Social Responsibility in the Hospitality Industry


    General Information

    Professor Information

    Professor Photo
    John D. Buschman
    (517) 974-6369
    HM 338
    (305) 348-5801
    Mondays 2-4 pm
    Wednesdays 9-10 am but note that you will use Canvas Inbox system for all on-the-record course communications.

    Course Description And Purpose

    HFT 3073 examines the policies and practices of global hospitality and tourism entities with respect to the local communities in which they operate, as members of the global business community and as shared stewards of the planet.  The course causes students to take an up-close-and-personal look at volunteerism from different perspectives as it reviews the pro-social behaviors of hospitality and tourism companies from the early century to the present.  Students will explore opportunities for positive social change as they investigate how the hospitality and tourism industries can contribute both locally and globally to key social issues including homelessness, food insecurity, human trafficking and hygiene-related diseases.  

    The student is required to physically participate in three (3) service-learning activities over the course of the semester within their local community. In addition to on-line coursework students will gain valuable experience and insight as they participate in volunteer work with social welfare organizations that have both local influence and global reach.  

    The major objective of the course is to foster critical thinking and practical experience among students with respect to corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the global hospitality and tourism industries.  The course will also help students explore their own awareness of social issues around them while they develop a body of highly useful and timely knowledge and tools that they may confidently carry forward into their careers.

    Course Objectives

    At the end of the course, the successful student will be able to:

    1. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the “triple bottom line”, the so-called “3 P’s” of CSR, i.e., how the hospitality and tourism industries impact social (People), economic (Profit) and environmental (Planet) issues in both the local and global communities within which they operate.   
    2. Recognize and apply the six principal methods of CSR as presented in the textbook.
    3. Identify the industries’ current methods of best practice addressing the major social issues of our time; identify the benefits, concerns, keys to success, and situations in which hospitality and tourism companies should utilize each of the methods.
    4. Discuss the evolving pro-social policy of a particular global hospitality or tourism company and describe its corresponding social responsibility initiative that exemplifies each method.
    5. Develop and demonstrate an appreciation and understanding of his/her own individual civic responsibility toward solving an important social issue from the perspective of an individual working in the hospitality or tourism industries. 
    6. Apply the learned CSR methods to create a strategically-aligned awareness campaign for a major hospitality or tourism company that links its efforts with a prominent social welfare organization that directly addresses an important social problem.

    Major & Curriculum Objectives Targeted

    This course is designated as both Global Learning and Service Learning and is designed to specifically target learning objectives leading to fulfillment of the student’s graduation requirements in both areas.  

    Teaching Methodology

    This is a hybrid course in which most of the instructional materials and activities are delivered through Canvas, and/or other internet-based media including Facebook.  In addition, service-learning objectives are achieved through volunteer activities in the student’s own community.  

    Important Information


    Please review the FIU policies page as it contains essential information regarding guidelines relevant to all courses at FIU and additional information on the standards for acceptable netiquette important for hybrid/online courses.

    Technical Requirements & Skills

    One of the greatest barriers to taking a hybrid course is a lack of basic computer literacy. By computer literacy we mean being able to manage and organize computer files efficiently, and learning to use your computer's operating system and software quickly and easily. Keep in mind that this is not a computer literacy course; but students enrolled in hybrid courses are expected to have moderate proficiency using a computer. Please go to the "What's Required" page to find out more information on this subject.

    Students must have working knowledge of Microsoft Office including Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Students must also know how to navigate the World Wide Web, navigate within Canvas, read and respond to email and use online technological tools to communicate with other class members and the instructor.  Students must have a Facebook account or be willing to start an account to participate in this class.  While not required it is encouraged that students be interested in social media beyond just Facebook such as Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram or Pinterest.

    Please visit our technical requirements page for additional information.

    Academic Misconduct Statement

    Florida International University is a community dedicated to generating and imparting knowledge through excellent teaching and research, the rigorous and respectful exchange of ideas and community service. All students should respect the right of others to have an equitable opportunity to learn and honestly to demonstrate the quality of their learning. Therefore, all students are expected to adhere to a standard of academic conduct, which demonstrates respect for themselves, their fellow students, and the educational mission of the University. All students are deemed by the University to understand that if they are found responsible for academic misconduct, they will be subject to the Academic Misconduct procedures and sanctions, as outlined in the Student Handbook.

    Academic Misconduct includes: Cheating – The unauthorized use of books, notes, aids, electronic sources; or assistance from another person with respect to examinations, course assignments, field service reports, class recitations; or the unauthorized possession of examination papers or course materials, whether originally authorized or not. Plagiarism – The use and appropriation of another’s work without any indication of the source and the representation of such work as the student’s own. Any student who fails to give credit for ideas, expressions or materials taken from another source, including internet sources, is responsible for plagiarism.

    Learn more about the academic integrity policies and procedures as well as student resources that can help you prepare for a successful semester.

    Accessibility And Accommodation

    Obtain more detailed information about the specific limitations with the technologies used in this course.

    For additional assistance please contact our Disability Resource Center.

    Course Prerequisites

    An open mind and a respectful approach to community service.

    Panthers Care & Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

    If you are looking for help for yourself or a fellow classmate, Panthers Care encourages you to express any concerns you may come across as it relates to any personal behavior concerns or worries you have, for the classmate’s well-being or yours; you are encouraged to share your concerns with FIU’s Panthers Care website.

    Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers free and confidential help for anxiety, depression, stress, and other concerns that life brings. Professional counselors are available for same-day appointments. Don’t wait to call 305-348-2277 to set up a time to talk or visit the online self-help portal.


    Textbook Image
    These e-textbooks will be provided to you in the class. YOU DO NOT NEED TO PURCHASE!
    The Good Company:  Sustainability in Hospitality, Tourism and Wine
    Girling, R.H., Gordy, H. & Lanier, P
    Business Expert Press (2016)
    ISBN-10: 1631571702
    ISBN-13: 978-1631571701

    ISBN 13: 978-1-63157-171-8 (e-book)

    Textbook Image
    Corporate Social Responsibility
    Philip Kotler, Nancy Lee
    Wiley, 2004-12-13
    ISBN-10: 0471476110
    ISBN-13: 9780471476115

    Use the following links:

    For The Good Company:

    For Corporate Social Responsibility:

    Expectations Of This Course

    Expectations for performance in a hybrid course are the same as for a traditional classroom-based course except that hybrid courses require a degree of self-motivation, self-discipline, and technology skills that can make them more demanding for some students.  If you have not taken any other hybrid course then it is advisable to be especially attentive to all details and requirements during the first few weeks until you are confident that you have everything under control.   Finding a buddy among the enrolled students in the class is recommended so you can check that each other is using all the electronic tools properly and getting things done and submitted by the deadlines.

    Students are expected to: 

    • Review the Start Here folder located in the course content.
    • Review the Policies Page.
    • Request admission to the class Facebook page and introduce themselves to the class during the first week by posting a self-introduction in the appropriate blog.
    • Take the practice quiz on any computers that the student may use during the semester (e.g. home desktop, personal laptop, computer lab desktop) to ensure that each is compatible with Canvas
    • Interact online with instructor and peers and keep up with all assignments.
    • Review and follow the course calendar, checking regularly during the semester for changes and updates. 
    • Log in to the course at least 3 times per week
    • Respond to discussion boards, blogs and other postings within 3 days
    • Respond to messages within 2 days
    • Submit assignments by their corresponding deadlines in Canvas and in the correct location within the course module.
    • Volunteer for community service at least four times during the semester and produce a spreadsheet/log and essay regarding his/her experiences. 

    The instructor will:

    • Log in to the course at least 3 times per week
    • Respond to discussion boards and messages within 2 days
    • Grade assignments within two weeks of the submission deadline
    Students are expected to: 
    Review the Start Here folder located in the course content.
    Review the Policies Page.
    Introduce themselves to the class during the first week by posting a self-introduction in the appropriate blog.
    Take the practice quiz on any computers that the student may use during the semester (e.g. home desktop, persona laptop, computer lab desktop) to ensure that each is compatible with Blackboard
    Interact online with instructor and peers and keep up with all assignments.
    Review and follow the course calendar, checking regularly during the semester for changes and updates. 
    Log in to the course at least 3 times per week
    Respond to discussion boards, blogs and journal postings within 3 days
    Respond to emails/messages within 2 days
    Submit assignments by their corresponding deadlines
    Volunteer as directed during the semester and produce an essay regarding his/her experiences
    Create a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaign for a selected organization designed to be carried out in the social media.
    The instructor will:
    Log in to the course at least 3 times per week
    Respond to discussion boards, blogs and journal postings within 3 days
    Respond to emails/messages within 2 days
    Grade assignments within one week of the submission deadline

    Course Meetings

    Note: This hybrid course does require on-campus meetings. In addition, each individual is required to volunteer his/her services multiple times during the semester for one or more local not-for-profit organizations. Some of these service-learning experiences may involve other students from this same class and/or the instructor.  There is no final exam.

    Course Detail

    Course Communication

    Communication in this course will be accomplished primarily via the university’s Canvas system and Facebook.

    Inbox via Canvas is the only official method of communication with the professor regarding quizzes, assignments and projects because records are then all kept within the course.  The e-mail feature of Canvas is not acceptable for official communications with the professor since no record of e-mails sent is kept within Canvas.  At any time the student should need to prove that certain information was sent to or received from the instructor, the proof will be found in the message folder of the course in Canvas.  The “Inbox” feature in Canvas is a private, internal, Canvas-only communication system.  Users must log on to the Canvas system to send/receive/read messages.  There are no push notifications in Canvas to inform users when a new message has been received; therefore, it is recommended that students check their Inbox routinely to ensure up-to-date communication.

    Facebook will be used for discussions and postings about service-learning volunteer activities and weekly challenges, and any other circumstances where sharing with the rest of the class is desirable.  Facebook is a substitute for face-to-face conversation that normally would take place in a live classroom.  Facebook should NOT be used to communicate officially with the professor regarding written assignments, quizzes or other course items but MAY be used to ask for suggestions or advice.

    Students and/or professor may use FIU Panthermail or Text Messaging if and when there is a problem with the above systems (e.g., system is down, student/professor gets locked out of account, and so forth).  The student needs to be capable (i.e., has access to proper equipment connected to the internet) and comfortable (i.e., knows how to use) communicating by these methods in order to successfully participate in this course. The instructor has listed his cell phone number which may be used for urgent text messaging when communication by Canvas Inbox or Facebook is not adequate, or if you are unable to access the Canvas system for any reason.

    Students will find their lessons in weekly “modules”, take “quizzes”, submit “assignments” and participate in required “activities” such as “blogs” and “discussion forums”, all from within Canvas.  The instructor will, from time to time, issue an “announcement” in Canvas to let students know about any changes in assignments, changes or reminders about deadlines, to let them know papers have been graded, and so forth.  Finally, grades for each task will be posted in the “my grades” section within Canvas.

    Very Important Part I:  It is the student’s responsibility to get his/her course content questions or concerns answered in time for submission of assignments, quizzes, projects etc. before the posted deadlines. It is the student’s responsibility to get technical questions, issues and glitches resolved or worked around before submission deadlines.  It is also the student’s responsibility to check the “My Grades” section in Canvas to ensure that he/she is receiving credit for assignments, activities and quizzes posted in Canvas and to review any feedback the professor may have given on the major assignments.

    Very Important Part II: Questions regarding the content of the course are to be directed to the professor and or TA.  Questions and issues regarding the technology used in the course (i.e. Canvas) are to be directed to the FIU Online Support Services Team.  If this is your first hybrid class at FIU then you will need to become familiar not only with the technology but also how to seek help regarding its use.  Please take the time to review at Support Services.

    Activities And Participation

    Students will be asked to participate in activities throughout the semester including, but not limited to, weekly challenges, service-learning activities, discussion forums, blogs, social media activities, surveys, etc.  Students are expected to complete all work by the posted deadlines.  All activities will be released at the start of the module (always on Mondays at 12:01am) in which they are listed and will be made unavailable at the close of the week (always on Sundays at 11:59pm), or the posted deadline, whichever is later.  Each activity will be accompanied by a thorough explanation of the activity, details for what is expected and the grading rubric that will be used by the instructor to evaluate the student’s performance in the given activity.

    Keep in mind that many of your activities on Canvas and Facebook are going to be visible by all students in the course and care should be taken when determining what to post. If you wish to send a private message to the instructor in Canvas please use the messaging system and select only that name when addressing the message.

    Discussion Forums and Facebook Postings

    Keep in mind that your discussion forum postings will likely be seen by other members of the course. Care should be taken when determining what to post.

    There is no minimum length for postings in these two areas however it is expected that the student will post their complete original thoughts and insights into the topic at hand. More specific instructions may be found in the modules. Students should read several postings of their colleagues and post original comments in reply to at least one or two or as directed in the assignment.  A simple “I agree” is not sufficient and the student should give their own expressive take on what the other student is discussing in his/her original post. 

    As with other assignments, Discussion Forums and Weekly Challenge postings on Facebook should be posted by 11:59 pm each Sunday.  Facebook postings for service-learning volunteer sessions should be made within a day or two of the service and latest by 11:59 pm each Sunday. Late posts will be accepted but will also suffer point deductions according to the length of delay. 

    Weekly Challenges

    A series of 10 weekly challenges will be included in the modules, designed to help increase the student’s sensitivity and awareness of various topics of interest. Each week a new challenge will be posted in the module and the student should complete the challenge at their convenience during the week, then comment on their experience on the Facebook group page that has been set up for the class.  The challenges will be counted at 5 points each for a total possible 50 points from challenge activities, equivalent to 10% of the overall course grade.


    A series of 10 short quizzes will be included in the modules, designed to verify that the student is covering the required material in each module.  Each quiz will be made available on line at 12:01AM on the module’s start date and will be taken off line at 11:59PM on the end date.  Quizzes must be completed between those dates/times and will not be available after the stated cutoff. It is recommended that the student not wait until Sunday to take the quizzes lest a personal, family or technology problem crops up. Individual make-up quizzes will not be given for quizzes missed, no matter the reason. Instead, an optional extra-credit quiz is given at the end of the semester. Quizzes are worth 10 points each and together represent 100 points or 20% of the overall course grade. The optional extra-credit quiz will be worth 20 points and therefore can help replace up to two missed quizzes.  Results will be made available within one week of each quiz deadline.

    In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using to take your graded quizzes and exams. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.

    Please note assessments in this course are not compatible with mobile devices and should not be taken through a mobile phone or a tablet. If you need further assistance please contact FIU Online Support Services.


    Students will be given assignments throughout the course of the semester that should be submitted through the module by the posted deadline and after all of the other work for the module has been reviewed and completed.   Except for the three major deliverables (Case Study, Service-learning Essay and CSR Plan) assignments, activities and quizzes are worth 10 to 20 points each.  A grading rubric will be provided for each of the assignments.  All assignments must be turned in via the method specified in the module by 11:59PM on the posted date.  Late assignments will be accepted but will also suffer point deductions according to the length of delay.  All major assignments will be graded and returned with feedback within two weeks of the deadline.

    Assignments submitted via the wrong method will not be accepted.  All deadlines posted are in the Eastern (EDT/EST, Miami) Time Zone.  It is the student’s sole responsibility to get course deliverables submitted on time and in the right place.  It is therefore highly recommended that the student not wait until Sunday night to submit required work, just in case there is a problem with his/her computer or internet connection or due to the always-possible technology glitches elsewhere in the system.

    Case Study

    Each student will be required to research a major global hospitality or tourism company and complete a brief paper that includes a detailed introduction, identification of various causes being addressed by the company’s CSR efforts, review of the company’s current CSR initiatives, determination of whether or not those initiatives are strategically aligned with the company’s mission and goals, and a concluding statement where the student may describe anything he/she may have done differently given what has been learned thus far in the course.

    Service Learning

    Once again, Students are required to participate in three (3) different service-learning activities within their local community over the course of the semester. Students will look for volunteer activities that address any of the four major social issues: food insecurity, homelessness, hygiene-related diseases, and human trafficking.  Students will gain valuable experience and insight as they participate in volunteer work with social welfare organizations that have both local influence and global reach. Students are responsible for scheduling their own sessions. The instructor will organize a number of group events in South and Central Florida which the student may opt into however there is no guarantee that the time or location scheduled will be convenient to the individual student’s schedule.  Students that are unable to participate in service-learning events organized by the instructor, including students not residing in South Florida, will search for and participate in events and at non-profit social service agencies in their own communities in order to complete this requirement. An approved list of service agencies in South Florida is included in one of the course modules and will be updated from time to time.  Students residing outside of South Florida should discuss their particular locations with the professor before deciding on a plan.

    A session is defined as a half day or a minimum of three (3) hours of work in one stretch. In order to document participation in these activities the student will a) within three (3) days post a “selfie” or group photo (Important Note: always ask permission of the supervisor first and never take photos with their clients appearing in pictures) on the class’ Facebook group showing the student at work or at the location with initial impressions of the location and/or the work performed, b) maintain a spreadsheet log entry with details for each session concluded, and c) submit a short essay upon conclusion of all four sessions accompanied by the aforementioned spreadsheet log.  The entire service-learning component of the course is worth 100 points or 20% of the overall course grade; 20 points are awarded for each volunteer session completed and reported on the Facebook group page and up to 40 points are given for the Service-learning Wrap-up assignment which includes the essay and spreadsheet.

    CSR Plan

    As already stated under Case Study above, each student will select a major hospitality or tourism organization and take an in-depth look at their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities to date.  As already stated under Service Learning above, each student will be required to complete a minimum of three sessions of service/volunteer work at one or more approved community social welfare organizations during the course of the semester. The CSR PLAN brings together the student’s work on these and other earlier assignments and asks her/him to prepare the 2018 CSR plan for his/her chosen hospitality or tourism company incorporating activities designed to address one (or more) of the key social issues taught in the course. The entire CSR Plan assignment is worth 100 points or 20% of the overall course grade. Students will be asked to submit a first draft about halfway through which will be worth 20/100 points. The instructor will provide feedback on that first draft that will help the student finish up the plan knowing she/he is going in the right direction. The final submission of the completed CSR Plan at the end of the semester will be worth 80/100 points.

    Throughout the semester, students will learn about each of the six methods of CSR, from the modules and the textbook readings, and will be expected to incorporate each method into the CSR Plan.  For the CSR Plan the student will apply each of the six methods directly to their chosen hospitality or tourism company, determine how they relate to their service/volunteer work and then prepare a plan that emphasizes connecting them in the final paper. The final paper will in essence be an annual CSR plan for the student’s chosen corporation whose mission, vision and goals are built on a foundation of strategic alignment with the cause or causes that the service learning organization supports. This connection may or may not already exist to some extent between the organizations. The student should incorporate as many on-line technologies of social media (e.g. Facebook, YouTube, etc.) as possible when elaborating the plan. 

    The Final CSR Plan will take the place of a final exam for this class as it effectively sums up all the learning that the student has completed during the semester. Yes, that’s correct, no final exam!  Instead of preparing for a final exam students should put their time into producing a top-quality paper that will demonstrate that he/she has indeed mastered the concepts taught during the semester. A detailed rubric will be used by the instructor to evaluate the case study and this rubric will be accessed by the student from the assignment module.


    Course Requirements Number of Items
    Weekly Quizzes 100 pts   (10 @ 10pts each)
    Weekly Activities & Discussion 100 pts   (10 @ 10pts each)
    Weekly Challenges 50 pts     (10 @ 5pts each)
    Volunteer Sessions with Facebook Selfie Postings 60 pts     (3 @ 20pts each)
    Service-learning Essay & Spreadsheet 40 pts
    Case Study 50 pts
    CSR Plan - Draft 20 pts
    CSR Plan - Final 80 pts
    Total 500 pts
    Letter Range Letter Range Letter Range

    Above 93

    (470 - 500)


    84 - 86

    (420 - 434)


    70 - 76

    (350 - 384)


    90 - 93

    (450 - 469)


    80 - 83

    (400 - 419)


    60 - 69

    (300 - 349)


    87 - 89

    (435 - 449)


    77 - 79

    (385 - 399)


    < 60

    (< 299)

    Course Calendar

    Weekly Schedule

    Note: Topics and assignments are always subject to change. Any changes will be reflected in the weekly modules found in Canvas and will be posted in the “Announcements” feature within Canvas.

    Dates Module Topic(s) Assignments, Activities & Discussions Quizzes
    January 7 - 13 1
    • Introduction/Syllabus
    • From Teaching to Learning


    • Online Learning – Discussion Forum
    • Personal Impact/ Challenges Activity
    • Class Introductions via Facebook
    • Practice Quiz
    January 14 - 20 2


    • Service Learning
    • Global Perspective
    • Read Ch.1 of Text (Girling)
    • Review Service Learning Module
    • Service-learning Preliminary Work Plan
    • Weekly Challenge #1
    • Service-Learning Quiz
    January 21 - 27 3
    • Sustainability
    • Social Responsibility
    • Triple Bottom Line
    • Read Ch.2 of Text (Girling)
    • Weekly Challenge #2
    • Choose your H&T global corporation, start Case Study
    • Sustainability/Social Responsibility Quiz

    January 28 - February 3

    • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
    • Triple Bottom Line
    • Read Ch.3 of Text (Girling)
    • The 3 P’s
    • Weekly Challenge #3
    • CSR Quiz

    February 4 - 10

    • 1st CSR Method: Volunteerism
    • Read Ch.4 of Text (Girling)
    • Weekly Challenge #4
    • Case Study due Feb. 10
    • Volunteerism Quiz Quiz

    February 11 - 17

    • 2nd CSR Method: Corporate Philanthropy
    • Corporate Philanthropy Activity
    • Weekly Challenge #5
    • Corp Philanthropy Quiz

    February 18 - 24

    • 3rd CSR Method: Socially Responsible Business Practices
    • SRBP Activity
    • Weekly Challenge #6
    • SRBP Quiz

    February 25 – March 3

    • Global Social Issues & Related Causes
    • 1st Global Social Issue: Homelessness
    • Review Social Issues Module 
    • Weekly Challenge #7​
    • Social Issues and Causes Quiz

    March 4 - 10

    • 2nd Global Social Issue: Food Insecurity
    • Weekly Challenge #8
    • Food Insecurity Quiz

    March 11 – 17

    10 Spring Break!    

    March 18 – 24

    • 3rd Global Social Issue: Hygiene-Related Diseases
    • Weekly Challenge #9
    • Hygiene related Quiz

    March 25 - 31

    • 4th Global Social Issue: Human Trafficking
    • Weekly Challenge #10
    • Read posted articles/chapters
    • CSR Marketing Activity
    • Human Trafficking Quiz
    • CSR Marketing Quiz

    April 1 - 7

    • CSR Marketing Methods
    • Intro to CSR Plans
    • Work on last volunteer sessions and SL Essay
    • Start CSR Plans
    • Service Learning Journal and Essay due Monday, April 14

    April 8 - 14

    • CSR Plans
    • Work on CSR Plans

     April 15 - 21

    • CSR Plans
    • Final CSR Plans due last day of classes Friday, April 19

    April 22 - 26

    • Finals Week
    • Turn in late work (with points deducted)
    • Optional Extra Credit Quiz