Volkswagen: emissions scandal and related brand management and business ethics issues

Volkswagen: emissions scandal and related brand management and business ethics issuesPaper Details
This Case Assignment focuses on Volkswagen’s emissions scandal and related brand management and business ethics issues.

Case Reading
Boston, W., & Houston-Waesch, M. (2015, Oct 15). Volkswagen suspends another top engineer; berlin orders recall; transport minister says recall of tainted diesel cars is mandatory. Wall Street Journal (Online).

Cremer, A. (2016, April 20). VW to pay each U.S. customer $5,000 to settle dieselgate: Die Welt. Retrieved from

Danny, Hakim, Kessler, A. M., & Ewing, J. (2015, Sep 27). As VW pushed to be no. 1, ambitions fueled a scandal. New York Times. De Cremer, D., & de Bettignies, H. (2013). PRAGMATIC BUSINESS ETHICS. Business Strategy Review, 24(2), 64-67.

De Cremer, D., & de Bettignies, H. (2013). PRAGMATIC BUSINESS ETHICS. Business Strategy Review, 24(2), 64-67.

Ewing, J. (2016, April 21). Volkswagen Reaches Deal in U.S. Over Emissions Scandal. New York Times. Retrieved from

Farrell, S. (2015, Oct. 26). Volkswagen loses sales top spot to Toyota after emissions scandal. Retrieved from

Fung, B. (2015). Volkswagen’s U.S. CEO apologizes for emissions cheating scandal. Washington: WP Company LLC d/b/a The Washington Post.

Lane, C. (2015, Oct. 26). Emissions scandal is hurting VW owners trying to Resell. Retrieved from .

La Monica, P.,R. (2015, Sep 23). Volkswagen has plunged 50%. will it ever recover? CNN Wire Service.

Sanger-Katz, M., & Schwartz, J. (2015, Sep 30). Gauging human toll of VW fraud. International New York Times.

Here are some articles on brand equity and brand management.

Keller, K. L. (1993). Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity. Journal of Marketing, 57(1), 1-22.

Helm, S., & Tolsdorf, J. (2013). How does corporate reputation affect customer loyalty in a corporate crisis? Journal of Contingencies & Crisis Management, 21 (3), p144-152.

Case Assignment
Develop a report in terms of the following guidelines. A well-written report should have a brief introduction, headings or subheadings, and a brief concluding comment. Note that you should use some keywords as headings or subheadings such as “Brand Equity of VW†, instead of a sentence or a question. Read and cite required articles on Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, as well as additional research you have done, and address the following issues:

Briefly describe Volkswagen’s emissions scandal and provide background on the company and automobile industry.
Do you think Volkswagen’s brand reputation was severely damaged by the emissions scandal? How about its brand equity? Discuss what brand equity is, and how Volkswagen’s brand equity will be impacted.
How should Volkswagen handle the emissions scandal in an ethical way? Discuss the related ethical issues from both consumer and brand manager perspectives.
What can you learn from this case? What suggestions could you offer to Volkswagen’s top management?

Assignment Expectations
Expectations Regarding Your References and Defense of Your Positions

Write clearly, simply, and logically. Your paper should be 750–1,500 words long, excluding title pages and references, but quality of writing is more important than length. Use double-spaced, black Verdana or Times Roman font in 12 pt. type size.

Back up your positions or opinions with references to the required readings for this Case and those in the Module Background. In using those references, demonstrate your understanding of the concepts presented. Rather than grading on how much information you find, emphasis will be on the defense of the positions you take on the issues. Also remember that:

The “why†is more important than the “what.â€
The defense of your positions on the issues is more important than the positions you take.
Do not repeat or quote definitions. Your use of the required reading to support your opinions (that is, contentions or positions) should demonstrate that you understand the concepts presented. Do not include definitions or summaries of the readings or simply describe what the company did. Instead, your responses to the questions should be analytical and should demonstrate that (a) you understand the principles from the background reading and (b) you can apply them to this particular case. Vague, general answers will not earn a good grade.

Avoid redundancy and general statements such as “All organizations exist to make a profit.†Make every sentence count.

Paraphrase the facts using your own words and ideas, employing quotes sparingly. Quotes, if absolutely necessary, should rarely exceed five words.

When writing an academically oriented paper, you will uncover many facts about the company and the scandal. If you paraphrase the facts, cite the sources in your text and link those citations to references at the end of the paper.

Here are some guidelines on how to conduct information search and build critical thinking skills.

Emerald Group Publishing. (n.d.). Searching for Information. Retrieved from

Emerald Group Publishing. (n.d.). Developing Critical Thinking. Retrieved from

Guidelines for handling quoted and paraphrased material are found at:

Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Academic Writing. Retrieved from

Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing. Retrieved from

Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Avoiding Plagiarism. Retrieved from

Your paper consists of arguments in favor of your opinions or positions on the issues addressed by the guidelines; therefore, avoid the following logical fallacies:

Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Logic in Argumentative Writing. Retrieved from
Module 1 – Background

STP, Product Management & Situation Analysis

The reading list for this first module is quite extensive. However, many of these items will also serve as references for Modules 2-4.

How to conduct a marketing audit (n.d.). Retrieved from

Introduction to financial statements for marketing (n.d.). Retrieved from

Marks, R. E. (1997). Market structure and competition (October 9). Retrieved from

Marketing Research (n.d.). MarketingTeacher. Retrieved from

These Web pages explain concepts of the Segmenting, Targeting, and Positioning.

Building Customer Relationships. (2014). Pearson Learning Solutions, New York, NY. Retrieved from

Building Customer Relationships (Audio). (2014). Pearson Learning Solutions, New York, NY. Retrieved from

Segmentation (n.d.). MarketingTeacher. Retrieved from

Targeting (n.d.). MarketingTeacher. Retrieved from

Positioning (n.d.). MarketingTeacher. Retrieved from

Perner, L. (n.d.). Segmentation, targeting, and positioning. Consumer Psychologist. Retrieved from

Here are some useful links on market segments:

Nielsen. (n.d.). MyBestSegments ZIP code look-up. Retrieved from

Nielsen. (n.d.). Nielsen PRIZM – Understanding social and lifestage groups. Retrieved from

Nielsen. (n.d.). Segment Explorer. Retrieved from

ESRI. (n.d.). Demographic, consumer, and business data. Retrieved from

TETRAD. (n.d.). Demographics. Retrieved from

This article explains considerations internal to the firm that affect its financial health:

Porter, M. (1980). Generic strategies. Retrieved from

These Web pages explain the forces external to the firm that affect the financial health of a product or company:

PEST Analysis (n.d.). MarketingTeacher. Retrieved from

Managing External Forces (n.d.). Marketing Tutorials. KnowThis. Retrieved from

The following readings relate to product management strategy:

Products and Services. (2014). Pearson Learning Solutions, New York, NY. Retrieved from

Products and Services (Audio). (2014). Pearson Learning Solutions, New York, NY. Retrieved from

Product decisions (n.d.). KnowThis. Retrieved from

This series of Web pages explains that product decisions over which firms have control are forces that determine the financial health of a product or company:

Product strategies (n.d.). LearnMarketing. Retrieved from

The following articles explain and illustrate branding:

Aisner, J. E. (1999) More than a name: The role of brands in people’s lives. Working Knowledge for Business Leaders Series. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School. Retrieved from

Beyersdorfer, D., et al. (2011 January/February). Preserve the luxury or extend the brand? Harvard Business Review. 89:1/2(January/February):173-7.

Christ, P. (2009). Understanding the importance of branding (October 28). Retrieved from

Clark, D. (2011 March) Reinventing your personal brand. Harvard Business Review. 89:5 (March):78-81.

Edelman, D. C. (2010). Branding in the digital age. Harvard Business Review. 88:12 (December):62-69.

Introduction to brands (n.d.). Marketing Teacher. Retrieved from

Klein, K. E. (2008). A practical guide to branding. Bloomberg Businessweek (June 9).

Tauber, E. W. (1981). Four branding alternatives: A branding strategy based upon brand extension. Marketing Teacher. Retrieved from

Zax, D. (2010). For Millennials, brands may be as important as religion, ethnicity. Co-Create(November 17). Retrieved from

The following article explains brand personality:

Fournier, S. (1998). Consumers and their brands: Developing relationship theory in consumer research. Journal of Consumer Research. 24:4(March):343-372.

These articles address the question of celebrity endorsements:

A Teakettle with Star Power? The Upsides and Pitfalls of Celebrity Brands (2011).Knowledge@Wharton (April 27). Retrieved from

Star Blight: The Perils of Celebrity Endorsements (2006). Knowledge@Wharton (September 6).Retrieved from

Stone, M. (2012). How Retailers’ Love Affair With Celebrities Will Blossom In 2012. Forbes (January 4).

Check the professional market research reports from IBISWorld database to find the industry analysis for your cumulative Session Long Project.

IBISWorld Overview (n.d.). IBISWorld, Inc., New York, NY.

IBISWorld Forecast (n.d.). IBISWorld, Inc., New York, NY.

IBISWorld Data and Sources (n.d.). IBISWorld, Inc., New York, NY.

IBISWorld Navigation Tips (n.d.). IBISWorld, Inc., New York, NY.

Check the following links for proper APA citation and reference format:

Purdue University Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). In-text citations: The basics. Retrieved from

Cornell University Library. (n.d.). APA citation style. Retrieved from

Golden Gate University. (n.d.). University library: Research help. Retrieved from

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. (n.d.). The center for writing studies. Retrieved from

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