Module 1 – Case
STP, PRODUCT MANAGEMENT & SITUATION ANALYSIS
This Case Assignment focuses on Volkswagen’s emissions scandal and related brand management and business ethics issues.
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 executives of other car manufacturers?
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.”
- 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 http://www.emeraldinsight.com/learning/study_skills/skills/searching.htm
Emerald Group Publishing. (n.d.). Developing Critical Thinking. Retrieved from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/learning/study_skills/skills/critical_thinking.htm
Guidelines for handling quoted and paraphrased material are found at:
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Academic Writing. Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/2/
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing. Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/563/1/
Purdue Online Writing Lab. (n.d.). Is it plagiarism yet? Retrieved from http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/1/
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 https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/659/01/
Case Assignment Reading Material
A mucky business; the volkswagen scandal. (2015, Sep 26). The Economist, 416, 23-25.
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. Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/us-volkswagen-emissions-court-idUSKCN0XH0ZV
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.
Ewing, J. (2016, April 21). Volkswagen Reaches Deal in U.S. Over Emissions Scandal. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/22/business/international/volkswagen-emissions-settlement.html?_r=0
Lane, C. (2015, Oct. 26). Emissions scandal is hurting VW owners trying to Resell. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2015/10/26/450238773/emissions-scandal-is-hurting-vw-owners-trying-to-resell.
La Monica, P.,R. (2015, Sep 23). Volkswagen has plunged 50%. will it ever recover? CNN Wire Service.
Tabuchi, H., Apuzzo, M., & Ewing, J. (2017). U.S. Charges 6 Volkswagen Executives in Emissions-Cheating Case. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/11/business/volkswagen-diesel-vw-settlement-charges-criminal.html?_r=0
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.
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