read the case study at the end of chapter 6 “Are Drivers or Smartphones to Blame?” Reflecting on the unit Reading, answer these questions:
LEADERSHIP CASE PROBLEM A
Are Drivers or Smartphones to Blame?
Top-level leaders at a company that manufactures smartphones, tablet computers, and portable music players, among other electronic devices held a one day retreat. The purpose was to think though how well the company was contributing to society. Technology chief, Olivia, commented, “I am very proud of us as a company. Think of what we have done for the world. Because of our products, people are more productive, smarter, and happier. At any time of the day, millions of users can access the information they need, and get in touch with whoever they want. Furthermore, they don’t have to clutter their minds with facts, or even know how to spell correctly, or do basic math. With the tap of a few buttons, or touching a screen, they get all the information they need.” CEO Raphael added, “You are so right Olivia. Also, people don’t even have to pay for landline telephones any longer. And think of how hundreds of companies can hire fewer people because of our devices. I learned recently that many car dealerships have laid off many of their in-store sales reps because a good deal of car purchasing is now done over the Internet. And people don’t have to purchase those ink-laden newspapers because they can get all the information they need on a handheld device.” Derek, the marketing manager, with a worried look said to the group. “We all make a great living from the electronic devices we make and sell, and so do our competitors. The information technology industry has created millions of jobs. And maybe we have also eliminated millions of jobs. However, I want us as industry leaders to focus on one issue right now. “The accidents and deaths our devices are facilitating are getting out of hand. At first it was people sending and receiving calls on their cell phones that was creating driving hazards. Then along came texting which is even a bigger problem. Now we have data that the number of people who surf the Internet while driving is surging. “I know that states, provinces, and municipalities forbid texting or handheld phone use while driving, but the laws are largely ignored, and the carnage continues. I am asking us to consider what role we should play as an industry leader in getting consumers to use our products in a way that does not harm or kill other people on the streets and highways.” Raphael replied, “I think that local governments, Internet service providers, and perhaps schools have more responsibility for minimizing accidents with smartphone users. If we were making kitchen knives instead of electronic devices would we be responsible for the occasional deaths and injuries caused by these knives? “In our situation, we have to ask whether the drivers or the smartphones are to blame for the accidents of distracted drivers.”