Hospitality ethics abstract

 This paper reviews and analyzes 83 articles on the topic of hospitality ethics that
appeared in the hospitality journals in the Hospitality and Tourism Index in the year of 2008.
Figures in this paper show self emerging topic categories, journals, and dates of publication so
that readers can see how the 2008 articles fit with the other 433 articles analyzed and reviewed
since 1990. Findings indicate the most obvious change in 2008 to be from concern over the
unethical behaviors of individuals in U.S. hospitality and hospitality related operations, to the
more global concerns of sustainability for both companies and communities.
Review of Hospitality Ethics Research in 2008
Moral Philosophy or ethics is the study of principles of right and wrong people should
live by. What these principles are, where they come from,

 and how they are adhered to has been
of ongoing interest to philosophers and lay people for well-over two thousand years. Interest in
ethics grew dramatically as recently as 2003 when companies such as Enron, Arthur Andersen,
WorldCom, Tyco, ImClone Systems, Adelphia Communications, Merrill Lynch & Co, Morgan
Stanley, and Global Crossing were enmeshed in scandals that resulted in many negative
consequences to the companies, the employees, the stockholders, the communities where the
companies were located in, and the customers. 

Diminished ethical sensitivity from years of
questionable decisions can make it difficult for executives to envision negative consequences
that are so obvious after the fact.
Avoiding negative consequences is the lesson, and much of the research literature over
the years has been focused on how individuals in companies can do the right thing. In the past
International CHRIE Conference-Refereed Track, Event 18 [2010]
few years, however, the focus has gone global and is now more concerned with issues of
sustainability, reversing damage already done, and avoiding the negative consequences of
business as usual.
The founder of Ramada Inns, Marion W. Isbell, in 1988 endowed Isbell Hospitality
Ethics at the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at Northern Arizona University,

the purpose of improving the ethical climate in the hospitality industry by increasing ethical
awareness in hospitality students and managers. Research, curriculum design, and workshops are
utilized in this endeavor. Its work is guided by the research literature and is also moving in the
direction of sustainability, focused, perhaps, on food.
Isbell Hospitality Ethics has been reviewing and analyzing all of the ethics articles
appearing in the hospitality journals each year since 1990 and shares its findings on the Isbell
Hospitality Ethics web site ( to facilitate hospitality ethics
researchers' individual efforts. The web site is, in part, designed to foster communication and
coordination among hospitality ethics researchers whose work may ultimately improve the
ethical status of the hospitality industry. The purpose of this paper is to review and analyze the
ethics articles which appeared in the hospitality journals in 2008.

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