Ph.D., Organization Studies, 2001
Schulich School of Business
York University
Toronto, Canada

MBA, (using the Case Method), 1988
Ivey Business School
Western University
London, Canada

B.A., Philosophy & Economics, 1985
Wilfrid Laurier University
Waterloo, Canada


Graduate Studies, Psychology, 2005
Brooklyn Campus
Long Island University
Brooklyn, New York

Special Studies, Psychology of Religion, 1991
Woodsworth College
University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada


The effectiveness of humor in persuasion: The case of business ethics training.

UMI Dissertations Listing NQ70570

Or, READ IT HERE for free.


Humor is a ubiquitous and under-researched phenomenon.  Previous research on its effectiveness in persuasion has produced conflicting and inconclusive results.  Accordingly, this study began by developing theory about when the use of humor could be expected to be effective, based on a review and integration of existing humor theory and persuasion theory.  The Ethics Challenge (Lockheed Martin's board game that uses Dilbert cartoons to teach about ethics) was selected for an experiment to test this theory.  As elements of the humor were removed, changes in the effectiveness of the game were noted. The independent variable was humor (cartoons, wisecracks, neither, or both) and the dependent variable was persuasion (changes in behavioral intentions and descriptive adjective ratings).  Overall, it was the removal of irony and self-effacing humor that had the most significant impact on the effectiveness of the persuasive message.

Thesis Supervisor: Ronald J. Burke
BA (Manitoba); MA & PhD (Michigan)
Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Professor (York)
Thesis Advisor: David E. Dimick
BA (St. Olaf); MA & PhD (Minnesota)
Career Development/HRM
Associate Professor (York)
Thesis Advisor: Robert G. Lucas (1944-2009)
BComm & MSc (UBC); PhD (Cornell)
Organizational Culture
Associate Professor (York)
Dean's Representative: Rekha Karambayya
BSc (Madras); MBA (IIM); PhD (Northwestern)
Diversity in Organizations
Associate Professor (York)
Internal Examiner: Esther Greenglass
BA, MA, and PhD (Toronto)
Social Psychology
Professor (York)
External Examiner: Gene Deszca
BA, MBA (Western); PhD (York)
Organizational Change
Professor (WLU)


Teaching with Cases Online: Web-Based Training, Harvard University, February 24-March 12, 2015.

The Case Method Teaching Seminar: Part II at Harvard University June 14-15, 2013.

OL2000: Online Teacher Training from the World Campus of the Pennsylvania State University, 2010.

Seventh International Summer School and Symposium on Humour and Laughter, University of Aberdeen (Scotland), July 9-14, 2007.

Faculty Development Workshops at Long Island University under Judith Kirchhoff, Jason Zhu, and Aaron Lieberman.

The Art and Craft of Discussion Leadership at Harvard University at the end of April 2004.

Web-based training in classroom technology with McGraw-Hill at the beginning of April 2004.

Studied under award-winning teachers Ronald J. Burke and Christine Oliver (former editor of Administrative Sciences Quarterly) and organizational scholar Gareth Morgan (Images of Organization) at York University.

For five semesters, supported Gareth Morgan, Asaf Zohar, and Pat Bradshaw in developing independence and collaboration within project teams as part of the Management Skills course initiated by my thesis advisor, Rob Lucas.

During 1997, completed a graduate course in University Teaching and Learning at York University. In that context, participated in videotaped teaching and feedback sessions, teleconferencing seminars, and multicultural sensitivity training.

In 1995, attended the 15th Annual Conference on Critical Thinking at Sonoma University near Santa Rosa, California. Spent two additional days there studying the Socratic method under Richard Paul. After the conference, offered in-service seminars at the Toronto campus of DeVry University. Faculty members were inspired to redesign the student orientation course (STOR 115) to include a critical thinking component, and to adopt the textbook I recommended.


Nominated for Teaching Excellence Award, 2009 & 2010
Pennsylvania State University - Great Valley

Excellence in Student Service Award, 2007
Academic Advisement Center
Long Island University

Nominated for U.S. Professor of the Year, 2007
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Nominated for the David E. Newton Award
for Teaching Excellence, 2006 & 2007
Long Island University

27 graduate credits in psychology, 2003-2005
Department of Psychology, Long Island University

Sam M. Walton Free Enterprise Fellow, 2001-2003

Anthony P. Cunliffe Award (Scholarship), 1996
Schulich School of Business, York University

54 credits in comparative religion, 1989-91
Woodsworth College, University of Toronto

First Year Entrance Scholarship, 1985
Richard Ivey School, University of Western Ontario

GMAT score = 740

Life Member of Mensa


Postgraduate Courses
Department of Psychology, Long Island University
Research Design II
Schulich School of Business, York University
Philosophy and Method in the Social Sciences
Statistical Methods for Business Research
Qualitative Methods
Research Writing Practicum
Advanced Quantitative Methods
Individual and Group Behavior
Independent Study: Business Ethics
Advanced Topics in Organization Theory
Independent Study: Humor in the Workplace
Graduate Courses
Department of Psychology, Long Island University
Contemporary Psychological Theory
Introduction to Clinical Psychology
Psychology Independent Study
Professional Issues & Ethics
History of Psychotherapy
Therapeutic Intervention
Practicum in Psychology
Tests & Measurement
School of Graduate Studies, York University
Systemic Approaches to Interpersonal Change
University Teaching and Learning
Philosophy of Psychotherapy
Department of Philosophy, Western University
Special Topics in Values Theory: Interpretation
Ivey Business School, Western University
Marketing Management
Managerial Communication
Finance for Managers
Operations Management
Economics for Managers
Management Science
Accounting for Management
Management Behavior
Business Policy
End User Computing
Managers of Change
Political Environment of Business
Human Resource Management
Legal Environment of Business
Interpersonal Skills
Special Topics: Creative Leadership
Undergraduate Courses
Woodsworth College, University of Toronto
Introduction to Psychology
Introductory Psychology of Religion
Jung's Theories of Religion
Freud's Theories of Religion
Religion: East and West
Introductory New Testament
East Asian Religions
Religious Consciousness
Comparative World Religions
The New Religions of Japan
Religious Self-Deception
Confucian Philosophy
Faculty of Arts, Wilfrid Laurier University
Philosophy and Contemporary Life I
Philosophy and Contemporary Life II
Logic and Critical Thinking
Introductory Logic
Ethical Theories
The Philosophy of Law
Models of Human Intelligence
Existentialist Themes
The Quest for World Peace
Problems of the Self
Business Ethics
Basic Christian Ethics
Introduction to Sociology
Introduction to Logic & Algebra
Digital Electronics I
The Physics of Music
Basic Materials in Theory
School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University
Introduction to Business Organization
Computer Fundamentals
Introduction to Financial Accounting
Business Law
Accounting: Basic Decision Process
Interpersonal Communication
Introduction to Marketing
Working Capital Management
Financial Management II
Organizational Behavior
Administrative Practices
Personnel Management
Business & Economics in the Greco-Roman Period
Introduction to Economics
Intermediate Microeconomics
Intermediate Macroeconomics
Decision Analysis
Basic Statistics
Industrial Organization: Theory and Evidence
Industrial Organization: Competition Policy
Enterprise and Public Policy
Industrial Relations and the Labor Market
Theories of Economic Regulation


© 2019, Jim Lyttle