Is such a decision in its pragmatism honorable or disingenuous?

Case 6.4 Cultural Sensit Show more Rae & Wong Beyond Integrity 3 rd Ed. (Zondervan) 2012 ISBN: 9780310291107 Case 6.4 Cultural Sensitivity at Hong Kong Disneyland As Disney Inc. was set to open the gates to its Hong Kong theme park the company was broadsided by protests and calls for boycotts by environmental groups. Sparking the controversy was the pre-park opening release of its food menu which included shark fin soup as an option for wedding banquets held at the park. Spokespersons for organizations such as Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund expressed deep concern about the environmental impact of harvesting fins for the soup. To meet worldwide demand they say many sharks (up to 73million per year according to the New York Times) are killed each year putting some species at risk. Finning a practice in which the fins are cut off and the rest of the shark is thrown back into the coast to die is another common occurrence. The Sea Shepard Conservation Society went as far as making T-shirts showing Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck brandishing knives over bleeding sharks that had their fins removed. Hoping to avoid some of the cultural insensitivity that contributed to the failure of its European theme (in Paris) to hit attendance goals Disney took great pains to fit its Hong Kong venture in with local cultural customs. Shark fin soup has been served at festive Chinese occasions especially wedding for hundreds of years. The soup is fabled for its medicinal powers and symbolizes power and wealth. Serving the dish also shows respect and honor to guests. Hong Kong Disneyland takes environmental stewardship very seriously and we are equally sensitive to local cultures. It is customary for Chinese restaurants and five-star hotels to serve sharks fin soup in Hong Kong as the dish is considered an integral part of Chinese banquets said Hong Kong Disneyland spokeswoman Irene Chan. Some supporters of Disney say that it would be shameful for those holding special events to not offer shark fin soup to their quests. David Ng the president of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades said This is the traditional culture of the Chinese people and you cant say its right or wrong. Another restaurateur blamed Westerners for stirring up the controversy. Its a cultural difference-they dont eat it so they see it differently he said. At first Disney struck to its decision to serve the soup just a short while later however executives announced that they would not offer the soup citing the fact that they could not source the fins in a sustainable manner. Reflecting on Chapter 6 of the text study the anecdote in Case 6.4 page 261 and answer the following questions: 1. In deciding to pull the shark fin soup from its menu did Disney executives make the right decision: Why or why not? 2. Imagine you were a Disney executive faced with a similar choice. How would you incorporate cultural differences into your decision? Question #1 This calls for an analysis that reads between the lines and assesses the decision-making process engaged in by Disney. The well written answer should address 1. The pragmatic result reached by Disney. Disney is engaged in globalization bringing jobs and revenue to Hong Kong Disney recognizes that the Chinese culture attributes honor and healing power to the consumption of shark fins Disney recognizes and is stung by the protestations of environmentalists 2. So Disney decides to serve the soup theoretically meeting the cultural expectations of its patrons. Later walking back the decision and blaming the inability to assure a consistent supply of shark fins for patrons. Is such a decision in its pragmatism honorable or disingenuous? An appropriate discussion may well center on means-and-ends analysis. Question #2 Some good points to be made: If globalization serves any Biblical purposes regarding social justice how would the student make a subjectively satisfactory decision? Show less

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