My Ecological Footprint Reflection Part 2 Research Paper Samples

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Thinking, Employee, Workplace, Tourism, Management, Business, Hospitality, Creativity

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/12/10

Introduction

Back in January, I competed on online quiz to determine what my ecological footprint was. I would discover the impact that I, personally was having on the environment around me. This gave rise to contemplation on my behaviors and the negative effects my behaviors had on the environment such as: purchasing fresh, local food not prepackaged goods; being conservative with electricity usage by tuning off lights and keeping an eye on the thermostat; and recycling waste appropriately and not just tossing it in the trash out of laziness. In this second part of my reflection after learning much in class, I will examine two topics that I found interesting and achievable that I can incorporate into both my personal and professional life.

Systems Thinking vs Linear Thinking

Systems or systemic thinking is described as a management style that examines the relationships between all the parts that compromise a whole. Systems thinking considers the whole organization and all of the parts of the organization: people; resources; tangible and intangible aspects. Management approaches of Systems thinking need to be creative and aware of the performance or state of all the parts and their interactions with each other (The Institute for Systemic Leadership 2015).
Linear thinking on the other hand, is logical and rational. It is singular and moves in one direction ignoring outside possibilities. It relies on the completion of each step in the thought process having a positive or negative outcome this type of thinking process is the type of thinking the majority of human beings experience in their daily lives. Although linear thinking is logical and rational, it excludes creativity and surprising solutions to problems (Eklund 2015).
The concepts of Systems and Linear Thinking are fascinating. As college students we are faced with both types of thinking every day. Some courses such as accounting demand linear thinking. Other classes demand that we are more creative and look to solve problems that affect the whole.
The subject of sustainability in tourism must be approached in a systemic manner. It is difficult to convince upper management who are often linear thinkers with an eye for the bottom line, to consider ideas and proposals that would change daily operation in order to become more eco-friendly and green. In today’s business environment a manager needs to be a systemic thinker who can manage all aspects of the business entity successfully.

Engaging Employees

Engaging employees in the tourism and hospitality industries is critically important. Employees represent the best and worst of the business when they interact with guests and visitors. Employees are truly ambassadors for the community they represent. It is imperative that employees feel empowered and are treated fairly in this industry. Much of the travel and tourism experience for guests is intangible: the atmosphere of the environment, the level and quality of service and interaction with staff.
According to Razzi (2013), management is obliged to treat employees with respect and fairness. Training and honest feedback is critical for the success of both the employee and the business enterprise. Employees are a major component of the systemic model that exists in business. Valuable input and suggestions can be gleaned from employees. Creative suggestion from employees who are working on the front line can be invaluable to management when they are searching for solutions to problems.
An article in the New York Times describes how David Garcelon, a chef at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto created a garden on the roof of the hotel to grow produce, grapes and keep bees for honey. This idea was not the brainstorm of an upper level executive in the hotel, it was Garcelon’s. The garden is popular and has been featured in the news and travel magazines. It attracts more customers for the hotel and its restaurant. Listening to employees like Garcelon and implementing creative ideas like the garden are winning propositions (Razzi 2013).

My Footprint and Conclusion

The concepts of systems thinking and engaging employees is meaningful to sustainability in the tourism industry because they both encourage creative thinking and the involvement of all the parts of the organization. Customers and visitors are actively seeking out businesses and destinations that are eco-friendly and green. By harnessing the power of motivated employees and their ideas and incorporating creative sustainability practices in the tourism industry business will flourish. There are many positive implications for the stakeholders, management and the customer. These are concepts that I will take with me when I enter the professional world of tourism and business.
After my initial results of the Footprint quiz, I received a score of 8.3 global hectares. Over the course of the last three months, I have made some changes in my lifestyle and habits to try and reduce my global footprint. I turn appliances, electronics and light off when I am not home. I try to walk to nearby locations rather than drive. I have begun to eat more fresh foods and produce. This is my small step forward to become more eco-friendly. Upon retaking the quiz, I have reduced my score to 8 hectares. This practice will help me to carry these concepts forward into my professional career.

References

Eklund, Andy (2015). “Is linear thinking bad?” Web 4 Mar 2015 Retrieved from:
http://www.andyeklund.com/is-linear-thinking-bad/
The Institute for Systemic Leadership (2015). Basic Principles of Systems Thinking as Applied to
Management and Leadership. Web 4 Mar 2015 Retrieved from:
http://www.systemicleadershipinstitute.org/systemic-leadership/theories/basic-principles-of-
systems-thinking-as-applied-to-management-and-leadership-2/
Mohn, Tanya (2010). “Hotels take ‘locally grown’ a logical step beyond”. The New York Times
10 Oct 2010 Web 4 Mar 2015 Retrieved from:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/19/business/19garden.html?_r=0
Razzi, Katherine (2013). “The secret to engaging hospitality industry employees”. Employee
Insights 13 Mar 2013, Web 4 Mar 2015 Retrieved from: http://blog.tnsemployeeinsights.com
/the-secret-to-engaging-hospitality-industry-employees/

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