Assistant Professor Dr. Weiting Tao from the University of Miami School of Communication’s Department of Strategic Communication was recently awarded funding in the form of a grant from the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication at Penn State University.

Tao’s project, Employee Prosocial Engagement in CSR through Empowerment in Decision Making, was awarded $10,000 by the center as part of their 2016-2017 Joint Faculty-Practitioner Grant.

According to Tao, “The purpose of this project is to examine how companies can motivate employees’ prosocial behavior through corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs. Specifically, it looks into the idea of letting employees create their own CSR programs to support personally-relevant social causes.”

Aligned with Dr. Tao’s previous academic work, which has focused on the effectiveness of corporate communication, “this empowerment process is expected to satisfy employees’ basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, which would in turn sustain employees’ prosocial engagement and organization commitment over time.”

With funding immediately being made available, Tao is eager to break ground on this work.

“I am very honored to receive this prestigious award. This is a great opportunity to advance our knowledge on ethics and responsibility in corporate communication. I can’t wait to move this project forward and bring important insights to corporate practice, ” says Tao.