Professor Ana Cristina Costa

Professor of Organisational Behaviour / Departmental Research Director


I am Professor of Organisational Behaviour. Before joining the University of Leicester I held various academic posts both in the UK and the Netherlands, including at Brunel University London, Delft University of Technology, and Tilburg University where I obtained my PhD. I am currently Visiting Professor at University of Valencia in Spain. 

My research is centred on three interrelated topic areas: trust in organisations, innovation and well-being at work, and applicant perspectives to digital HRM practices. My work is mostly quantitative and often uses longitudinal or lagged designs with data being collected in real life settings in organisations. Currently I am co-investigator in a BA/Leverhulme Trust project studying applicant perspectives to digital technologies in selection and promotion procedures and their impact on employee attitudes and behaviours. I am member of several editorial boards and currently serve as Associate Editor of the British Journal of Management (ABS-4*). Previously I served as Associate Editor of the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology (ABS-3*) for an extended appointment period of 7 years.

I am an experienced university educator having taught in programmes in The Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. I have designed and delivered a variety of modules across the diverse fields of Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management, Organizational Psychology and Research Methods. I have also been involved in several executive development programmes covering topics such as Leadership, Teamwork and Conflict Management.  

Over the years I have performed several leadership/management roles including being Head of Division, Associate Director of an Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IDEAL - Innovation Diversity Employment and Law), Director of Postgraduate Studies, Programme leader for HRM degrees. 


My research stems from the desire to understand how team-based collaborations succeed (or fail) and how it affects or is affected by working climates, employment practices, trust relationships and wellbeing. My work is informed by various literatures including organisational justice theory, leader-member exchange, social identity, social-exchange theory, among others. My research has strong applied and quantitative components.

I have secured external finding both as principal investigator (PI) or co-Investigator (Co-I) on more than 14 grants totalling funded by various leading bodies internationally.

While in the UK, I have obtained funding from NASA- Johnson Space Centre in the USA (2015-2018) to study team trust in the specific context of extreme conditions endured by NASA astronauts on long duration space missions, and from the Leverhulme Trust Foundation (2013-2015) in collaboration with colleagues at University of Valencia (Spain) and University of Maastricht (The Netherlands) to investigate the negative implications of too much innovation and their negative consequences for employee performance, leadership member-exchange and wellbeing. Together with colleagues at University of Surrey we are currently studying applicant reactions in promotion contexts with funding from the the British Academy/Leverhulme Trust (2018-2023).

My research has impact beyond academia. I have consulted with government support organisations, community leaders, health care and other industry partners in both private and public sectors in the UK, Europe and the USA on issues relating to people's behaviour and performance at work.  


Woods, S. A., Ahmed, S., Nikolaou, I., Costa, A. C., & Anderson, N. R. (2020). Personnel selection in the digital age: a review of validity and applicant reactions, and future research challenges. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF WORK AND ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY, 29(1), 64-77. doi:10.1080/1359432X.2019.1681401

Costa, A. C., Fulmer, C. A., & Anderson, N. R. (2018). Trust in work teams: An integrative review, multilevel model, and future directions. JOURNAL OF ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOR, 39(2), 169-184. doi:10.1002/job.2213

Costa, A., Ferrin, D. L., & Fulmer, C. A. (2018). Trust at Work. In The SAGE Handbook of Industrial, Work & Organizational Psychology, 3v Personnel Psychology and Employee Performance; Organizational Psychology; Managerial Psychology and Organizational Approaches. In Ones, D, Anderson, N R, Sinangil, H K, & Viswesvaran, C, (Eds),(pp. ). SAGE.

McCarthy, J. M., Bauer, T. N., Truxillo, D. M., Anderson, N. R., Costa, A. C., & Ahmed, S. M. (2017). Applicant Perspectives During Selection: A Review Addressing "So What?," "What's New?," and "Where to Next?". JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT, 43(6), 1693-1725. doi:10.1177/0149206316681846

Costa, A., & Anderson, N. R. (2017). Team Trust. In The Wiley Blackwell Handbook of the Psychology of Team Working and Collaborative Processes. In Salas E., Ashkanasy, N, Rico, R & Passmore J. (Eds) (pp. 393-416). John Wiley & Sons Ltd. doi:10.1002/9781118909997.ch17

Costa, A. C. (2017). Trust in Organizations ☆. In Reference Module in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology. Elsevier. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-809324-5.05741-2

MacIver, R., Anderson, N., Costa, A. -C., & Evers, A. (2014). Validity of Interpretation: A user validity perspective beyond the test score. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SELECTION AND ASSESSMENT, 22(2), 149-164. doi:10.1111/ijsa.12065 


I am open for doctoral supervisions. Particularly in the following areas:

  • Trust in Organisations: Multilevel and Cross Level

Trust in central to people's behaviour in organisations. I am currently interested in research that addresses how trust develops at different levels in organisations, and the emergence of collective trust within diverse groups and teams.

I am also interested in applied projects into emotional labour, trust and control management strategies. Under which conditions these strategies become inhibitors or facilitators of performance at work and other attitudes and behaviours.  

  • Innovation and Wellbeing at Work

    With a particular focus on the so called ‘dark side’ of innovation I am particularly interested in research into the disruptive impact of innovation to those who experience it. Under which circumstances innovation can detrimental to performance and wellbeing at work.

    I am also interested in research that investigates how organisations can improve the quality of working live and wellbeing of their employees while remaining relevant and up-to-date.

  • Applicant Perspectives to Digital HRM Practices

With a focus on the fairness and transparency of selection and promotion procedures in the digital age, I am interested in research proposals that investigate the experiences of applicants in relation to e-HRM and how these impact their attitudes and behaviors once on the job and subsequent working relationships including with the leader.


I teach across the broad areas of Organisation Behaviour, HRM, Organizational Psychology and Research Methods.

I also supervise in these areas at all levels.



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