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Dr. Yao earns sabbatical, will travel to China for research
By Tyler Laughlin
Dr. Shuo Yao has passed the sabbatical application process and will spend the spring 2017 semester in her homeland of China where she will engage in research.
Like many students know around campus, Yao is great at what she does and it is no surprise to students who have taken a class with her that she was awarded the chance to go back to China on sabbatical.
Yao will spend her sabbatical studying Chinese organizations’ values. Yao summed up the objective of her research thus: “As a stakeholder of an organization, if you’re looking at a Chinese organization what type of value do you want them to have?” She plans to conduct focus groups and survey research to address this and other questions.
“I think we are going to come up with a scale to measure the organizational values, meaning it’s a two-step process,” Yao said.
Yao has been in contact with the Chinese Communication University about staying within the institution during her sabbatical and is hopeful she receives a student assistant to help her crunch the numbers of her research.
Yao tried to do this study in the U.S. but it did not have the kind of results that she was hoping for. “I did a focus group here with Chinese citizens ranging from being here for a year, to 20 years. I think their thoughts about the values of organizations in China change due to being away for such a lengthy time,” Yao explained. The people still living in China offer Yao a better group to collect the data necessary.
It was never a sure thing that Yao would get this opportunity. “I applied last semester, luckily the research project got a lot of support from the university, and I think they see a lot of potential,” Yao said.
The university, which is funding the entire trip, is excited to see the results that Yao will receive, and also a chance of branding Radford University overseas. Not just at the university level, but it will also bring some excitement to the School of Communication. The sabbatical isn’t just a paid trip to do the research but will also bring new ways of thinking to Radford University.