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Critical Thinking Questions: Categorical Imperative (Essay Sample)


According to Kantian ethics, the golden rule of the categorical imperative is "Act as you would want all other people to act towards all other people." Therefore, this rule calls for people to apply morality across all divides regardless of circumstances, power, or status, which is a universal application of the law.


Critical Thinking: Categorical Imperative
Question 1
The Kantian categorical imperative is based on the law, "Work only according to a maxim such that you can want at the same time that it becomes universal law" (Ast, 2019). This is the first and the most important aspect of the categorical imperative and can become part of the organizational culture to ensure that the firm's actions are based on what is right rather than what is best. Like Samsung accepted its mistakes, apologized, and replaced the faulty phones, the categorical imperative will ensure that the organizational culture values responsibility, which is worth customer trust and loyalty. Therefore, with categorical imperative as part of organizational culture, the firm is sure to follow the right path when dealing with a problem no matter the risks or losses involved in the short time. Notably, ethics also dictate that individuals act in goodwill and not use others as means for acquiring their needs.
Although Samsung management may not be aware that their decision was based on these Kantian ethics, the fact that they decided not to frame or blame their suppliers for their failures is every prove there is. In another scenario, Samsung management could have stuck to blaming their supplier for supplying faulty materials, which translated to the exploding phones. This way, the firm would avoid the losses and risks that came with the failure and instead let the supplier carry the burden hence using them as a means to escape responsibility. However, the management owned up in goodwill and did what was right for everyone even if it meant soiling its reputation and losses in replacing the faulty phones. One way or the other, the organization saved its reputation and kept its customers, which is beneficial in the long term. While there is no one way to deal with the numerous issues that face organizations, integrating categorical imperative into the organization culture could ensure that every individual in the organization knows what to do when faced with conflicting choices(Agbude et al.,2015). For instance, an employee may be tempted to charge consumers more than the actual price to make some money on the side, but if they stop to think about what would happen if every other employee did the same, it may deter them from doing the same. The organizational culture, in this case, would be based on the belief that whatever anyone does can become universal at their will. Therefore if the management wants to earn the trust and loyalty of customers and employees alike, they should earn it by doing the right thing. For example, they should not lie to employees about promotions or bonuses because they would not wish the employees to lie to them about other pertinent issues.
The bottom line is, this kind of culture is a self-driving force behind organizational decision making affecting everyone from the top management to the lowest level employees. Similarly, the management cannot overwork the employees to achieve a set target without paying for the overtime because such would mean that they are using their employees as a means to achieve their goals while overworking them. As such, categorical imperative in the organizational culture calls for everyone in the organization to act as though their actions are universal law and every other person gets to do the same. According to the imperative, doing what is right may cost the organization or individuals in the short term as they forgo decisions or actions that would have benefited them and choose others that mean many risks or losses. However, it is beneficial in the long-term when the organizations reap the benefits of responsiveness, loyal, and trustworthiness. Also, indiscipline, absenteeism, theft, or forgery cases are likely to be less in such organizational culture.
Question 2
It is possible to apply categorical imperative to business as long as the parties involved look beyond profit and losses, which is the primary concern for all business people. For categorical imperative to work in business settings, there should be a high level of mindfulness, maturity, and rationality that will force individuals to abandon a decision or action for ethical reasons even if it is more profitable than the others. Otherwise, the imperative can be a valuable asset and a competitive edge for businesses that can accommodate and practice it. For one, the categorical imperative is accompanied by virtues such as honesty, respect, responsibility, faithfulness, etc. When practiced by businesses, there would be fewer cases of fraud, bribery, and irresponsibility. For instance, Samsung's action after the failure saved not only its image but that of its suppliers and retailers since they could share their part of the blame even though innocent.
In the same way, businesses can ensure that the whole chain, right from suppliers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and end-users, uphold the Kantian ethics by doing only what they would wish to apply universally(Agbude et al.,2015). For example, a supplier would think hard before supplying faulty products because they will ask themselves, "would we wish for every supplier to do the same"? What would happen if all business people were untrustworthy? They will avoid such selfish acts that are only meant to increase profits at the expense of quality.
In business, it is very tempting to use others as a means to achieve a goal, whether more profits, reputation, or winning a bid. However, if categorical imperative is in play, parties are obliged to act at goodwill according to using others. However, for the categorical imperative to work effectively for businesses, all

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