Ethics as defined by Oxford Dictionary are moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour or the conducting of an activity. Whenever someone is faced with the question of what ought one to do, subsequent action will be based on his or her ethical values. Ethics could also describe how are we relate to each other in order to guarantee that an individually and communally wellbeing is enhanced.
There are two types of theories; consequentialist, being aware of the consequences from the decision that have been made which could be related to utilitarianism and egoism. On the other hand, non-consequentialist theory is being able to have a reason for the act rather than the consequences itself. This theory is associated with Kant’s theory, duty of As an example of comparison between Asian and Western cultures is such as in the Muslim society man and women can’t touch each other without having a barrier(such as clothing) and men are considered superior to women in society where else in the Western society it is a norm for both parties to have contact upon each other as well as nowadays women and man are considered equal (Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute 2001) An additional to the differences of culture between Asians and Westerns is where Muslim men are allowed to marry up to four women at one time as this belief has been passed on from previous generation.
This however only applies to men who can well afford a stable life style and support himself and his four wives. In comparison to western culture, this is considered ethically wrong in western society as it has always been established that men should have only one wife and could re-marry after divorcing the previous wife. Beside these religious differences between cultures, the Western cultures have a tendency of being more individualistic while the Asian cultures focuses on the community as a whole (Byrd 2007).
An Asian would ask “How will my act have an effect on the community or will this act bring respect to my family, community or my country? ” As a Westerner, their question will be “What’s in it for me? ”(Byrd 2007). Based on the Mary Byrd (2007) article, in Asia, an individual’ spiritual beliefs are still seen to be of significant value as compared to when in the Western society. Asian spends extra time praying and meditating in an attempt to gain insight into their situation and life, while Western society seems to be drifting away from their previously strong catholic values.
Having said that, at this present time Western societies have been combining their cultures and Asian values or culture into one. (Byrd 2007) Another comparison in regards to ethical beliefs and values between two cultures is corruption. Corruption is evident internationally; it is a bigger problem in most Asian countries due to low income or salary when compared to the Western countries. Due to this fact, it is difficult or harder for a person to achieve goals in life among the Asian society. Stating this where money is a concern, under these circumstances, some people might see it as an opportunity to get a head in life.
Majority of the Asian society does not consider this wrong morally or ethically while Westerners are not complied to accept bribes (Rasmussen 2007). Punishment are also different in regards to this matter, it is considered just a slap on the wrist for the Asian society while it is jail term for the West. When mentioning Asian values; hospitality, welcoming, intriguing and friendliness come to mind for most people. When mentioning hospitality in Asia; good value for money, interesting places, historical sites and variety of exotic food is the case.
Asian values have played a great role in the expansion of the hospitality industry showing an exponential growth of facilities in Asian countries. The level of service and duty of care taken with guests come with what Westerners believe is at a great price. The values and beliefs of these people have shaped and defined the Asian hospitality industry. For Westerners, Asian countries has a senses of welcoming and based on word of mouth, majority of Asian societies are polite and customer service are exceptional in regards to the value that the Westerners are paying for.
Based on the Australia Bureau Statistic (ABS), Indonesia including Bali is the second most admired destination in 2009-2010 for Australian (ABS 2010). The remaining top ten destinations were in the Asia and Pacific which are Thailand, Fiji and China. It is also mention that these three countries grew the fastest of all major destinations with an average growth of each exceeding 10% per year over the decade (ABS 2010). Mr Donhauser (2011), general manager of Shangri-la Sydney stated that when he was working in Beijing, China, the employees would always ask him if there is anything else that they could attend to or either assist him with.
In contrary to the work culture demonstrated by the Westerners in Shangri-la Sydney most employees would only perform the bare minimum of their prescribed position. Having said that, the values shown in the Asian society are well recognized and appreciated by visitors which make them return or even being pleased to work in environment such as that. Asian values are considered significant for managers nowadays to meet or exceed commercial targets in the hospitality industry.
Managers in this industry are always updated with new improvement as it’s developing rapidly. Innovative concepts and theories are being developed to suit the changing needs of this industry. Some managers need to expand their horizons of familiarity in their area. In the past 40 years, it seems like there have been a connection of management introducing spiritual or non material style. In the late 60s and 70s Japan started to give a strong opposition to the Americans by focusing on their quality which is standard and value they have towards hospitality.
Later on, the success of the ‘Asian Tigers’ which consist of Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korean and Malaysia. This was the time when Lee Kwan Yew which was the first prime minister of Singapore began discussing Asian values being important and large in the hospitality sector (Word-Mart 2007). At the present time, Western countries are adopting Asian values in the workplace. Nowadays more and more Asian are travelling around the world as there are growing percentages amongst them who can afford to.
The values that they have been introduced to since young will remain. Also the likeliness of them to feel comfortable to surrounding that is more familiar is high. This will influence their perceptive on choosing a hotel or resort (ABS 2007). Other than that food cuisine from the Asian countries are also widely available in the current years. More and more Asian employees are being employed in the industry starting from unskilled to high position to endorse the values within a company and serve its guests.
Having said this, managers that apply Asian values in their organisation would have a better understanding on tourists that are entering the door and better understand their employees that are working to leverage on both in an effort to generate greater revenue for the company or organisation. Based on the US Department of Labour statistics (2011), it signifies that Asian is the fastest rising working segment of population. On the other hand, some Asian values or belief could be erroneous to some places or country.
For example, the Muslims are not allowed to wear ‘hijab’ in their work environment. This could be a dilemma to some management. According to the BBC News Europe (2004), the ‘Hijab’ or ‘head scarf’ are banned by the French parliament in school. This has also affected the hospitality industry to a certain degree. Even though Asian values among the older generation are strongly practiced in their societies these values would eventually decrease or diminish slowly in the future. Asian society values such as ‘the community as a whole’ would eventually become more individualistic.
The younger generation wouldn’t have family oriented background due to society’s progression towards globalization where young individual are taking the opportunity to study and work abroad where they are exposed to Western ethics and culture. This will affect their upbringing as more and more Asian individual adopt Western values and life style as it is also a way for them to blend in within the society they reside. Example to this is that some occupation would require these individual to do a lot of travelling internationally.
This would also effect on having bigger family as seen by the older generations. Other than that, communication style towards others would also differ as more and more young Asian are open to the elements of Western culture such as television, movies and their exposure to Western society. For instance, television plays a big role in exposing its common values and ethics to its younger audience. On the other hand, a growing number of Asians living in Western society are casting aside their Asian roots and beliefs in exchange for more liberal Western values.
Another example is in the previous decades, women are expected to only play the role of a house wives as they are wedded of at a young age and does not be given any opportunities to seek education or employability. In contrast to this, these days, Asian society are also adopting the belief that women should be given equal opportunity to that of men in pursuing better or higher education and thus creating greater employment opportunities for themselves. This is evident by the information available on ABS 2007 under ‘Trends in Women Employment’. The numbers of women in the work force has increased from 40% in 1979 to 53% in 2004.
During this time the numbers of man who were in a job declined from 74% to 68% (ABS 2007). This was also linked to the varying part of men in families. In conclusion, both Asian values and Western ethics will combine to make a better environment for every society. Majority of people nowadays are more open on accepting views regarding values and belief of others. They are also open to understanding each and everyone as there are multi cultures everywhere as majority are travelling the globe. There is also diversity in work forces due to globalization in the hospitality industry and other occupations.