Immigrant Adjustment: The Importance of Humor

By Daniel W. Lund.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This study examines the important role of humor in the effective new-country and new-organization adjustment of professionally-skilled immigrants in Australia. Interviews were conducted with a diverse group of immigrants and native-born Australians working in a large state-owned university. Humor was found to be a key factor in promoting the effective adjustment and emotional well-being of the immigrants. The nature of humor, however, and what was considered ‘funny’ was found to be distinctly different amongst the immigrants and the host-country Australians. Australian styles of humor were generally considered ‘un-funny’ by the immigrants. Many of the immigrants valued home-culture humor on par with home-culture food. The immigrants that did not have social interactions with people from their home-cultures reported having considerable personal difficulties adjusting in Australia and expressed their desire for sharing a familiar sense of humor. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed in relation to the adjustment literature.

Keywords: Adjustment, Immigrant, Humor, Culture

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp.169-182. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 810.498KB).

Dr. Daniel W. Lund

Assistant Professor, Department of Business Administration, Fudan School of Management, Fudan University, Shanghai, Shanghai, China

Research Areas include: organizational socialization, international HRM, expatriate adjustment, intercultural management and training, Chinese and Western management, Young Chinese entrepreneurs, Organizational and managerial effectiveness and commitment.


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