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Fact, fiction, and feng shui: An exploratory study

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Purpose – This exploratory study aims to determine whether a relationship is likely to exist between good feng shui and success. Design/methodology/approach – The feng shui of eight hotel foyers and entrances were evaluated against 20 criteria, and managers asked to comment on the success of their hotels. Results were examined for possible relationships between feng shui and their descriptions of success. Findings – Similarities between the reported success of hotel and feng shui evaluations were found in six out of the eight hotels in the study. Research limitations/implications – Responses on success were subjective and based on five criteria, which were insufficient to determine the existence of a firm relationship between actual success and feng shui. However, this was an exploratory study, and the relationships were sufficiently strong to warrant further research. Practical implications – Findings suggest that feng shui offers useful design principles, and hotels with good feng shui are described as being more successful than those with poor feng shui. Good feng shui appears to have a positive effect on feelings of success. Originality/value – This is the first study that attempts to test the relationship between good feng shui and success.
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... At the same time, the content in research articles under various headings is very repetitive. Nonetheless, in the Asian world, feng shui is an important cultural moment whose inuence can be traced through contributions in economics and real estate (e.g., Choy et al., 2007;Chang, 2009;So, 2009;Chang & Lii, 2010;Wu et al., 2012;Yau, 2012;Chen et al., 2015), tourism (e.g., Hobson, 1994;Poulston, 2009;Poulston & Bennett, 2012), and traditional and o cial medicine (e.g., Whedon, 2000;Schumm, 2004;Sit, 2004;. ere are very few contributions that focus on evaluating feng shui recommendations and exploring whether these recommendations actually work, or whether they are merely part of anthropological cultural heritage. ...
... Even in experimental studies, the main focus is on exploring the e ectiveness of the school of form, and only in two cases also on parts of the school of compass (Bazley et al., 2016;Charles et al., 2017). As many as half of the eld studies deal with the position of the building in the wider environment (e.g., Han & Amita, 1996;Lynch, 2003;Han, 2004;Mak et al., 2005;Um, 2009), and half focus on the design of the building or its interior (e.g., So & Lu, 2001;Mak et al., 2005;Poulston & Bennett, 2012;Octavia & Gunawan, 2014;Bazley et al., 2016;Charles et al., 2017;Hong et al., 2017;Mak, 2017). Some studies seek to prove the credibility of feng shui recommendations through existing evaluation systems (see, e.g., Chang et al., 2009;Pheng et al., 2012). ...
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Feng shui is a traditional Chinese art of creating a supportive living environment. Despite many research contributions on feng shui, very few verify (comparatively or experimentally) the actual effectiveness of feng shui recommendations. Even the architectural profession has never clearly denied its opinion on feng shui. This comparative analysis seeks to determine whether 118 selected feng shui school of form recommendations are consistent with the recommendations of Alexander et al.’s pattern language and with selected findings in environmental psychology. The results support this, showing that 34% of the recommendations (or forty recommendations out of 118 in total) are consistent with pattern language and that 45% (or fifty-three recommendations) are fully or partially consistent with the findings of environmental psychology. Altogether, more than half of the recommendations (57%, or sixty-seven recommendations) are consistent (indirectly confirmed) by one or the other knowledge system, which means that it is very likely that these recommendations will actually have the promised impact on users of physical space. Twenty-seven feng shui recommendations (or 23% out of the 118) are doubly consistent, of which most are related to the five-animals feng shui model, the importance of the presence of water and natural light in the living environment, and the importance of the main entrance. The bulk of the recommendations, which remain unaddressed, relate to the Chinese concept of living energy, or qi.
... Choy idr., 2007;Chang, 2009;So, 2009;Chang in Lii, 2010;Wu idr., 2012;Yau, 2012;Chen idr., 2015), turizma (npr. Hobson, 1994;Poulston, 2009;Poulston in Bennett, 2012) ter zdravilstva in zdravstva (npr. Whedon, 2000;Schumm, 2004;Sit, 2004;. ...
... Han in Amita, 1996;Lynch, 2003;Han, 2004;Mak idr., 2005ali Um, 2009, polovica pa se osredotoča na interjer ali zasnovo objekta (npr. So in Lu, 2001;Mak idr., 2005;Poulston in Bennett, 2012;Octavia idr., 2014;Bazley idr., 2016;Charles idr., 2017;Hong idr., 2017;Mak, 2017). Nekatere študije poskušajo dokazovati verodostojnost teh priporočil na podlagi obstoječih sistemov vrednotenja (glej npr. ...
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Feng šui je tradicionalna kitajska umetnost oblikovanja podpornega bivalnega okolja. Kljub številnim fengšuiskim znanstvenim prispevkom se jih zelo malo ukvarja s (primerjalnim ali eksperimentalnim) preverjanjem dejanske ucinkovitosti fengšuiskih priporocil. Tudi arhitekturna stroka se do pojava nikoli ni jasno opredelila. Izvedena primerjalna analiza poskuša zato odgovoriti na raziskovalno vprašanje, ali je izbranih118 priporocil fengšuiske šole oblike usklajenih s priporocili jezika vzorcev Alexandra in sodelavcev ter izbranimi spoznanji okoljske psihologije. Rezultati pritrjujejo raziskovalnemu vprašanju in kažejo, da je 34% (40 priporocil od118) priporocil usklajenih z jezikom vzorcev in da je 45% (53) v celoti ali delno usklajenih s spoznanji okoljske psihologije. Skupaj je v okviru enega ali drugega sistema znanja skladna (posredno potrjena) dobra polovica (natancneje 57% ali 67) priporocil, kar pomeni, da obstaja velika verjetnost, da ta priporocila dejansko imajo na uporabnike prostora vpliv, kot ga obljubljajo. Dvojno skladnih je 27 priporocil (23%), pri cemer se jih najvec povezuje s fengšuisko shemo petih živali, pomenom prisotnosti vode in naravne svetlobe v bivalnem okolju ter pomenom glavnega vhoda. Najvecji del priporocil, ki ostane neprekritih, se povezuje s kitajskim konceptom življenjske energije qi (izg.ci).
... Business literature to date has focussed on Feng Shui and issues such as its influence on interior design and customers (Ahmadnia et al., 2017;Ho and Chuang, 2012); real estate Choy et al., 2007;Peng et al., 2012); corporate reputation and image (Chang, 2009, Chang andLii, 2010); branding and supernatural beliefs (Chang and Lii, 2008;Schmitt and Pan, 1994); family business functions (Wall et al., 2009) and consumer purchase intent . Poulston and Bennett (2012) explored the relationship between Feng Shui and hotel foyers and other researchers the pertinence of Feng Shui in Asian culture (Hobson, 1994, Chen, 2007Wang et al., 2013a;Wu, 2008). However no studies have deconstructed the Feng Shui ritual and explored the perceived value this ritual provides its users. ...
... The principles of Feng Shui not only penetrate personal life, but it is also thought that in a business sense, Feng Shui can assist profits and favourable business activities (Chen, 2007). It is thought an environment exuding good qi creates energy, creativity and balance, potentially increasing financial success of the business (Poulston and Bennett, 2012) and that fortune and good health follow the gathering of positive qi (Chang and Lii, 2010). ...
Article
Superstition and the rituals used to support such beliefs remain an important part of Chinese business society. With the advance of globalisation and the normalisation of many business practices this study explores the importance these rituals continue to play in the contemporary hospitality setting. The paper examines the prominence of Feng Shui in business today in a qualitative study using Chinese restaurants to explore associated business behaviours and perceived value of use. Findings from 20 phenomenological interviews from across four different Asian communities are discussed highlighting the core elements of this ritualistic practice. Results indicate that these practices continue to be used widely, have significant impact in managing the servicescape, and, influence the decisions and behaviours of proprietors. Feng Shui ritual plays an important role in the creation of value for business proprietors who practice it and a conceptual framework on how these rituals provide value is proposed.
... Another approach is a comparison with the selected sustainable design principles [13] or the analyses, whether fengshui recommendations can be integrated into contemporary models for total building performance [14]. The applicative verification of the effectiveness of the fengshui recommendations was also used in the pilot study of hotel lobbies [15] where a correlation between the economic performance of chosen hotels and a good feng shui of the hotel lobby could be identified. In the analysis of the comfort of medical waiting rooms [16] the area with the best feng shui was also the best from the point of view of the users. ...
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Chinese feng shui is well-researched in social sciences but under-researched regarding its impact on the well-being of users. The main problem is the isolation of feng shui effects. Participants (n = 134) provided a photograph of their bedroom onto which feng shui recommendations were sent long distance (for 4 months), using an instrumental biocommunication device with a computer, white-noise diode and fengshui recommendations database. Three groups were formed, one acted as control (double-blind protocol). Data was collected through self-evaluating questionnaires (n = 10) on the quality of sleep and well-being. Data were statistically evaluated with R environment using linear mixed models and the analyses of variables: feng shui support, stress, age, and bedroom evaluation. Results for sleep show feng shui as the most statistically significant variable (p = <0.001). For each day the value for sleep increases by 0.003 on the Likert scale 1-5. In 120 days, it increases by 0.36. The impact is dynamic and in direct connection with the level of our living environment satisfaction, stress, and age. For well-being most statistically significant are stress (p<0.001) and the interaction of feng shui and bedroom rating (p<0.001). Positive feng shui impact is highest for participants without stress and low satisfaction with the bedroom environment.
... There is also an increasing number of New Age themed documentaries, such as The Secret (Byrne, Practices such as feng shui [referred to as a "New Age energy scam" in the Skeptic's Dictionary (Carroll, 2003, p. 144)] have also gained wide acceptance in the West, with some hotel companies following the design principles to improve the guest experience and profitability (Poulston & Bennett, 2012). ...
Article
The New Age phenomenon is a marginal unknown in tourism studies, despite its inclusion under the broader umbrella of religious tourism, and various attempts to conceptualize it as a form of New Age tourism. It offers an opportunity for researchers in the field to study a large part of a society that is neither separate from, nor necessarily included in, categories of religion. In this review article, Pernecky and Poulston challenge typical tourism approaches to segmenting markets into discrete groups, and work with the premise that if approached through an understanding of social, cultural, political, and spiritual contexts, New Age is a fertile capping term for a phenomenon that shapes the global mind change, shifting values, understandings, and behaviors in the world. To address broader concerns, the authors provide both a critical review of existing definitions and conceptualizations of the New Age phenomenon and an historical foundation for both the phenomenon and the term. Pernecky and Poulston also highlight potential pitfalls in the study of the New Age concept, and present a complex set of challenges for tourism researchers, students, and practitioners who may be tempted by etic framings of the subject. In that light, the authors emphasize the need for emic approaches, that is, those which painstakingly and demonstrably acknowledge the perspectives, viewpoints, and experiences of the actors involved, which they argue are more richly suited for understanding "New Agers." Importantly, the review article presents the New Age movement and concept not only as a singular "special interest group," but as a context of noteworthy conceptual value, as touristic objects, places, and experiences indeed play a vital role in the constitution of meaning and interpretation-that is, in the worldmaking processes of our time. (Abstract by Reviews Editor).
... On the other hand, traditional art of feng shui proves to be a well-structured apparatus that demonstrates how a specific spiritual concept can be used in the design of the supportive environment. Although there are only few scientific evaluations concentrating on design process [33,34] some research show, that following feng shui recommendations can actually help design a more efficient living environment [35,36,37]. Other comparative studies show, that some recommendations of feng shui and environmental psychology partly overlap [5,38]. ...
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After five decades of its presence in the Western European space, the architectural profession, regardless of the popularity of feng shui, has never systematically declared itself about this phenomenon. This is a professional problem. It is equally absurd to dismiss feng shui as a bunch of superstitious nonsense without properly scientifically researching it, as well as its detailed study following all Western science standards, without asking, at least once, whether the fengshui recommendations have the effect they promise, and if so, which and why. To answer this question an in-depth analyses of scientific articles on feng shui was performed. Evaluation studies found were divided into three groups: comparative studies where the effectiveness of fengshui's recommendations is not directly verified by field research, but compared with findings in other areas of science; field experimental studies that examine the actual effectiveness of selected feng shui recommendations, through a real or virtual environment, engaging participants and sometimes a control protocol and studies of living quality evaluation systems with feng shui recommendations. Based on the results of the studies analysed it can be concluded, that between the feng shui school of form, environmental psychology and sustainable design principles there are certain similarities, which some researchers confirm with a higher or a lower degree of correlation and statistical significance. On the other side, one of the fundamental concepts of feng shui, namely the concept of life energy qi, remains poorly researched. The conclusion is, that the greatest potential of feng shui for contemporary architecture is not so much in the practical application of its techniques and recommendations, as much of this is already included in everyday design practise, but in its philosophical and conceptual foundations. They can encourage architects to rethink spatial concepts and, if necessary, to change established spatial paradigms.
Article
Purpose There have recently been an increasing number of scientific studies exploring the effectiveness of practising Chinese Geomancy or Feng Shui in the built environment. However, these are rather generic studies focusing mainly on urban planning, architecture, and interior design. The impetus for this present research stems from the lack of understanding relating to the practice of Feng Shui in Facilities Management (FM). Bridging these two disciplines, this study examines the relevance of and relationship between Feng Shui and FM principles. Design/methodology/approach A questionnaire survey was conducted, the results of which affirm the validity of the assimilated relationships between the two disciplines. Interviews with three groups of experts – the Feng Shui practitioners, Facilities Managers, and Feng Shui practitioners who are also building professionals - were also conducted to verify the assimilation of the two disciplines with a view to draw new perspectives for better understanding. Findings The principles of Feng Shui and FM were studied and the validity of the relationships between fifteen Feng Shui principles and three FM activities were examined. The latter relates specifically to Building Fabric Cleaning, Routine External Site/Lot Cleaning as well as Road and Pavement Cleaning. It was found that specific Feng Shui principles and scenarios appear to influence the three FM activities. The statistical analysis shows that the means of specific Feng Shui scenarios, in relation to FM activities, were consistently higher than that of the Feng Shui principles. The one-sample t-test indicates that all the Feng Shui principles were significant in affecting the three FM activities. Research limitations/implications This study provides a better understanding of the relevance of Feng Shui principles influencing FM principles. This study also revealed the challenges and limitations in bridging the relationships between these two disciplines. Originality/value This study is the first investigation to examine the relevance and relationship between Feng Shui and FM practice. This serves to encourage further research to determine how Feng Shui design implementation will affect the ease of conducting FM activities. If the relationship is established, as is the case from this study, then the implementation of Feng Shui principles in building design can be encouraged to positively influence the ease of conducting FM activities downstream in the occupancy stage. This can serve to contribute to the improvement of sustainable building design. It can also contribute to the scientific investigation of Feng Shui which has so far been largely overlooked in built environment studies. Such studies can help to demystify and provide logical and scientific interpretations of how Feng Shui principles actually work.
Conference Paper
Design always play a significant role in attracting customer to come and visit a store. Like the famous English phrase of "love at first sight", a good or a faulty design can influence the future success or failure of a business. So many attributes are influencing design, one of them is the choice of building materials. From the previous literature, we can see that building materials are somewhat influencing the performance of the business there. The selection of restaurant as research target is because after food, design and first impression of a restaurant usually determines the willingness of the customer to visit and eat. For this study, we will try to elaborate various literature to find the relationship between facade materials selection, perception of price for customers, and foods served in a restaurant. We also would like to find attributes that influence customer decision to eat when they faced several options on restaurant selections (i.e. In shopping malls or shopping arcade). This research findings are useful for restaurant owners and business in general to design their product to be inline with customer perception.
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