Volkswagen’s Emissions Scandal: How Could It Happen?

Abstract:
The case is a detailed ‘inside’ account of the ‘dieselgate’ scandal at Volkswagen which revealed how engineers had programmed software that enabled its cars to cheat emissions tests. It explores the origins of internal and external forces that propelled the company to market environmentally sustainable “clean diesel” cars while using engine management software to conceal on-the-road emissions of over 40 times the permitted levels. The scandal – one of the biggest of the decade – illustrates contributing factors that are common to many instances of organizational misconduct: obedience to authority, organizational culture, goal-setting, and corporate governance.

AuthorsN. Craig Smith & Erin McCormick
InstitutionINSEAD, France
Competition Year2018
PlaceSecond Prize
TrackCorporate Sustainability
Key WordsEnvironmental Responsibility, Organizational Misconduct, Vehicle Emissions, Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Ethics, Organizational Culture, Leadership, Green Marketing, Volkswagen, Automotive Industry, Pollution, Fraud Triangle, Crisis Management
CoursesCorporate Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics, Management, Green Marketing, Corporate Governance, Automotive Industry
Target AudienceMBAs, Upper-level undergraduates, Executive education
Permission rightsPlease contact at: case.studies@insead.edu
DownloadInspection Copy
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oikos International

posted June 5, 2018

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