Despite its crucial role, studies on ethics n the hospitality industry are limited compared to those undertaken in the more general business area. This manuscript reviews the literature on ethical perceptions and practices among hospitality managers, employees and students (future professionals), and proposes a research agenda. This critic review intends to increase awareness and knowledge on the importance of this issue and give some orientations for scholars towards several important topics for future research in the area of hospitality ethics.
Keywords: ethical perceptions and practices, hospitality industry, research agenda 1 . Introduction Ethics are one of the most critical issues in business and, specifically, in human resources management. Previous research shows that employees’ perception of their organization’s ethical climate is related to job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and organizational performance (Kim & Miller, 2008; Pettijohn, Pettijohn, & Taylor, 2008). Therefore, the organization’s ethical climate reduces turnover, enhances service quality and visitors’ service experience, and increases hotels’ productivity and profit.
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Indeed, integrity (e. g. caring, concerned, fair, and trustworthy) is reported by hotel managers as the second most important dimension of leadership, following professionalism (Wong & Chan, 2010). Also, a number of studies show a direct relationship between ethical climate and job satisfaction (e. g. , Deshpande, 1996; Cheng, Yang, Wan, & Chu, 2013). Lee and Tsang (2013) assert that ethics is an important challenge in the hospitality industry, and claim that the understanding of ethical perception and moral position of all stakeholders should be accentuated.
Scholars assert that the hospitality industry is open to nethical practices, and frequently presents its employees with morally and ethically ambiguous situations such as overbooking, theft, whistle-blowing, mistreatment of others, racial prejudices, sabotage, benefit at the expense of guest supplementary service, and misleading information in the restaurant menus, hotel brochures and websites (Stevens, 2001 ; Yaman & Gurel, 2006; Wong & Chan, 2010; Harris, 2012).
Although a large number of ethical behavior investigations have been carried out and reported in the literature, only few empirical studies have been undertaken in the hospitality industry. Indeed, the theoretical foundation of investigation in the hospitality industry (and tourism sector) ethics is very limited (Yaman & Gurel, 2006). Therefore, the objective of this research is to review the literature about ethics in the hospitality sector and suggest avenues for future research.
This manuscript intends to accentuate scholar contributions to the development of research in this crucial area. 2. Literature Review: Human Resources’ Ethical Behavior The hotel industry practitioners ascertain the importance Of developing and implementing ethics in hospitality school programs and hospitality industry ractices (Dopson & Nelson, 2003; Yeh, 2012). In the same way, scholars interested in the hospitality industry pay increasingly attention to the study of ethical decision behavior.
The research in ethics behavior in the hospitality industry covered several topics, including social responsible behavior, implementation of ethics codes, and human resources’ ethical decision making. This last topic related to the ethical issues that challenge professionals and staffs is relatively the most studied area (Upchurch & www. ccsenet. org/ijbm International Journal of Business and Management ol. 9, NO. 3; 2014 Ruhland, 1995). This section synthetizes the most important fin literature.
It is organized around three groups: hospitality front employees, hospitality managers and directors, and hospitality Ethical Behavior of Front-Line Employees In the hotel industry, the ethical values and job-related behavio front-line employees are critical components of the business tr. consumer service experience (Wong Chak Keung, 1998). In the industry and in the hotel sector in particular, consumers (servic not satisfied with just the tangible components of the hotel exp s room comfort and food quality (Wong Chak Keung, 1998).
TY satisfaction level is contingent on how they “perceive” they are their interaction with the hotel’s staff (personal attention) (Won 1998). In the service marketing literature, this interaction betwe visitors and staff is referred to as the “moment of truth”. If an e attitudes or behaviors are perceived unethical, visitors will redu assessment of the service received (Wong Chak Keung, 2000). Wong Chak Keung (1998) finds that hotel employees’ job-relate include four dimensions: ‘no harm’ (e. g. , making a phone call in unethical behavior’ (e. . , offering free coffee to friends in the h’ restaurant), ‘actively benefiting (e. g. , breaking a glass or plate b on a guest’s carelessness), and ‘passively benefiting’ (e. g. , accep arrange a room change for a guest). The author reports that hc are more tolerant of “no harm” and “passively benefiting’ ethic, less tolerant ‘unethical of behavior’ and ‘actively benefiting’. Fro sales and marketing departments’ employees tend to have a 10 Of unethical behavior aspects when compared to rooms, securi and beverage departments’ employees.
Kim and Miller (2008) it ypes of an organization’s ethical climate: moral caring, law and interest, efficiency, rules, and team spirit. These ethical climate: differently perceived by employees depending on both the cha the organization and the individual (e. g. , gender, education). Th support the relationships between ethical climate, job satisfacti organizational commitment. Other studies examine how consumers perceive employees’ ur behavior.