Workplace fun is an organizational phenomenon intended to bring cheerfulness and joviality to employees’ daily work-related interactions. Because of its uplifting nature, workplace fun is prevalent in numerous organizations. A great number of employees have experienced some aspect of having fun at work. This actuality makes the concept of having fun at work familiar to most employees. HRD practitioners use workplace fun to engage employees. However, research has associated workplace fun with employee disengagement as well. Organizational culture potentially explains the different effects of workplace fun on employee engagement. Organizations with clan cultures have a family-like feel. Contrastingly, hierarchy cultures have a more stringent and rigid structure. Because little is known about influencers of workplace fun engagement outcomes, it was crucial and significant to explore how these HRD constructs all work together to advance organizational performance. I explored the following research questions: To what extent is workplace fun associated with employee engagement? How does organizational culture type influence the relationship between workplace fun and employee engagement? I drew on the affective events theory (AET) and the temporal appraisal of fun framework (TAFF) to examine the relationship between workplace fun and employee engagement. A cross-sectional survey design was utilized to examine the relationship between workplace fun, employee engagement, and two dimensions of organizational culture (clan and hierarchy), while controlling for personality types (as measured by the big five traits in neuroticism, open-mindedness, conscientiousness, extraversion, and agreeableness) and five generational cohorts (silent, baby boomer, Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z). This study used participants solicited from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk (MTurk) to test if the organizational clan and organizational hierarchy culture moderates the relationship between workplace fun and employee engagement. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to assess the measurement instruments of the study. Hierarchical linear regression (HLR) was adopted to test the hypotheses and examine the relationships between the variables of interest. The results indicated that workplace fun does significantly increase employee engagement. However, neither the clan nor the hierarchy culture had a practically significant moderating effect on the relationship between fun and engagement. Interpretations of the findings, in relation to significant workplace fun literature are presented. Implications for theory, research, and practice are discussed.

Date of publication

Summer 7-14-2022

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Greg Wang, Kim Nimon, Judy Sun


Human Resource Development

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