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Ethical Decision Making in Hotel and Restaurant

Ethical Decision Making in Hotel and Restaurant


Sustainability and progress of an organization depends on the decisions that are made by the mangers, and this may affect the stakeholders, such as customers, workers, external environments and the investors. Although they leadership has to make decisions on a frequent basis, they also need to focus on the ethics such that there is minimal negative effect to the parties involved. For example, supply of cheap products may be a preferred decision for an institution but could affect the health of the customers (Treviño and Nelson 2011, p. 30). In this case, there is a need to use strategic decision making methods such as utilitarianism where all the components that may be affected are considered. Apparently, it is noted that the hotel industry has grown significantly over the past few years due to increase in demand, globalisation and ease to travel. Nonetheless, the managers may have to focus on the quality of service delivered to the customers rather than prioritizing the profitability of the establishment. This paper will focus on the ethical decision making process in a hotel and restaurant using Starbucks as case study, as well as define the various approaches that are used to enhance the relationship with the suppliers and external environment.

Influence of Ethics on Organisational Decision Making

A code of ethics is instated in an organization to ensure all the activities are executed accordingly, and that the workers are managed appropriately. Ideally, the moral standards of an institution may have an effect on the style of leadership, and this could have an impact on the performance of the institution in the short run and long run. Importantly, the code of ethics determines the discipline procedures that should be undertaken in various situations, and this ensures the workers behave in accordance with the regulations of an institution (Post and Bluestein 2015, p. 206). Imperatively, the leaders have to uphold the moral standards so that they can act as role models to the staff. Additionally, focus on the morality at the workplace ensures the reputation of a company is protected. For example, it is noted that official dress codes are accepted in most companies in the US as this is a standard that has been instituted by the management. However, inappropriate dressing is not allowed and the leaders have to punish the workers that may do so.

Institutions have core values and virtues that should be exercised when at the workplace and when serving customers although some of the regulations may also be executed in the external environment. For instance, it is noted that employees that are involved in fraudulent activities may not be allowed in an institution since their integrity is questionable. In this case, the firm seeks to enhance and uphold some of the virtues such as honesty and uprightness. In particular, this may be a threat to the continuity of the institution as these activities could hinder the operations of the institution. Thus, hotel and restaurant employees have to exercise truthfulness and work for the benefit of the firm (Enzi 2010, p. 14). Institutionalization of code of ethics in an organization is beneficial in numerous ways. For example, this approach supports the corporate culture of a company, and all the employees are encouraged to maintain this initiative. In particular, it is a form of identity of the firm, and this enhances continuity in operation. Nonetheless, it is indicated that the corporate culture has positive impact on the morale of the workers as they feel indebted to the company since the opportunities offered are attractive. For these reasons, ethical conformity is critical in an institution as it can impact the leadership, corporate culture and behaviour of employees.

Ethics with Regards to Location

Countries have distinct regulations and ethical beliefs that ought to be supported by the industry operators. For example, provision of palatable food in the hotel and restaurant industry is a standard in all countries but the quality may vary depending on the morality of the establishments. However, the government has to institute some of the rules that may govern the supply of certain foodstuff as they can cause health complications to the users. For example, some countries have highlighted the concern about the prevalence of fast food restaurants andconsumption of these foods yet they have negative health effects such as obesity and heart attacks (Somerville 2007, p. 6). Imperatively, the managers have to focus on the returns to the customers after consumption of these products such that they minimize the consequences. In fact, some restaurants believe that customers should onlybe served with healthy foodstuff and they annihilate some of the products from their menus.

The management has to define a specific code of ethics that conforms to the rules that are instituted, and they may have to focus on additional tenets that can help individuals (Ferrell, Fredric and Ferrell 2013, p. 15). For example, smoking is a considerably harmful act as it affects the secondary smokers more than the primary smokers. In this case, it is important for the workers to refrain from such activities as they could affect the patrons adversely. Nonetheless, the hotel and restaurant firms ban some of the activities at the work place such as smoking and consumption of alcohol so that the concentration on service provision improves.

Ethics When Dealing With Suppliers

Suppliers are an integral part of an organization as they provide raw materials that are used in the production of the products and services. Apparently, the management has a critical role to sustain the ethics when dealing with the distributors as the relationship could affect the business. Ideally, the administration should pay the suppliers on time so that they can use the settlements to enhance their business and this ensures there is constant supply of the materials. Additionally, they should be paid honestly such that they do not feel neglected. For example, many of the hotel and restaurant owners may provide meagre pay for services that are provided yet this can affect the businesses of the suppliers significantly (Jazzy and Dunk 2006, p. 13). Notwithstanding, suppliers should be treated in a humane way in that they are treated equally without prejudice. In some cases, there is discrimination such that some of the suppliers are paid immediately after delivery but the other lot may have to wait for an unspecified period before they can acquire their reimbursements. On the contrary, some of the businesses may favour a particular suppliers since they have ties with the entrepreneur yet this could ruin the ethical decision making process.

HR And Ethics

The human resource department is considerably one of the prioritised departments in an institution due to the significanceof human labour. Ideally, the ethical consideration is that the HR should act fairly and just when making some decisions such as recruitment, employment and remuneration of the employees. Although workers have distinct scopes of work, they should be paid in accordance to the magnitude of their work. Nonetheless, there should be provision of equal opportunity to develop and foster careers and education. However, some of the employees’ morale may be defeated as they may feel neglected by the management (McLean and Yoder 2005). Importantly, the HR department should enhance the culture of an organization such that the core virtues are respected and observed. For example, nepotism should not be allowed in an institution as it could crate discord among the workers especially when some of the people are moreexperienced to occupy a certain position as compared to the proposed candidates.

Ethics with Regards to Industrial Relations

It is noted that the management has to provide a clean, safe and secure working environment so that all the workers are protected from the frequent risks that may occur. For example, there should be adequate lighting and provision of directions and signs to alert the workers of imminent danger. In this case, the workers feel appreciated since there will be a reduction in the number of accident recorded (Zebra, Harte and Ashkanasy 2008, 133). Nonetheless, it is critical to provide benefits to the workers especially when they have to work overtime to benefit the institution. Notwithstanding, the organization should be morally responsible for all the activities so that any inconsistency is solved amicably. For example, all institutions re required to submit their rates to the government. In many cases, the leaders defraud the government and other involved parties due to avariciousness. For these reasons, the management has to make critical decisions in they can be defined as right of wrong.

Ethical Decision Making: The Case of Starbucks

Starbucks is an American multinational coffee restaurant started in Seattle, Washing in1981 as a private company. The company started experiencing growth right from the time it was founded since it offered the residents of Seattle and Washington at large a unique tasty drink. Because of its immense growth, Starbucks became a public company in 1992. By the time it was getting publicised, Starbucks had expanded to 165 stores in the United States (Starbucks 2015). Currently, Starbucks operates more than 17000 coffee stores in more than 55 countries (Starbucks 2015). Despite the challenge it faces in the market, Starbucks has consistently been able to make profits.

Starbucks attributes much of its success to ethical decision making. Starbucks believe that the only way to succeed in a competitive business environment is to conduct business ethically and responsibly. Starbucks has a code of ethics that guides how decisions are made in the company. According to the CEO of the company, Starbucks code of ethics was created on the basis of Kantian Ethics to provide reasoned approach to the firm in order to enable the company achieve its goals and objectives. According to Starbucks (2015) report, the ethical code has been critical in promoting the development of acceptable behaviours while guarding against noncompliance. This way, Starbucks has been able to combat financial fraud and abuse that might bring the company down.

The company’s code of ethics has also helped the company have a successful sourcing for beans that it uses in making coffee, as well as building good relations with its suppliers, contractors and moulding the behaviour of its employees. When it comes to sourcing, Starbucks does it ethically by ensuring that quality beans are ethically bought and produced responsibly (Starbucks 2015). To the environment, Starbucks has always shown commitment to minimizing its carbon footprint while inspiring others to follow suit. As part of its goal, Starbucks has also ensured that it creates a diverse workforce, where every employee is given the opportunity to utilize ideas and talents, as well as promoting their growth while providing competitive remuneration. It is for this reason that Starbucks ranks among the best employers in the restaurant industry. Above all, the company has been helping the community where it operates thrive through CSR. Starbucks usually give back to the community by helping the needy and building projects that are of help to the community, such as healthcare centres (Starbucks 2015).

Starbucks ethical framework is based on the company’s mission statement, which is the guiding principle for decision making. The company’s mission is to provide is to provide a work environment, where employees are handled with respect, promote diversity and contribute to the community and environment while proving high quality products, as well as make profit (Starbucks 2015). In fact, despite charging higher prices than its competitors, Starbucks has maintained many loyal customers. The company’s customers are willing to pay more and stick with the company because it values and handles it customers with respect while delivering quality coffee.


In conclusion, the code of ethics is critical in an organisation as it defines the leadership style and discipline of the staff. In many cases, it is noted that incorporation of corporate culture ensures some of the core virtues are sustained and implemented within a specific period. Additionally, the code of behaviour enhances a strong relationship between the workers, stakeholders and investors as they feel contented in the management as well as the actions that are instigated. Starbucks provides a good example of how ethical decision making can have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line.


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