Irina Cojuharenco

Dr Irina Cojuharenco

Reader, Founding Director of the University of Surrey Business and Economic Experiments (USBEE) Laboratory
+44 (0)1483 688618
52 MS 03



Irina Cojuharenco earned PhD and MSc degrees in Economics and Management at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona (Spain). She joined the University of Surrey in 2017 as Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Leadership and Decision Making. Irina has taught courses in leadership, negotiation, organisational behaviour, organisation theory and decision making at different levels of instruction in Europe (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Universidade Catolica Portuguesa) and in the US (Northeastern University, Johns Hopkins University). She was a visiting scholar with the department of psychology at the University of Maryland and the Sloan School of Management at MIT. She currently teaches managerial decision making and research methods at Surrey Business School. Her research focuses on individual judgment and decision-making in organisations, subjective well-being and organisational justice. Her work has been published in international academic journals Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, MIS Quarterly, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Journal of Business Ethics, Group and Organization Management, Judgment and Decision Making, Journal of Environmental Psychology, and Journal of Mathematical Psychology, and presented at numerous international conferences.

Research interests

Decision Making, Leadership, Organisational Behaviour, Negotiation


Irina Cojuharenco, David Patient (2013)Workplace fairness versus unfairness: Examining the differential salience of facets of organizational justice, In: Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology86(3)pp. 371-393 Wiley

In three studies, we show that employees bring to mind different facets of justice when focusing on workplace fairness versus unfairness. In Study 1, descriptions of recalled fair versus recalled unfair events are shown to be less multifaceted, more likely to include distributive justice, and less likely to include interactional justice. In Study 2, when asked to assess event fairness versus unfairness, participants posed fewer questions relating to interactional justice in relation to fair events. In Study 3, the results of a scenario experiment show that the relationship between unfairness/fairness and the salience of justice facets is mediated by the construal of work in more abstract terms in relation to fairness. We discuss the implications of our findings for organizational justice research and for organizations managing employee perceptions of fairness.

Marion Fortin, Irina Cojuharenco, David Patient, Hayley German (2014)It is time for justice: How time changes what we know about justice judgments and justice effects, In: Journal of Organizational Behavior37pp. S30-S56 Wiley

Organizational justice is an important determinant of workplace attitudes, decisions, and behaviors. However, understanding workplace fairness requires not only examining what happens but also when it happens, in terms of justice events, perceptions, and reactions. We organize and discuss findings from 194 justice articles with temporal aspects, selected from over a thousand empirical justice articles. By examining temporal aspects, our findings enrich and sometimes challenge the answers to three key questions in the organizational justice literature relating to (i) when individuals pay attention to fairness, including specific facets, (ii) how fairness judgments form and evolve, and (iii) how reactions to perceived (in)justice unfold. Our review identifies promising avenues for empirical work and emphasizes the importance of developing temporal theories of justice. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Irina Cojuharenco, Natalia Karelaia (2020)When leaders ask questions: Can humility premiums buffer the effects of competence penalties?, In: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes156pp. 113-134 Elsevier

We advance a questions-as-information approach to the study of the consequences of asking questions for leader effectiveness. We contend that questions go beyond their instrumental purpose to convey information about the asker’s lack of competence and high humility, and thus inform possible doubts about the leader, producing competence penalties and humility premiums. In Study 1, we find that most practitioners do not ask questions at every opportunity and many do not endorse questions as a way of looking competent, especially if competence is in doubt. In Studies 2–5, we shed light on both the competence and humility repercussions of questioning. We find that competence penalties occur when leader competence is in doubt ex ante, but humility premiums are pervasive. Humility premiums affect leader helping and trust positively and buffer the negative effects of competence penalties. We discuss the implications of our findings for leadership, communication, and decision making in organizations.

Irina Cojuharenco, Gert Cornelissen, Natalia Karelaia (2016)'Yes, We Can!': Self-construal, Perceived Ability to Make a Difference, and Socially Responsible Behavior, In: Journal of Environmental Psychology48pp. 75-86 Elsevier

A crucial determinant of socially responsible behavior is the extent to which people perceive their contributions to the collective good to be effective. We suggest that the sense of connectedness to others is an important driver of the perceived effectiveness of one's actions. The more individuals feel connected to others, the more they believe that their actions have a substantial impact on the collective good. As a result, those who feel more connected are more likely to engage in socially responsible behavior. We tested these predictions in one correlational and three experimental studies, involving behavioral measures such as exerting effort in support of a pro-environmental organization and contributing financially to a social cause. The data supported the hypothesized relationship between sense of connectedness, the perceived effectiveness of one's actions, and socially responsible behavior.

Irina Cojuharenco, Garriy Shteynberg, Michele Gelfand, Marshall Schminke (2011)Self-Construal and Unethical Behavior, In: Journal of Business Ethics109(4)pp. 447-461 Springer Verlag

We suggest that understanding unethical behavior in organizations involves understanding how people view themselves and their relationships with others, a concept known as self-construal. Across multiple studies, employing both field and laboratory settings, we examine the impact of three dimensions of self-construal (independent, relational, and collective) on unethical behavior. Our results show that higher levels of relational self-construal relate negatively to unethical behavior. We also find that differences in levels of relational self for men and women mediate gender differences in unethical behavior. We discuss both the theoretical and practical implications of these findings.

Irina Cojuharenco, David Patient, Michael R. Bashshur (2011)Seeing the “forest” or the “trees” of organizational justice: Effects of temporal perspective on employee concerns about unfair treatment at work, In: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes116(1)pp. 17-31 Elsevier

What events do employees recall or anticipate when they think of past or future unfair treatment at work? We propose that an employee’s temporal perspective can change the salience of different types of injustice through its effect on cognitions about employment. Study 1 used a survey in which employee temporal focus was measured as an individual difference. Whereas greater levels of future focus related positively to concerns about distributive injustice, greater levels of present focus related positively to concerns about interactional injustice. In Study 2, an experimental design focused employee attention on timeframes that differed in temporal orientation and temporal distance. Whereas distributive injustice was more salient when future (versus past) orientation was induced, interactional injustice was more salient when past orientation was induced and at less temporal distance. Study 3 showed that the mechanism underlying the effect of employee temporal perspective is abstract versus concrete cognitions about employment.

Irina Cojuharenco, Francesco Sguera (2014)When Empathic Concern and Perspective Taking Matter for Ethical Judgment: The Role of Time Hurriedness, In: Journal of Business Ethics130(3)pp. 717-725 Springer Verlag

Based on a dual process view of ethical judgment, we examine the role of empathic concern and perspective taking on the acceptability of lying to protect the company. We hypothesize that these traits will matter to a different extent under conditions of high and low perceived time hurriedness. Our research hypotheses are tested in a survey of 134 US workers. Results show that empathic concern reduces the acceptability of lying to protect the company for individuals who tend to do things quickly and feel in a hurry at work. On the other hand, perspective taking reduces the acceptability of lying for individuals who experience low levels of time hurriedness. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

Irina Cojuharenco, T. Marques, D. Patient (2017)Tell me who, and I’ll tell you how fair: A model of agent bias in justice reasoning, In: Group and Organization Management42(5)pp. 630-656 SAGE Publications

A salient and under-researched aspect of un/fair treatment in organizations can be the source of justice, in terms of a specific justice agent. We propose a model of agent bias to describe how and when characteristics of the agent enacting justice are important to justice reasoning. The agent bias is defined as the effect on overall event justice perceptions of specific agent characteristics, over and above the effect via distributive, procedural, and interactional justice. For justice recipients to focus on agent characteristics rather than on the event being evaluated in terms of fairness is an unexplored bias in justice judgments. Agent warmth, competence, and past justice track record (entity justice) are identified as agent characteristics that influence justice judgments. Agent characteristics can influence overall event justice perceptions positively or negatively, depending on the ambiguity in terms of justice of the event and on its expectedness from a particular justice agent. Finally, we propose that agent bias is stronger when justice recipients use intuitive versus analytic information processing of event information. Our model of agent bias has important theoretical implications for theories of organizational justice and for other literatures, as well as important practical implications for organizations and managers.

Irina Cojuharenco, Dmitry Ryvkin (2008)Peak–End rule versus average utility: How utility aggregation affects evaluations of experiences, In: Journal of Mathematical Psychology52(5)pp. 326-335 Elsevier

The “Peak–End rule” which averages only the most extreme (Peak) and the final (End) impressions, is often a better predictor of overall evaluations of experiences than average impressions. We investigate the similarity between the evaluations of experiences based on Peak–End and average impressions. We show that the use of the Peak–End rule in cross-experience comparisons can be compatible with preferences for experiences that are better on average. Two conditions are shown to make rankings of experiences similar regardless of the aggregation rule: (i) the individual heterogeneity in the perception of stimuli, and (ii) the persistence in impressions. We describe their effects theoretically, and obtain empirical estimates using data from previous research. Higher estimates are shown to increase correlational measures of association between the Peak–End and average impressions. The high association per se is shown to be not only a theoretical possibility, but an empirical fact.

Eugene Sadler-Smith, Irina Cojuharenco (2021)Business Schools and Hubris: Cause or Cure?, In: Academy of Management learning & education20(2)pp. 270-289

The attributes of hubris are over-confidence, arrogance, pride, and contempt for the advice and criticism of others. Hubris is fuelled by prior successes and media praise and aided and abetted by complicit followership. It manifests as recklessness and is potentially destructive in that it creates the conditions for unintended negative consequences to arise, leading potentially to destructive outcomes for individuals, organizations, and entire industries. Given the possibility of destructive outcomes emanating from hubris, its prevention and cure through management learning and education could be an important way of tempering the risks associated with a hubris hazard in business. In this essay we offer the “provocation” that business schools may have contributed inadvertently to the emergence of hubris, and a “proposal” that management learning and education is an important means for preventing hubris from taking hold in business. In doing so, we contribute to ongoing debates about business school epistemologies, curricula and pedagogies, and about the nature and purpose of business education and the institution of university business schools. We offer novel theoretical and practical contributions regarding epistemic hubris and epistemic humility, the status of humility as a meta-virtue, and how it may be possible to temper hubris by educating for humility.

D Patient, Irina Cojuharenco, M Fortin (2017)The “when” of justice events and why it matters, In: R Cropanzano, M Ambrose (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Justice in the Workplace Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews research and theory pertaining to the effect of temporal characteristics of events on perceptions of and reactions to organizational justice. In order to set the context for empirical findings, we first review dynamic aspects of classical and more recent justice theories. We then review findings on several temporal aspects of justice events, including dynamic features (timing, duration of event, and frequency) and temporal perspective (distance, orientation, and scale). Maintaining our focus on specific events, we conclude the chapter by proposing theoretical and empirical avenues for including time in future investigation of organizational justice.

Irina Cojuharenco, JW Van Prooijen, D Patient (2017)The role of memory in judgments of organizational justice, In: SW Gilliland, DD Steiner, DP Skarlicki (eds.), Emerging Perspectives on Organizational Justice and Ethics Information Age Publishing
D Patient, T Marques, Irina Cojuharenco (2017)The 'Who' of Organisational Justice: Source effects on justice judgments, In: C Moliner, R Cropanzano, V Martinez-Tur (eds.), Organizational Justice: International perspectives and conceptual advances, Emerging Issues in Work and Organizational Psychology Series Routledge, Taylor, & Francis
Harpeet Singh, Rohit Aggarwal, Irina Cojuharenco (2015)Strike a happy medium: The effect of IT-knowledge on VCs’ overconfidence in IT-investments, In: MIS Quarterly39(4)pp. 887-908 University of Minnesota, Management Information Systems Research Center

In this article, the effect of IT knowledge on the overconfidence of venture capitalists (VCs) in their IT investments is examined. Our findings show that the effect of IT knowledge on overconfidence is nonlinear. VCs with moderate levels of IT knowledge are least overconfident. At the same time, VCs with moderate levels of IT knowledge are most resistant to the biasing effects of past successes. Past failures show a negative association with overconfidence independent of the level of the VC’s IT knowledge. Finally, the negative association between stakes and VC overconfidence is stronger with greater levels of IT knowledge. These results shed light on the highly disputed role of IT knowledge in the domain of IT investments.

Irina Cojuharenco, M Fortin, H German (2017)Organizational justice and time: A review of the literature on justice reactions over time and directions for future research, In: A Shipp, Y Fried (eds.), Time and Work, Current Issues in Work and Organizational Psychology Series1 Psychology Press
Irina Cojuharenco (2007)Lay intuitions about overall evaluations of experiences, In: Judgment and Decision Making2(1)pp. 40-47 European Association for Decision Making

Previous research has identified important determinants of overall evaluations for experiences lived across time. By means of a novel guessing task, I study what decision-makers themselves consider important. As Informants, some participants live and evaluate an experience. As Guessers, others have to infer its overall evaluation by asking Informants questions. I rewarded accurate inferences, and analyzed and classified the questions in four experiments involving auditory, gustatory and viewing experiences. Results show that Guessers thought of overall evaluations as reflecting average momentary impressions. Moreover and alternatively, they tended to consider the personality and attitudes of the experiencing person, experience-specific holistic judgments and behavioral intentions regarding the experience. Thus, according to lay intuitions, overall evaluations are more than a reflection of the experience’s momentary impressions.