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Managers ‘should define workplace humour boundaries’

University of Auckland business academics have published a “science-based” guide to workplace humour to help managers set appropriate guidelines for jokes and banter.

Social researcher Barbara Plester and workplace behaviour expert Kerr Inkson from the university’s business school looked at how humour can be used to create a collegiate workplace, as well as its more sinister role in bullying and harassment.

Their book—Laugh Out Loud: A user’s guide to workplace humour—explores the idea of setting “humour boundaries” at work to avoid incidents where people may feel hurt or offended by office jokes and pranks.

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