Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring Fun across a Time Horizon
by Duliga, Janet M., Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2018, 126; 10839351
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative study on fun in the workplace explored the phenomenon from a new vantage point, the individual’s experience of a management-sponsored fun event across a time horizon. The research in the field has sought understanding of fun by identifying different ways employees have fun at work, categorizing the sources of fun at work, and progressing toward a more unified definition of what fun in the workplace encompasses. This study accepted the existing research linking fun in the workplace to improved engagement, improved retention rates, applicant attraction, and many other beneficial organizational outcomes. Notwithstanding all these benefits, the qualitative research has issued warnings about management-sponsored fun in the workplace, proposing that it can foster cynicism and negativity at the same time it is creating more positive outcomes. This study aimed to add to the body of research by exploring the individual experience of fun in the workplace across a time horizon. To do this, this study gathered descriptions from employees about their thoughts and feelings before, during, and after the experience of a management-sponsored fun event. The data were collected using semi-structured in-depth interviews of 28 individuals at four different mid-sized companies. Through a thematic analysis of these data four findings are presented: participants experience an anticipatory period before fun events; they articulate the importance of breaking with the mundane and deeper connections with coworkers; they perceive a manifestation of organization values at these events; and they exhibit very minimal evidence of cynicism or negativity related to these events. Implications for organizations and future researchers are proposed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: McKee, Annie
Commitee: Cavanaugh, Peter, Tews, Michael J.
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Chief Learning Officer
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 80/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Social research, Management, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Anticipation, Cynicism, Fun, Management sponsored fun, Optimism, Workplace
Publication Number: 10839351
ISBN: 9780438339125
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