Nicoleta Acatrinei Ph.D.

Associate Research Scholar
Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative, Center for the Study of Religion
Office Location: 
5 Ivy Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540


Nicoleta Acatrinei is an economist and started her career in banking. The reality of the business world forced her to inquire about the relevance of the assumption of the egoistic nature of homo oeconomicus. This research question became the cornerstone of her academic trajectory covering fields including theology, anthropology, moral decision making, and work psychology. She received her Ph.D. in 2014 from Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration (IDHEAP), Switzerland, entitled Work motivation and pro-social behavior in the delivery of public services: theoretical and empirical insights (free download, published in 2016 by in Geneva, Switzerland). By combining behavioral economics with work motivation, she shows that intrinsic and extrinsic motivations may coexist simultaneously and that both types of motivation may foster pro-social and altruistic behavior at work. She has authored books, book chapters, and journal articles, including Saint John Chrysostom and Homo oeconomicus (2008); Let’s talk about money, let’s talk about human nature (2007); The determinants of work motivation in the delivery of public services: the case of the Swiss education sector (2015); and Perspectives of Saint John Chrysostom for the VUCA world. An integrative mindfulness program to cope with managerial challenges in a VUCA world (published in 2017 by Springer). She designed a mindfulness protocol and an economic measurement model for spiritual growth to be implemented in companies and organizations in order to increase employees engagement, prosociality, well-being and ethical behavior at the workplace as well as their capacity of problem-solving and coping with stress with positive outcomes on moral decision-making,  innovation, creativity, and performance.  She is contributing to the ongoing research at Princeton’s Faith & Work initiative, mainly concerning the development of The Integration Profile (TIP) instrument and its application in the business field. She launched an international test of the TIP instrument, which is being translated in almost ten languages such as Chinese, Hindu, German, French, Polish, Romanian, Rusian, Dutch, Spanish and soon in Arab and Turkish.