Volkswagen Scandal And CSR Essay

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1. Introduction Volkswagen is one of the largest automakers in the world and it has a global reputation as a high-quality German auto brand. Social responsibility is included in VW’s corporate culture and it seems that Volkswagen made some advances in Corporate Social Responsibility because the corporation was ranked 11th 2015 in the Global CSR Rep Track 100, which listed companies by reputation (Reputation Institute, 2015).However, the company has been threatened by an emission scandal which broke in September 2015, when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disclosed that Volkswagen had installed defeat devices on diesel cars which were sold in the US. These devices equipped on VW cars cheated regulators in such a way that it could detect…show more content…
This shows that such a reputable company is only paying lip service to the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) concept despite vowing to be "the most sustainable automaker in the world by 2018" in the Volkswagen AG Annual Report 2013…show more content…
The Connection between Volkswagen Scandal and CSR The failure of CSR in the Volkswagen scandal can be explained partly because the concept is wrongly used by the company that there is no integration between company’s values and its CSR activities. Moreover, the concept itself is flawed because it somewhat contradicts the profit motive which companies inherent seek. Firstly, from the view of company, Volkswagen scandal is result from the misuse of CSR that the company regarded it as a marketing tool. Although Volkswagen promised to persuade CSR as their corporation culture, the reality turns out to be opposite. Volkswagen equipped defeat devices on cars deliberately to pass environmental tasks and actually the defeat device emitted nitrogen oxide approximately 40 times of standard (Dans, 2015). This behaviour can be explained as "green-washing", which means the real performance is different from the test results (Eric, 2015). The motivation of deception largely depends on corporation’s aggressive goal called “Strategy 2018” , which aim to increase annual sales to ten million cars by 2018 (Volkswagen, 2014). Therefore, Volkswagen needs to lower the price to be competitive to its competitors and one task is to reduce cost of production. Volkswagen used CSR concept to cover unethical actions. It demonstrates that Volkswagen focused on persuading the short-term target rather than its customers, long-term reputation and environment (Bansal, King & Seijts,
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