Ethics. Personal and professional perspectives. Defining ethics 1. There are many definitions, mostly ‘loose’ ones as they deal with morality which is an inherantly subjective issue. Essentially ethics represents: “A set of moral principles or values.” Trevinho 1999
Personal and professional perspectives
“A set of moral principles or values.”
“What is moral is what you feel good after - ethics is different: it is what you do hoping others will feel good after.”
“The principles,norms and standards of conduct governing an individual or group.”….
citing Skooglund she continues:
“Ethics is the ground rules of how we are going to relate to other people - the expectations and understandings that define how we are going to deal with others. And by ‘others’ we mean customers, suppliers, governments, communities, but most of all, one another.”
“Bad practices grow incrementally. Each small twist of the wheel goes unnoticed. People are rewarded for behaviour which reinforces bad practices instead of good practices. We are told from natural science that a frog will sit in a pan of tepid water as the heat is slowly turned up until it dies. While, if the frog is thrown into over-heated water, it will jump out. Entitlement replaces responsibility. We each have our own vision of organizations gone awry; and as we wonder how senior management could have condoned such bad practices, perhaps the only answer is the incremental gradualism of evil where there is a lack of moral awareness or imagination”
“We are each individual moral agents with great potential to do good as well as evil. The problem is that we rarely live up to our potential and that we too readily give up our moral authority to others,including the organizations where we make our living.”
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
Law (EU PHTD)
Purview of Ethics
(Societal/business perceptions of what is ‘right’)
(Corporate Governance / ethical pols)
So…are ethics absolute or relative?…And how does your answer affect Tourism?
Journals: Business Ethics: A European Review,
…is it that surprising that tourism offers the potential to be an ethical minefield?
Holiday brochure picture taken on the sunniest, most idyllic day of the year, with a tobacco filter and wide angle lens, from the best view possible
Ethical & Legal. ‘caveat emptor’ applies. Nothing has been actually misrepresented to an unacceptable degreeMapping the ‘Minefield’ 2.
Holiday brochure picture taken on the sunniest, most idyllic day of the year, with a tobacco filter and wide angle lens, from the best view possible. Construction work airbrushed out of the picture.
Depends! If the airbrushing was because the work would have been complete by the time the holidays are beginning, probably OK. If willful misrepresentation, NOT.Mapping the ‘Minefield’ 3.
Airline deliberately overbooks/sells seats by 25% more than capacity. Result: all flights leave passengers standing.
Q…Did any of you normally overbook flights to even the smallest of degrees?
Unethical despite the need to fill capacity and keep fares low. The overselling is unreasonable as there is knowledge that on every flight people will be ‘bumped’.Mapping the ‘Minefield’ 4.
Airline deliberately overbooks/sells seats by just 5% more than capacity.
Result: some flights leave passengers standing but they are admittedly well compensated.
Still Unethical!Contracts must be entered into in good faith. Selling one more seat than the plane has is technically in breach of contract because a passenger may not be able to secure the seat he has paid for!
Compensation does not change matters: the 101% capacity customer thought he was being offered an available seat. The company would be unhappy if he didn’t have the money to pay for it!!!!Mapping the ‘Minefield’ 5.
Poaching competitor clients once they become visible - eg offering them upgrades as they get out of a competitor limo.
Unethical. The client has already entered into a contract to fill a seat and pay. The ‘poacher’ is inciting the competitor’s client to breach his contract.Mapping the ‘Minefield’ 6.
A large player seeking to guarantee his source of supply, ‘suggesting’ to suppliers, that it would not be a good idea to supply to a competitor. (‘You know where your bread is buttered’)
Unethical, despite the fact that this arises from scale of business / importance of client and fear of loss rather than actual pressure.Mapping the ‘Minefield’ 7.
A developer using his power to influence a government in a poor, developing nation to cut a deal, which, though legal (according to local law and regulations) & entered into freely, the developer knows will not be in the long term interests of the area.
Debatable! (why??)Mapping the ‘Minefield’ 8.
Tourists going on holiday expressly to be able to do in the destination things which are not acceptable at home… “because we deserve the right to ‘unwind’, ‘express ourselves and ‘exercise our freedom’.”
May/may not be legal in the destination
may / may not be socially acceptable (ethical in the local [relative] view) in the destination
Unethical if one takes an absolutist viewMapping the ‘Minefield’ 9.
18-30 type operators deliberately promoting holidays abroad based on ‘the outrageous’.
Undoubtedly unethical because they have experience of the destination and know full well the negative impacts and unacceptability / cultural conflict.
ASA found campaigns of certain operators in breach of their regulations.Mapping the ‘Minefield’ 10.
The development of ‘all-inclusive’ resorts by inward investors / western development corporations in less developed nations.
Unethical if one takes an absolutist view as developers know full well that these developments offer precious little value to the local community and economy.Mapping the ‘Minefield’ 11.
UnethicalAnti- Public Pol
Unethical but legal
Unethical and against PHol TD
Some others for you to think about:
Some others for you to think about:
"It is fair to say that...if a businessman feels obliged to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth - then he is ignoring opportunities permitted by the rules and is at a heavy disadvantage in his business dealings”
" So long as a businessman complies with the law of the land and avoids telling malicious lies, he's ethical. If the law as written gives a man a wide open chance to make a killing, he'd be a fool not to take advantage of it... if the law says he can do it, that's all the justification he needs. There's nothing unethical about that: it's just plain business sense."
" If we're going to stay in business, we have to look for profits wherever the law permits. We don't make the laws: we obey them. Then why do we have to put up with this 'holier than thou' talk about ethics. If ethics aren't embodied in the laws by the men who made them you can't expect businessmen to fill in the lack.”
'Decisions in business are ones of strategy, not of ethics"
Both of these different yet distinctive pressures are forcing businesses to consider how their stakeholders are perceiving activities which my be legal but which may not be entirely ethical. As a result, self-regulatory body memberships are up and companies are adopting ‘codes of conduct’ and ‘ethical policy statements’. The motivations behind them and the will to police them, however, are other issues entirely.
When the body of existing law is inappropriate (perhaps overtaken by technological development or product and service innovation) both the consumer and commercial sector providers are, if you like, playing on the 'football' field without a referee.
As the basic ‘rules of the game’ as set by law seem to be inappropriate or outmoded, the commercial team tends to take on the role of developing general rules (often in association with the consumer, who in effect owns the ball, so the commercial sector cannot have it all its own way) so that a reasonably acceptable game can be played until the state referee belatedly arrives with a new set of draft FA rules under his arm (Green Paper / White paper) to conduct a 'friendly game' (consultation).
Thereafter the new rulebook is adopted, but inevitably with new pressures even this becomes inappropriate after a time so the whole process re-starts.