To Be a Savior or a Spectator?
plateau sickness; hypoxia; rescue; customer citizenship behavior
Due to the extremely high altitude of the Tibetan Plateau (sometimes referred to as “The Roof of the World”, given its status as the highest and largest plateau in the world) unacclimated visitors are often at risk for succumbing to hypobaric hypoxia. This potentially fatal condition is the result of insufficient oxygen that is common at high altitudes. Also known as “plateau sickness”, symptoms include shortness of breath, increased heart rate, dizziness, headaches, drowsiness, moodiness, and unconsciousness. While discussing the sightseeing itinerary for the next day, a group of tourists staying overnight at a local inn heard a loud “thud” coming from the nearby common bathroom. Having just seen a tired looking gentleman enter with shower accessories in hand, the tourists became increasingly concerned after he failed to respond to loud knocking and enquiries, which were easily heard even with the shower running. Absent a reply, the guests instinctually knew their fellow traveler likely succumbed to hypoxia and fainted while showering. As concerned guests reacted to the commotion and broke down the door during the rescue, the innkeeper and staff merely stood by as passive spectators. Even worse, while the guests attended to the unconscious man, the innkeeper instructed his staff to not help, as he wanted to avoid any legal entanglement.
Number of Pages
International Journal of Business and Economics
Rosen College of Hospitality Management
Zhang, Xi-Yue (Moon) and Chen, Po-Ju, "To Be a Savior or a Spectator?" (2017). Faculty Scholarship and Creative Works. 748.