Humour Matters in Service Design Workshops
Ahola, Helena; Aro, Päivi; Vuorela, Taina (2016)
Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
Copyright The Authors, 2016.
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
Humour is present in our everyday life, as well as in companies' boardrooms, but it could be used more strategically in business innovation. Although there is an ample amount of research on humour in advertising, and there is increasing interest in emotions in business research, there is a gap in how to use humour in order to advance business innovation: creating new products and services. Service design thinking processes offer an opportunity to study humour in innovation workshops. The present paper discusses how humour could be studied in service design workshops of nine companies involved in a Tekes-funded humour-related research project in 2016. The purpose of the paper is to suggest a research framework in order to get more understanding of the role of humour in service design processes, particularly in workshops and their outcomes. The main research question is whether humour advances the process and the outcome of service design workshops and if yes, how. Humour and playfulness will be defined, and how to measure them discussed. The paper will accomplish the following: firstly, theoretical foundations are laid for humour, playfulness, humour in group work and humour in workshops' outcomes. Secondly, we propose a research agenda for empirical studies. Expected results from the empirical studies will provide new insight into the importance of humour in service design workshop processes and outcomes. The contribution of the present paper will be twofold: theoretical – a research framework for analysing humour in service design processes (process and outcome) and managerial – how humour can be used to improve the service design workshops in companies, e.g. to improve the quality of the process, as well as the results. We are particularly interested in the possibility of integrating humour in business models and value propositions of companies and the present paper may contribute to this aim.