This exploratory case study analyzes the Volkswagen diesel crisis from a crisis communication perspective. The Volkswagen diesel case provides a unique opportunity to examine how a Fortune 500 company managed (or mismanaged) an intentional corporate misdeed, and to understand the shortcomings of existing crisis communication theories. In analyzing the case, this study adopted the theoretical frameworks from the two dominant crisis communication theories, namely Image Repair Theory and Situational Crisis Communication Theory. Our findings show Volkswagen’s systemic failure of crisis management and communication before and after the crisis erupted. The findings also suggest the scholarly need to further develop crisis communication theories in providing strategic implications for major crises such as the Volkswagen diesel case.
THE VW DIESEL CRISIS
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS