Taking feng shui seriously

Poulston, J
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AUT University

Feng shui is a form a geomancy (divination) based on the landscape, and was initially used to select burial sites in China to ensure the spirits of the dead were protected from evil spirits. According to Eastern traditions, landscape feng shui principles can be applied to many aspects of life, such as the placement of buildings and the design of interior spaces to bring success to their inhabitants. Feng shui crosses cultural beliefs, psychology, and architecture, so is difficult to investigate scientifically. However, many hotel operators appear to follow feng shui practices to improve profitability, although there is little scholarly evidence of this, and none to suggest that it works. This paper therefore explores scholarly interest in feng shui and the use of feng shui in hotels, to determine whether or not the topic warrants serious research. A pilot study is outlined to determine whether a relationship exists between hotels with good feng shui and the number of times these hotels have changed their name, being an arbitrary indicator of the hotels’ economic stability. If the pilot study suggests a relationship, further study will be undertaken on a larger scale, using profit and loss statements where available, to more accurately determine the relationship between the use of feng shui principles in hospitality, and success.

Paper presented at the 18th Annual CHME Research Conference, Bournemouth, England, 2009-05-13 - 2009-05-15
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