Michele Williams of Cornell University's ILR School said that failed workplace humor; be it a poorly timed joke or humor that is downright offensive, impacts people's moods and confidence, sometimes could even cause serious damage.
She further explained that managers and organizations could, however, do a lot to prevent these faux pas from damaging relationships and trust with creativity and other benefits of positive team culture.
The study established that if an organization has a culture that promotes empathy and learning, then it might make people less susceptible to guilt, more resilient to failures and encourages them to help others feel more positive.
It was found that managers who combine a positive culture with interpersonal skill training could enhance employee confidence in maintaining that positive workplace culture, even in the face of bad humor, setbacks and failures that are part of all work relationships.
The study suggested that perspective taking, the empathetic process of 'imagining how others feel', might level the playing field for both men and women by making them better able to use the feedback from humor in productive ways.