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Marketing Seminars

The Discipline of Marketing seminar organiser is Marylouise Caldwell.

To RSVP for any of these seminars contact Bettina Leate.

Upcoming Seminars

26th Feb 2016 - 02:00 pm

Venue: Room 4202, Level 4, Abercrombie Building (H70)

Speaker: Michael Kleinaltenkamp; Christine Mathies,

Title: Antecedents and consequences of humour for service


Cross-disciplinary humor research has recognised the relevance of humour as an effective  communication tool for generating engagement and inducing happiness, and more generally for fostering positive interpersonal relationships. While researchers in other disciplines seek to determine the impact of humour on personal interactions, studies of humour in service encounters are sparse. The purpose of this paper is to examine antecedents, types, and outcomes of humour usage in services, especially on customer satisfaction. In particular, we examine the interrelationships of customers’ sense of humour, their perceptions of service staff’s humour use, and their service encounter enjoyment and satisfaction.

In an empirical study in various service settings in Australia and Germany, we examine how service employees’ use of different types of humour influences customers’ evaluations of the service encounter. We also investigate in how far these effects are driven by customers’ humour recognition, which is a particular humour-related personality trait.

As we would expect, the results show that the customers' ability to recognise humour determines in how far they perceive the employee to use any type of humour, and their general enjoyment of the service encounter.  However, not all humour is equal, and the effects of positive humour, both affiliative and self-enhancing, differ from those of negative, self-deprecating humour. We also found that the links between humour recognition and humour perceptions, and subsequently encounter satisfaction and enjoyment are contingent on various moderators.


Dr Michael Kleinaltenkamp

Professor of Business and Services Marketing at the Marketing Department of Freie Universität Berlin, Germany, and the director of the “Executive Master of Business Marketing” program since 1992. In November 2013 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of the University of Rostock, Germany.

His research focusses on business-to-business and services marketing, relationship marketing and marketing theory.

He has published in leading marketing journals such as Industrial Marketing Management, Marketing Theory, Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, Journal of Service Management and Journal of Service Theory and Practice. Furthermore, Michael Kleinaltenkamp is the co-editor of the textbook series “Mastering Business Markets” to which he contributed several book chapters. Michael is also the founding editor of the Journal of Business Market Management.

Since 2004 Prof  Kleinaltenkamp serves as a permanent Visiting Professor of the European  School of Management and Technology (ESMT) Berlin Germany, and since 2012 has  been a Recognised Teacher at Cranfield University School of Management, UK.

He was also a  Visiting Scholar at the School of Marketing of the University of New South  Wales, Sydney, Australia, from October 2007 to January 2008.

Dr Christine Mathies

A senior lecturer at the School of Marketing,  UNSW Business School, Australia. Her research and teaching focuses on  services marketing. She is particularly interested in psychological  influences on customer choices, revenue management, the customer service  behaviours of frontline employees, and the use of humour in service  interactions.