Essays on VW Emissions Scandal: Was it the Customers Fault all along by Nieuwenhuis Article

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The paper "VW Emissions Scandal: Was it the Customers’ Fault all along by Nieuwenhuis" is a good example of a business article.   The article by Nieuwenhuis (2015) titled “ VW emissions scandal: was it the customers’ fault all  along? ” gives some insight on the Volkswagen (VW) emissions scandal and the relationship between the company and its customers. In the article, it is argued that VW could have cheated regarding its emission levels as a way of avoiding the installation of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems that would require customers to top up VW diesel engines with urea, a chemical that has a pungent smell.

Thus, Nieuwenhuis (2015) tends to suggest that customers’ demand for hassle-free vehicles could have led to the company avoiding a situation in which the maintenance of its vehicles would appear cumbersome to the customers. In the end, this is what ignited the emissions scandal that made the company suffer a major blow with regard to sales and reputation. An alternative would have been for the company to educate its customer and work closely with them to enlighten them on the use of SCR in diesel engines and how to handle urea top-ups. This essay will critically evaluate the article by Nieuwenhuis (2015) by applying two theoretical principles: the corporate governance theory and the values and identity theory.

Prior to the critical evaluation of the article, an overview of the VW emissions scandal is presented. Overview of the VW emissions scandal In September 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) came to the realization that many VW cars that were being offered for sale in America had a “ cheating device” (Gates et al.

2016; Hotten 2015; Wells 2016). This is software, installed in diesel VW engines, could detect when the cars were being tested under laboratory-controlled conditions (specifically on a stationary test rig) and change the performance accordingly to improve emission results. The cheating device would put the vehicle in safety mode whereby the engine would run below its usual power and performance level (Hotten 2015). But in actual road conditions, the engines would switch off the test mode and thus produce emissions above the recommended standards. This meant that nearly all VW diesel cars that were fitted with the cheating software were producing emissions up to 40 times the stipulated levels in the United States while on the road (Hotten 2015), but this would not be detected because on being tested, the cars would produce lower emissions what were within the recommended standards.

That is until the EPA discovered the anomaly. Critical evaluation of the article by Nieuwenhuis (2015) As noted above, the essay will apply to theoretical principles to critically evaluate Nieuwenhuis’ (2015) article. The two theories, corporate governance theory and the values and identity theory, are applied as presented below. Application of the corporate governance theory Corporate governance can be defined as the systems of overseeing and regulating the conduct of businesses or companies and of ensuring that there is a balance in the interests of all stakeholders (i. e.

internal stakeholders. external stakeholders, regulatory authorities and the society at large) who can be impacted by the company’ s conduct (du Plessis, Hargovan & Bagaric 2011, p. 10). The aim of overseeing and regulating the conduct of companies or businesses is to ensure that such businesses have responsible behaviour that is desirable with regard to achieving the best possible level of efficiency as well as profitability for a company (du Plessis, Hargovan & Bagaric 2011, p.

10). Corporate governance can also be defined as a set policy, processes, rules, regulations, laws and customs that govern the manner in which a corporation or a business should be administered, directed and monitored to maximise employee effort and ensure maximum gains for all of the company’ s stakeholders (Mandal 2010, p. 26).

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Cowan, J 2014, ‘Toyota to pay $1.3 billion for deadly defect cover-up’, ABC News, 20 March, viewed 9 September 2016, .

Davies, A 2016, Best practice in corporate governance: building reputation and sustainable success, Routledge, Oxon.

du Plessis, JJ, Hargovan, A & Bagaric, M 2011, Principles of contemporary corporate governance, 2nd edn, Cambridge University Press, New York.

Ferrell, OC, Fraedrich, J & Ferrell, L 2010, Business ethics: ethical decision making and cases 2009 update, 7th edn, South-Western Cengage Learning, Mason, OH.

Flint, DJ & Woodruff, RB 2001, ‘The initiators of changes in customers’ desired value results from a theory building study’, Industrial Marketing Management, vol. 30, pp. 321–337.

Gates, G, Ewing, J, Russell, K & Watkins, D 2016, ‘Explaining Volkswagen’s emissions scandal’, The New York Times, July 19, 2016, viewed 9 September 2016, .

Hotten, R 2015, ‘Volkswagen: The scandal explained’, BBC News, 10 December, viewed 9 September 2016, .

Mandal, SK 2010, Ethics in business & corporate governance, Tata McGraw Hill Education Private Limited, New Delhi.

Nieuwenhuis, P 2015, ‘VW emissions scandal: was it the customers’ fault all along?’, The Conversation, 16 October, viewed 8 September 2016, .

Osborne, N & Redfern, M 2006, Reflexivity: linking individual and organisational values’, in J Jonker & M de Witte (eds), Management models for corporate social responsibility, Springer, Berlin, pp. 126-133.

Wells, P 2016, ‘Volkswagen, emissions and the ‘crisis spiral’, The Conversation, 29 April, viewed 9 September 2016, .

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