduced employee and organizational effectiveness, and in impaired social relationships. Given that "Collaboration" is high in both conflict dimensions of "assertiveness" and "cooperation," it is demonstrably more productive during team resolutions. Therefore, when coupled with humor and assertiveness training, not only would Line Officers become more self-confident and articulate, but they would also gain mutual respect and loyalty from their staff. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A