MODULE NUMBER : U54028
Critically Evaluate Whether the requirement for Emotional Labour in Hospitality and Tourism is ethical. Module Leader: Peter McGunnigle
Student Name: Mrignaini Chauhan
Student Number: 09078935
Submission Date: 08/12/11
Word Count: 2200 (excluding Appendices)
Critically evaluate that whether the requirement of Emotional Labour in hospitality and tourism work is ethical.
The endeavour of this essay is to critically evaluate whether the use of emotional labour within the hospitality and tourism industry is ethical or not. The discussion in this essay will be brought to light by firstly defining what ethics are and the various approaches surrounding it based on diverse perspectives. Subsequently, emotional labour would be identified along with arguments and clear examples from service operations which would be further exemplified to support the focal arguments. The essay will conclude with evaluation of key opinions disclosed in the essay to examine whether emotional labour in the hospitality and tourism work is moral. Leopold, Harris and Watson(2005,p89) define ethics to be similar as ‘morals’. ‘The words ethics and morals have similar etymological roots – ethics has its origin in ancient Greek in the word ethikos meaning authority of custom and tradition, while ‘moral is derived from the Latin word mos, which also refers to power linked to tradition and custom. When it comes to business, Manna and Chakraborti(2010) justify that work ethics in today’s world does not just deal with ethical behaviour of an employee, but also ethical behaviour of an employer where, along with earning profits and expecting employees to work towards achieving company goals, the employer has the responsibility to include principles of care while dealing with the employee. Different cultures see ethics differently. Fisher and Lovell(2006) describe that different countries have dissimilar customary principles opposed to what theorists think is right or wrong. For instance in India, people in the corporate and political world find it fair to promote relatives or make one’s son hold key positions in the company. Selection of a candidate is more likely if he is a family member than someone higher in merit(Newsflavor,2011). A poll conducted by Inc.com revealed that 48% of people believed that being the boss’s son was the secret to getting ahead in the company, whereas only a quarter believed that success comes from proving your merit(Inc.com,2011). Ferrell et al(2010) emphasize the importance of business ethics and regardless of what an individual believes about a particular action, whether they believe it is ethical or not, that judgement directly effects the organization’s ability to achieve its goals. For instance, Freeman et al(2004,p.364) justify that the stakeholder theory is when an ‘economic value is created by people who voluntarily come together and cooperate to improve everyone’s circumstances’. This approach gives businesses more resources and potential to endow with valuable insight as on one hand it tries to deal with a highly complex business environment and on the other hand its tries to please the attention of a large number of constituencies instead of merely making profits(Freeman,2010). However Friedman(1970) cited in Fisher and Lovell(2006,p311) suggests a threefold neo-liberal approach in which ‘the only social responsibility of a business is to increase its profits, and not indulge in social interventions’. He argued that a corporation is an artificial person and has artificial responsibilities but only people working in that business are responsible for their deeds as long as they do not exceed the law(Friedman,1970 cited in Zimmerli et al 2007). It can be justified that many businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry find it ethical to use emotional labour. As per Hochschild(2003), organizations make employees impair and manage their private...