Fun in the workplace: A review and expanded theoretical perspective

John W. Michel, Michael J. Tews, David G. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Since the turn of the century, a growing body of research has systemically examined the role of fun in the workplace. In general, the extant body of research has demonstrated that fun in the workplace has a beneficial impact for individuals and organizations, but some evidence has been mixed. To help advance research in this area, the aims of this paper are two-fold. The first aim is to review previous research on fun in the workplace and identify gaps in the literature to provide direction for future work. The second aim is to offer a theoretical framework that helps explain how individuals may interpret fun in the workplace and how it may be most beneficial. Drawing on the notion that fun in the workplace is in the eye of the beholder, our proposed framework provides a more nuanced understanding of the temporal processes and contextual factors that explain how individuals appraise and ultimately benefit from fun.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-110
Number of pages13
JournalHuman Resource Management Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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