Two Awards for "Humor in Management Education"
For years, we have deliberately incorporated humor into university education. André Martinuzzi has been honored as the 'WU Researcher of the Month' for this, and a workshop hosted around this topic has been recognized by the Academy of Management.
Humor is a highly effective tool in communication and management. It creates a positive atmosphere and establishes a trusting relationship among the individuals involved. But does humor have a place in university education, even when dealing with serious and demanding topics? Could students write comedy instead of seminar papers? What effects does this have on their learning success? Professor André Martinuzzi, head of the WU Institute for Sustainable Management, has employed humor as a method of experiential learning and scientifically examined its effects.
For five years, a team from the WU Institute for Sustainable Management, led by Professor André Martinuzzi, has been using humor as a method of experiential learning. They have tasked students with creating comedy scripts on a wide variety of topics, evaluated the resulting effects scientifically, and developed a toolbox for use in management and sustainability education. Collaboration took place with the American Improv Theater in Vienna and with Markus Hennig, the multiple award-winning Lead Gag Author of ZDF's "Magazin Royal."
The toolbox, "Sustainable Business - Laughter and Learning," offers diverse applications, from an entire master's course to a four-hour block in the WU's bachelor's program. The method draws on approaches from comedy schools and imparts a understanding of the fundamentals of humor to the students. They are guided to develop their own humorous texts and led towards producing high-quality comedy scripts.
Humor enhances trust and relationships between teachers and students, creates a positive learning atmosphere, reduces stress, promotes an optimistic mood, and strengthens the perception of competence and credibility of the instructors. All of this contributes to better learning outcomes and greater success. In the fields of sustainability and sustainable business, humor has even more far-reaching effects. Scientific accompanying research has shown that humor as an experiential learning method fosters critical thinking and creativity, helps students deal with emotionally difficult subjects, improves their communication skills, and supports them in becoming agents of change.
Our diverse activities and documented successes have garnered significant attention in recent months:
André Martinuzzi was named WU Researcher of the Month in June 2023.
In August, Die Presse reported on our activities.
A workshop we designed was honored as the "Best Practitioner Workshop" by the Academy of Management (MED Division) in August 2023.
For more information, please visit: www.TEACHING-HUMOR.eu
Scientific publication on the topic: Spörk, A.; Martinuzzi, A., Findler, F., Vogel-Pöschl, H. (2022): When students write comedy scripts: humor as an experiential learning method in environmental education, in: Environmental Education Research, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp. 552-568 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/13504622.2022.2136626