The Influence of Leaders' Self-Deprecating and Aggressive Humor on Employee's Innovative Work Behavior

Prima Diastari(1*), Endang Parahyanti(2),

(1) Universitas Indonesia
(2) Universitas Indonesia
(*) Corresponding Author


Abstract. Encouraging innovation is one of the keys for leaders to continue to bring the organization to compete in the industrial world. In general, leaders humor can promote innovative behavior of employees. However, the impact of negative humor, such as Self-deprecating humor and Aggressive Humor, on employee innovative work behavior is not widely known. Therefore, this study will measure the impact of the leader’s self-deprecating humor and aggressive humor on employees’ innovative work behavior. This study involved a total of 385 respondents who were recruited online using a convenience sampling technique. Respondents have characteristics that have worked or are currently working in an organization for at least 1 year, aged 19-48 years, and when working had a leader. Using the latest experimental method, namely Experimental Vignette Methodology (EVM), this study was structured with a 2x2 factorial design, within subject, which means that each respondent will receive 4 stimuli that have been designed by the researcher. All respondents received several stimulus sets in the form of narratives containing statements from the leadership, then filled out innovative work behavior surveys via the google form. Data were analyzed using factorial ANOVA repeated measure technique. The results of this study indicate that the leader self-deprecating humor and aggressive humor have a significant effect on employees’ innovative work behavior. Furthermore, there is a significant interaction effect between leader self-deprecating humor and aggressive humor on innovative work behavior of employees. This finding can be a reference for leaders to use humor as a strategy for encouraging employee innovation.
Keywords: Leader humor; innovative work behavior; self-deprecating humor; aggressive humor; experimental vignette methodology

Full Text:



Abdillah, M. R. (2021). Leader humor and knowledge sharing behavior: The role of leader-member exchange. Jurnal Manajemen, 25(1), 76.

Aguinis, H., & Bradley, K. J. (2014). Best practice recommendations for designing and implementing experimental vignette methodology studies. Organizational Research Methods, 17(4), 351–371.

Ali, H., Mahmood, A., Ahmad, A., & Ikram, A. (2021). Humor of the leader: A source of creativity of employees through psychological empowerment or unethical behavior through perceived power? the role of self-deprecating behavior. Frontiers in Psychology, 12.

Atzmüller, C., & Steiner, P. M. (2010). Experimental vignette studies in survey research. Methodology, 6(3), 128–138.

Badan Pusat Statistik. (2015). Mengulik data suku di Indonesia. Badan Pusat Statistik. retrieved from

Badan Pusat Statistik. (2022). Analisis profil penduduk Indonesia: Mendeskripsikan peran penduduk dalam pembangunan. Badan Pusat Statistik. retrieved from

Brender-Ilan, Y., & Reizer, A. (2021). How do we perceive a humorous manager? Manager humor, impression management, and employee willingness to work with the manager. Frontiers in Psychology, 12.

Brysbaert, M. (2019). How Many Participants Do We Have to Include in Properly Powered Experiments? A Tutorial of Power Analysis with Reference Tables. Journal of Cognition, 2(1).

Buchari, N. Q., & Wulanyani, N. M. S. (2021). Gambaran budaya organisasi yang berlandaskan budaya lokal. Psikobuletin:Buletin Ilmiah Psikologi, 2(3), 218.

Buijzen, M., & Valkenburg, P. M. (2004). Developing a typology of humor in audiovisual media. Media Psychology, 6(2), 147–167.

Chen, Y. (2022). The impact of leader humor on team creativity. Management Review, 34(7), 268–279. retrieved from

Clark, L. (2020). Leadership imperatives for success: Reskilling for opportunity. Harvard Business School Publishing. retrieved from

Cozby, P. C., & Bates, S. C. (2011). Methods in behavioral research (11th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education.

Crawford, C. B. (1994). Theory and implications regarding the utilization of strategic humor by leaders. Journal of Leadership Studies, 1(4), 53–68.

de Jong, J., & den Hartog, D. (2010). Measuring innovative work behaviour. Creativity and Innovation Management, 19(1), 23–36.

Deloitte. (2021). The Future of the creative economy. Deloitte. retrieved from

Dereli, D. D. (2015). Innovation management in global competition and competitive advantage. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 195(7), 1365–1370.

Devega, E. (2017). Teknologi masyarakat Indonesia: Malas baca tapi cerewet di medsos. Kominfo. retrieved from

Epstein, J., Santo, R. M., & Guillemin, F. (2015). A review of guidelines for cross-cultural adaptation of questionnaires could not bring out a consensus. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 68(4), 435–441.

Field, A. (2013). Discovering statistics using IBM statistics (4th ed.). SAGE Publications Inc. retrieved from

Galloway, G. (2010). Individual differences in personal humor styles: Identification of prominent patterns and their associates. Personality and Individual Differences, 48(5), 563–567.

Gravetter, F. J., & Forzano, L.-A. B. (2018). Research methods for the behavioral sciences (6th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Guenzi, P., Rangarajan, D., Chaker, N. N., & Sajtos, L. (2019). It is all in good humor? Examining the impact of salesperson evaluations of leader humor on salesperson job satisfaction and job stress. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 39(4), 352–369.

Hermawan, M. S., & Loo, M. K. (2019). The construction of kekeluargaan as an Indonesia’s organizational culture. Jurnal Humaniora, 31(1), 1.

Hidayat, D., & Hafiar, H. (2019). Nilai-nilai budaya soméah pada perilaku komunikasi masyarakat Suku Sunda. Jurnal Kajian Komunikasi, 7(1), 84.

Ho, L.-H., Wang, Y.-P., Huang, H.-C., & Chen, H.-C. (2011). Influence of humorous leadership at workplace on the innovative behavior of leaders and their leadership effectiveness. Journal of Business Management, 5(16), 6674–6683.

Hoption, C., Barling, J., & Turner, N. (2013). “It’s not you, it’s me”: Transformational leadership and self‐deprecating humor. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 34(1), 4–19.

Horth, D. M., & Vehar, J. (2014). Becoming a leader who fosters innovation. Center for Creative Leadership. retrieved from

Huang, M.-J. (2022). Leader self-deprecating humor and employee creativity at workplace: A longitudinal study. Review of Managerial Science, 17(2), 467–492.

Hughes, R., & Huby, M. (2002). The application of vignettes in social and nursing research. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 37(4), 382–386.

Janssen, O. (2000). Job demands, perceptions of effort-reward fairness and innovative work behaviour. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 73(3), 287–302.

Janssen, O. (2003). Innovative behaviour and job involvement at the price of conflict and less satisfactory relations with co-workers. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 76(3), 347–364.

Jiang, F., Lu, S., Jiang, T., & Jia, H. (2020). Does the relation between humor styles and subjective well-being vary across culture and age? A meta-analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 11(9).

Juckel, J., Bellman, S., & Varan, D. (2016). A humor typology to identify humor styles used in sitcoms. HUMOR, 29(4), 583–603.

Kocak, G. (2018). The relationship between humor styles and creativity: A research on academics. Eurasian Journal Of Business And Management, 6(4), 44–58.

Leist, A. K., & Müller, D. (2013). Humor types show different patterns of self-regulation, self-esteem, and well-being. Journal of Happiness Studies, 14(2), 551–569.

Liu, F., Chow, I. H.-S., Gong, Y., & Huang, M. (2020). Affiliative and aggressive humor in leadership and their effects on employee voice: A serial mediation model. Review of Managerial Science, 14(6), 1321–1339.

Martin., R. A. (2007). The psychology of humor: An integrative approach. Elsevier Academic Press. retrieved from

Martin, R. A., Puhlik-Doris, P., Larsen, G., Gray, J., & Weir, K. (2003). Individual differences in uses of humor and their relation to psychological well-being: Development of the humor styles questionnaire. Journal of Research in Personality, 37(1), 48–75.

Naqshbandi, M. M., & Kaur, S. (2013). A study of organizational citizenship behaviours, organizational structures and open innovation. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 2(6).

Neves, P., & Karagonlar, G. (2020). Does leader humor style matter and to whom? Journal of Managerial Psychology, 35(2), 115–128.

Pasaribu, E. N., & Yuwanto, L. (2021). Nguwongke wong: Konsep servant leadership masyarakat jawa. Jurnal Diversita, 7(2), 221–230.

Ponchio, M. C., Barth, N. L., & Zambaldi, F. (2021). Using the internet for data collection in business research. RAUSP Management Journal, 56(2), 254–258.

Potipiroon, W., & Ford, M. T. (2021). Does leader humor influence employee voice? The mediating role of psychological safety and the moderating role of team humor. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 28(4), 415–428.

Pundt, A. (2015). The relationship between humorous leadership and innovative behavior. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 30(8), 878–893.

Rosenberg, C., Walker, A., Leiter, M., & Graffam, J. (2021). Humor in workplace leadership: A systematic search scoping review. Frontiers in Psychology, 12(7), 1–18.

Sholikhah, Z. (2021). Pengaruh kepemimpinan rendah hati, kualitas kehidupan kerja dan motivasi pelayanan terhadap organizational citizenship behavior pegawai sektor publik. Jurnal Pro Bisnis, 14(1), 53–67. retrieved from

Souza, A. M., Araujo, B. F. von B. de., Andrade, A. M. de., & Cerqueira, A. dos S. (2019). Humor at work: a study about the relationship between humor styles, satisfaction with management and individual job performance. Universidade Federal de Santa

Maria, 12(4), 803–820.

Speer, S. A. (2019). Reconsidering self‐deprecation as a communication practice. British Journal of Social Psychology, 58(4), 806–828.

Stangor, C. (2011). Research methods for behavioral sciences (4th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Su, W., Lin, X., & Ding, H. (2019). The influence of supervisor developmental feedback on employee innovative behavior: A moderated mediation model. Frontiers in Psychology, 10(7), 1–12.

Sungkar, Y., & Partini. (2015). Sense of humor sebagai langkah meningkatkan kepercayaan diri guru PPL dalam proses belajar mengajar. Indigenous: Jurnal Ilmiah Psikologi, 13(1), 92–101.

Tahmidaten, L., & Krismanto, W. (2020). Permasalahan budaya membaca di Indonesia (Studi pustaka tentang problematika & solusinya). Scholaria: Jurnal Pendidikan Dan Kebudayaan, 10(1), 22–33.

Tang, L., & Sun, S. (2021). How does leader self-deprecating humor affect creative performance? The role of creative self-efficacy and power distance. Finance Research Letters, 42, 102344.

Tourangeau, R., Sun, H., Yan, T., Maitland, A., Rivero, G., & Williams, D. (2017). Web surveys by smartphones and tablets: effects on data quality. Social Science Computer Review, 36(5), 542–556.

Utami, L. D. (2021). Tingkat literasi Indonesia di dunia rendah, ranking 62 dari 70 negara. Perpustakaan Kemendagri. retrieved from by admin on Maret,yang memiliki tingkat literasi rendah.

Wardani, F. L. R., & Uyun, Z. (2017). “Ngajeni wong liyo” Menghormati orang yang lebih tua pada remaja etnis Jawa. Indigenous: Jurnal Ilmiah Psikologi, 2(2), 176–183.

Wells, T., Bailey, J. T., & Link, M. W. (2013). Comparison of smartphone and online computer survey administration. Social Science Computer Review, 32(2), 238–255.

Wenling, L., Wanliang, D., Enhua, H., & Jiaoping, Y. (2022). Can similar interest bring innovation:the impact of leader-team congruence in leader humor on team innovation. Journal Science & Technology Progress And Policy, 39(2), 128–138. 10.6049/kjjbydc.CQ202107185

Xu, J. (2020). The review of humorous leader. Open Journal of Business and Management, 8(2), 542–551.

Yuan, Y. (2021). Leader–employee congruence in humor and innovative behavior: The moderating role of dynamic tenure. Frontiers in Psychology, 12(3), 1–11.

Zhang, J., & Su, W. (2020). Linking leader humor to employee innovative behavior: The roles of work engagement and supervisor’s organizational embodiment. Frontiers in Psychology, 11(12), 1–11.

Zolczer, P. (2016). Translating humour in audiovisual media. European Journal of Humour Research, 4(1), 76–92.

Article Metrics

Abstract view(s): 304 time(s)
PDF: 347 time(s)


  • There are currently no refbacks.