Business and Society Responsibility

As part of the coverage of Chapters 2 and 3 of our Ferrell et al. textbook, as well as the CMS Energy case study, we reviewed the challenges of corporate crisis management, including recommended procedures for managing such crises and business reputations using crisis communication and corporate governance “best practices”. Germany-based automotive manufacturer Volkswagen AG aka Volkswagen Group (VW) recently has experienced its and own crisis involving falsified emissions testing in diesel-powered vehicles. Basic background regarding VW’s crisis is described in this Wikipedia report [students should be aware of the limitations of Wikipedia, and it should not be used as an official source given potential bias of its essentially anonymous authors, among various other concerns]: As its baseline focus, your essay should analyze the topics of crisis / reputation management resulting from the VW falsified emissions testing facts using applicable concepts and terms from our course. An effective essay will reflect: (i) significant independent research, i.e., well beyond just a recitation of the content reflected in the above-linked Wikipedia item; (ii) senior-level writing skills (reflecting your review and incorporation of the contents of my Essay Expectations PPT and any comments you will receive on Essay Paper 1); and (iii) your own critical thinking regarding this continuing business story. A strong essay also will describe the relevance of other CSR topics, concepts and terms covered in our course, including without limitation: (a) VW’s strategic management of stakeholder relationships (Chapter 2); (b) impacts on VW of legal, regulatory and political issues (Chapter 4); (c) the significance of business ethical considerations (Chapters 5 and 6) impacting VW during relevant periods; and (d) any impacts to VW’s employee (Chapter 7) and/or consumer (Chapter 8) relations during this crisis period. An exceptional essay also will address applicable corporate governance concepts and terms that may be unique to Germany, starting with the general descriptions thereof in Appendix B to my Chapter 3 Lecture PPT (which will be separately posted to the Chapter 3 Module), as well as the possible relevance of concepts and terms such as “cultural intelligence” and other applicable “global issues” described in Chapter 12 on CSR in a Global Environment

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