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Business & Marketing
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Volkswagen Scandal of 2015 (Essay Sample)


The instruction was to write a 3-page double-spaced essay about the Volkswagen scandal of 2015 that primarily unearthed that the automaker was guilty of manipulating their engine software systems to pass diesel emission testing and outlining how you would have prevented the incident from occurring and how you respond to the public outrage, suppose you were an employee, manager, or the CEO of the diesel division. The formatting requirement was to use APA 7 format and a minimum of six sources. In addition, the sandwich rule of writing was required. The assignment formatting stipulated that no spacing between paragraphs of the same style was required.


Volkswagen Scandal
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Volkswagen Scandal
The much-publicized Volkswagen scandal in 2015 primarily unearthed that the automaker was guilty of manipulating their engine software systems to pass diesel emission testing, which ideally resulted in vast amounts of emission of the greenhouse gas nitrogen dioxide. This scandal happened under the watch of several senior management team members at the company for a couple of years. Moreover, other scandals would later be supposedly investigated by the company after coming clean on the emission scandal. In the wake of the scandal, a lot of media coverage, negative publicity, fines, and compensations hit the company from all directions impacting their business. When in a management position, it is proper to oversee smooth operations and ask pertinent questions regarding meeting its objectives, visions, and missions. Regarding this scandal at Volkswagen, outline how you would have prevented the incident from occurring and how you respond to the public outrage, suppose you were an employee, manager, or the CEO of the diesel division.
Firstly, if I were an employee or a manager at the company, I would ensure that all the other team members within my department adhere to the set standard operating procedures (SOPs) while upholding honesty and transparency at the workplace. It is essential to note that SOPs prevent fluctuation despite the difference of the operators and the operation duration while availing detailed information on the procedures of performing a task hence facilitating consistency in the end product quality (Amare, 2012, p. 206). Besides, The SOPs usually effectively address safety precautions and eliminate communication hitches within a company, and it is reasonable to adhere to them. Effecting these measures at the Volkswagen company then would have stopped the shortcut measures devised by the few insiders who colluded to deceive both the company's board of directors and the unsuspecting public. Besides, according to Volkswagen's legal and ethical code of conduct, the company's mission is to abide by the international regulations to optimize internal standards in the production of their motor vehicles, a process monitored through strict internal systems (Volkswagen group code of conduct, n.d., p. 13). Prioritizing adherence to SOPs would have ensured that employees follow the regulations regarding conduct to the letter. Therefore, a legal and ethical code of conduct cannot exist devoid of the corporation's SOPs.
Consequently, I would have prevented this incident as manager by delegating responsibility and authority throughout my department to underscore more freedom and teamwork in meeting the organization's objectives. Also, it has been proven to encourage employees to value organizational feedback as they feel respected and empowered hence making delegation of duties effective in enhancing accountability (Zhang et al., 2017, p. 8). This process also reinforces compliance and work quality. It leads to trust between management and employees. However, managers should manage with a hands-on approach since doing this will allow them to be more involved with the process while ensuring that all employees get continuous updates on policies and procedures.
Then, as a CEO of the diesel division, when the situation became public, I would have immediately issued a public apology to our consumers and all the stakeholders and pacifying public outrage by assuring that everyone guilty will have to face the consequences of that despicable act. Several studies prove that apologies marked with taking full responsibility are more effective than passive apologies and those arrogantly made without a sense of responsibility (Chung, 2011, p. 45). Such active apologies assist in regaining public trust and should be a priority. Ideally, owning up to the mistakes at Volkswagen through transparency would ease the tension between the company and the consumers. Again, the International Bar Association highlights the importance of corporate apologies and their effects on resolutions of problems of such magnitude (Carroll et al., 2015, para. 3). This international guideline supports the CEO's action as an initial remedy to the situation. However, If resigning from the role as CEO would be deemed the best option to allow for further investigations, I would gladly step down to restore trust in the company to boost our branding.
Finally, it is essential to steer clear of greed and dishonesty regarded as sinful in the Bible from a biblical perspective. Honesty would require that as a manager, one should comply with the Volkswagen whistleblowing protocols to notify the board about legal laws violations by the culprits involved (Compliance, n.d., para. 5). We all should have a moral obligation to our fellow humans to protect them by preventing any hurt, harm, or danger from befalling them. Hence it should have been the manager's responsibility to ensure that consumers get genuine products. By trying to please the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States, some Volkswagen officials claimed that they had built cars capable of adhering to the EPA emission requirements even though they were predominantly diesel cars. It would have been better not to produce any vehicles and focus on research and development to unveil better and safer motor vehicles fro

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