Business Ethics and Tourism Essay

Words: 5071
Pages: 21

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0 26 I-5177(95)00015- I

Tourism Management, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 26.3-268, 1995
C opyright © 1995 Elsevier Science Ltd
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C urrent issues

B usiness ethics and tourism: from m icro to macro perspectives
A lf H Walle
Travel and Tourism Program, University of Nebraska, West Center C226, Kearney, NE 68849, USA

Business ethics is a complex field which the tourism industry must understand. In addition, t ourism is a unique industry; although general concepts of business ethics are often useful, t ourism transcends mainstream business and must be evaluated accordingly. By forming alliances with subdisciplines of business
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Once they get beyond theoretical issues, h owever, their arguments closely parallel one a nother.
A c o n t i n u u m o f social c o n c e r n

T he polemics between Friedman and Davis reflect a c ontinuum of ethical orientations which exist in b usiness thought; it is usually envisioned as having t hree categories: Social Obligation, Social Responsib ility, and Social Responsiveness. Social obligation t heory largely parallels Friedman's position; besides o beying the law, nothing is required. Firms, howe ver, can and should pursue any ethical or socially r esponsible policy which is believed to be a good t actic. But such motives transform social responsibility into a profit-making ploy.
Social responsibility theory, in contrast, is closely allied with Davis's position which suggests that busin ess profoundly impacts on the fabric of life; thus, p owerful and influential organizations should act in e thical and socially responsible ways. Social respon2 64

sibility theory, however, limits itself to addressing p roblems which currently and overtly exist.
Social responsiveness theory can, perhaps, best be s een as an extension of social responsibility theory.
I nstead of merely responding to problems which are o vertly obvious, however, socially responsive organ izations anticipate future developments and a ddress them in a forwarding-thinking and proactive