The Power of Humor: Its Buffering Effect on Negative Job-related Affective Well-being against Job DemandsTülay Turgut, Zeynep Oktuğ, Zeynep Merve Ünal
Mizahın Gücü: Mizahın İş Talepleri Karşısında Olumsuz Duyuşsal İyi Oluş Algısını Azaltıcı EtkisiTülay Turgut, Zeynep Oktuğ, Zeynep Merve Ünal
In recent years, different methods for controlling the emotional effects caused by the demands in work place began to attract attention. The job demands-resources model is a functional model for assessing the well-being of the employee (Demerouti & Bakker, 2011). Schaufeli and Bakker (2004), pointed out that it should be more effective to decrease the job demands rather than to increase job resources. From this point of view, it is considered that it is important to prevent a negative job-related affective well-being perception in order to enhance the factors related to quality of work life. Humor is an important phenomenon that can have a positive effect on the individual’s perception of well-being. It may decrease the negative job-related affective well-being perception. Based on this idea, this study aims to investigate the moderating role of occupational humorous coping on the relationship between job demands and a negative perception job-related affective wellbeing.
The sample of this research constitutes 319 employees from various cities of Turkey working in the education and health sectors. For measuring job demands, a scale (Xanthopoulou, Bakker, Demerouti, & Schaufeli, 2007) with four sub-scales including workload (4 items), emotional demands (6 items), emotional dissonance (5 items) and organizational changes (7 items); for measuring the negative job-related affective wellbeing perception, 10 items measuring negative job-related affective well-being perception of the Job-related Affective Well-being Scale (Van Katwyk, Fox, Spector, & Kelloway, 2000) and for measuring occupational humorous coping, the Occupational Humorous Coping Scale (23 items), which was developed by Doosje, De Goede, Van Doornen and Goldstein (2010), was used.
For testing the hypotheses, hierarchical regression and simple slope analyses were conducted. According to the hierarchical regression results, in the first model, job demands have a positive effect on the negative job-related affective well-being perception (B = 0.45, SH = 0.06; R2 = .19, p < .001). In the second model, when occupational humorous coping was added to the equation, the explanatory strength of the model increased (ΔR2 = .18, p < .001) and it was revealed that occupational humorous coping has a negative effect on the negative job-related affective well-being perception (B = -0.44, SH = 0.05). In the third model, the interaction of job demands and occupational humorous coping has an effect (B = -0.15, SH = 0.05) on the negative job-related affective well-being perception (ΔR2 = .02, p < .001). Occupational humorous coping has a moderating effect on the relationship between job demands and the negative job-related affective well-being perception. Thereafter, simple slope analysis and a test for difference in simple slopes revealed that high occupational humorous coping weakens the positive relationship between job demands and the negative job-related affective well-being perception (for high occupational humorous coping: b = .24, t = 3.816, p < .001; for low occupational humorous coping: b = .41, t = 9.171, p < .001; for difference in simple slopes t(604) = 2.096, p < .05). According to this, as the occupational humorous coping tendency increases, the positive relationship between job demands and the negative job-related affective well-being perception decreases.
The results of this study showed that employees who have a low ability of occupational humorous coping are at a disadvantage when compared to employees who have a high ability of occupational humorous coping in the context of a negative job-related affective well-being perception against job demands. According to this, it can be said that the occupational humorous coping skills are not only important for the health of employees, but also important for responding to job demands. People are more sensitive to negative stimuli than to positive stimuli (Garcia, Rosenberg, Erlandsson, & Siddiqui, 2010), and the increase in negative feelings in the workplace lead to increasing counterproductive behavior (Fox, Spector, & Miles, 2001). In this context, this study examined the negative jobrelated affective well-being perception. Turkey is a high power distance country (Kabasakal & Dastmalchian, 2001), which means that the status differences in organizations are important. It is thought that high power distance can be a restrictive factor for using humor in the workplace. From this point of view, there can be a greater need for an encouraging organizational climate. The negative and positive affective well-being perceptions can be examined separately. The decrease in negative affective well-being perception does not mean an increase in positive affective well-being perception. Therefore, in future studies, it will be useful to examine the positive job-related affective well-being perception in relation to job demands and also the effects of occupational humorous coping in the context of these relationships.