"Babeș-Bolyai" University, Cluj-Napoca


WOP – Research Center

Str. Republicii 37, 400015 Cluj Napoca
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Cognitive and affective dynamics of collaborative relationships

Effective interpersonal and intergroup collaboration is essential for group and organizational performance. Moreover, groups and multi-team systems are flexible and versatile ways of organizing work and are used to perform a variety of tasks in modern organizations and society at large.

The projects carried out by the research group explore the cognitive and affective dynamics associated with collaborative relationships. We argue that groups and multi-team systems are socio-cognitive and affective systems and we explore the way in which they integrate the cognitions and emotions of their members in order to generate solutions, to make decisions, to innovate or address complex societal issues (e.g., emergencies, rescue operations). We focus on interpersonal and intergroup relations as key dimensions that influence the emergence of system level properties (cognitions, emotions) that ultimately influence their performance. In terms of levels of analysis, we are interested in individual, group and multi-team system level antecedents and consequences of collaborative relationships. Through this comprehensive approach, in the context of collaborative relationships, we aim to gain insights on how individual, group and multi-team system functioning and effectiveness can be understood and improved.

Major research interests:

The cognitive dynamics: group learning and creativity, rationality of group decisions, emergent group cognition.
The affective dynamics: exploring the interplay of emergent states in groups as well as their antecedents and consequences; the emergence and regulation of collective emotional states;
Relational dynamics: coaching and support, social networks and decision quality

Valorization of research outcomes

The results of the research carried out in the center will be published in international outlets, and we will target especially journals listed in the ISI Web of Science. In doing so, we aim to achieve international visibility and position our research center among the most influential similar research centers in Europe. Our research focused on collaboration has important practical implications as well. Most modern organizations use teams to perform a variety of tasks ranging from production to decision making and innovation, therefore the outcomes of our research could have important implications for the optimization of collective performance in organizational groups (e.g., healthcare groups, decision-making groups, R&D teams). Moreover, complex societal issues are tackled by collaborative systems (e.g., multi-team systems, multiparty collaboration), therefore the insights of our research could support the functioning and effectiveness of such complex systems.
Through our previous research projects we have established long term working relations with institutions in the public sector (police, hospitals and emergency intervention systems, universities) and organizations in the private sector, which have already benefitted from our findings. For instance, our research on individual and group decision making directly informed the design of training programs carried out by members of our research center that aimed to improve the effectiveness of decision making processes within organizations.
We aim to further develop the partnership with key stakeholders from both the business and the public sector and establish a dialog, through which emergent research projects, with applied potential, can jointly be developed and carried out. Modern society is a (technically) connected and collaborative society in which complex interdependencies spanning levels of analysis (individual, group, multi-team systems) and contexts (health care, R&D, emergency services) are important antecedents for social innovation and growth. One of the aims of our research center is to serve these societal needs.


ERC Like - Group Rationality, PN-III-P4-ID-ERC- 2016-0008

Summary: Studies consistently showed that groups are less rational than their most rational group member is. Given this, the main aim of this research project is to find ways in which strong synergy can be created in decision-making groups through innovative research designs and thus facilitate group rationality. The research focuses on two main directions: the role of (a) group meta-cognition processes such as transactive memory systems and cross-understanding and (b) minority dissent in group rationality.

Project Manager: Petru Curșeu
Project Team: Oana Fodor, Alina Fleștea, Mara Bria, Anişoara Pavelea

Social Networks and Emotions: Implications for the Rationality of Entrepreneurial Strategic Decision Making, PN-II-RU-TE-2013-4-2111

Summary: Entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial action have important and long lasting implications: they provide job opportunities, innovate or get out of business due to mindless strategic decisions. It is therefore relevant to study the way they make entrepreneurial strategic decisions (ESDM), which involve high stakes for the company. Although the literature on ESDM has proliferated in the last decades, the positive value of the so-called ecological heuristics (i.e. heuristics that match the structure of the decision environment and produce positive decision outcomes, while saving time and energy resources for the entrepreneurs) remain largely unexplained. Therefore, this project aims to: (1) explore the way the characteristics of the social network influences the ecological rationality of the ESDM and its effectiveness, and (2) explore how emotions and emotion regulation strategies influence the ecological rationality and effectiveness of the ESDM.

Project Manager: Oana Fodor
Project Team: Renata Heilman, Alina Fleştea, Mădălina Hoandră, Petru Curşeu

Bridging the gap between theory and practice: applications from economic psychology on resource allocation decisions in organizations, GTC – 31794

Summary: Economic psychology is an inter-disciplinary field of study which investigates how people make judgments and decisions. Numerous economic psychology studies are conducted using economic games, which represent simplified decisional situations. The Ultimatum Game (UG) is a decisional task that illustrates a bargaining situation. Within this project we use the UG to simulate how two players allocate resources among them in order to investigate, first, if there are any gender differences in this specific decisional scenario, and, second, which factors might contribute to offering and accepting uneven amounts between the two players. In spite of the fact that there is a large number of independent studies that have investigated the UG, the task’s ecological validity is significantly less studied. Numerous authors only speculate that decision-makers’ preferences in the UG might reflect behavior differences in real-life situations, such as salary negotiation. However, this hypothesis has not been directly approached. There is vast scientific literature on gender gap, showing that, on average, men earn more than women, for similar jobs and workloads.

Project Manager: Renata Heilman

Competitiveness Operational Program – Research, Development and Innovation Supporting Economic Competitiveness and the Development of Businesses. - Web and Mobile App for temporal and innovative assessment of human capital at the organizational level, developed based on empirically tested psychological assessment models (OPTIMISE_4U)

Summary: This R&D project aims to develop and commercialize a web and mobile app for the assessment, monitoring and optimization of the usage of the human capital in organizations. The App will be based on psychological models that describe interaction patterns of the main organizational factors, both at the individual and group level, and their influences on specific task and team performance. We use the expertise of both organizational psychologists and IT specialists to employ verified models for job crafting and predicting performance as well as the latest technologies and trends in IT in the development process of the new web and mobile apps.

Project Manager: Lucia Raţiu
Project Team: Cătălina Oţoiu, IT specialists


Our team members currently work on obtaining financial support for a series of other research projects. The full list and descriptions can be accessed at:



The interplay between cognitive and emotional factors in the entrepreneurial strategic decision making process, GTC 34046

Summary: The project explored the impact of affective states dimensions such as valence (i.e. positive vs. negative) and certainty appraisal over the ecological rationality of entrepreneurial strategic decision making.

Part of our team has previousely worked toghether on other, now completed projects, like:

  • Research Grant FP7 nr. 241918, 2010 - 2014, Comparative Police Studies in the European Union, COMPOSITE, finanțare: Erasmus University Rotterdam; partners: United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Spain, Macedonia, Romania and Czech Republic. www.composite-project.eu
  • POSDRU, contract POSDRU/86/1.2/S/60281, 2010 - 2013: Strengthening competence oriented higher education. www.iisoc.psychology.ro
  • TEMPUS 159287-2009 - 2013, 145497- Tempus-2008-FR-JPCR – Development and Support of a Masters Program in Work Psychology in Universities of Maghreb, 2009 – 2012, Financing: Universite Pierre Mendes Grenoble II France; partners: Spain, Belgium, Italy, Romania, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco.


Lista publicatii WOP