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Answer the following questions using the provided case and pgs:
1. How might the categorical imperative become a part of organizational culture?
2. Could it ever work in business?
3. Do you see the categorical imperative as applicable to your own interests and hope for a career?
C A S E S F R O M T H E R E A L W O R L D
In the fall of 2016, Samsung Electronics experienced a massive public relations disaster when its Galaxy
Note 7 smartphones started exploding due to faulty batteries and casings. Initially, the company denied
there were any technical problems. Then, when it became obvious the exploding phones posed a safety
and health threat (they were banned from airplanes), Samsung accused its suppliers of creating the
problem. In reality, the rush to beat Apple’s iPhone 7 release date was the most likely reason corners
were cut in production. Samsung finally owned up to the problem, recalled more than two million
phones worldwide, and replaced them with new, improved Galaxy Note 7s.
The company’s response and its replacement of the phones went a long way toward defusing the
disaster and even boosting the company’s share price. Whether management knew it, its response was
Kantian. Samsung focused on the end (i.e., customer safety and satisfaction) with the motive of doing
the ethically responsible thing. Although some might argue the company could have done far more and
much more quickly, perhaps it still acted in accordance with the categorical imperative. What do you
Byars, S. M., & Stanberry, K. (2019). Business ethics. OpenStax College, Rice University.