Business Ethics in terms of the Sustainability Assignment Sample

Comprehensive Guide to Business Ethics in Terms of Sustainability: Assignment Insights and Strategies

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Introduction Of A Report on Business Ethics in terms of the Sustainability of the VW Car Company Emission Scandal for the study

The Volkswagen (VW) automaker's emissions scandal, popularly known as "Dieselgate," represented one of the biggest ethical crises to ever hit the sector. In September 2015, it emerged that VW had installed software in its diesel engines on purpose to manipulate emissions examinations and produce false results on the number of harmful substances produced(AgusHarjoto and Salas, 2017). Along with imprisonment consequences, financial losses, damaged goodwill, and a significant setback to the organization's sustainability goals, this occurrence had significant consequences.

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The objective of the study:

The purpose of this analysis is to look at how the Volkswagen automaker's emissions controversy affects sustainability and the consequences for business ethics. It has three primary goals (Blackwelder 2016). It will first examine the moral issues raised by the incident, such as premeditated deception, environmental violations, and the effect on public morale and trust.

Second, it will examine how VW's sustainability initiatives, includingits environmental practises, corporate social responsibility initiatives, and long-term sustainability goals, were impacted by the crisis. Additionally, it will assess the company's financial performance, brand image, and competitive edge in light of its potential to emerge from the crisis viably.

Finally, the examination will assess VW's response to the incident and the steps taken to resolve it, including communication plans, crisis management, and remedial measures. Additionally, it will examine any modifications to the organization's corporate culture, administration, and standards of compliance to enhance moral responsibility and durability.

By achieving those goals, this examination intends to provide invaluable insight into the business ethical implications of the VW pollution disaster and its impact on the sustainability of the company(Boone 2019). The results will advance knowledge of business morality and environmental responsibility in the automotive industry and encourage discussions on ethical business conduct and the significance of upholding moral standards for long-term fulfilment.

Figure 1: Volkswagen:The scandal explained

Volkswagen:The scandal explained

(Source: BBC News, 2015)

Analyse stakeholder perspectives on business behaviour

The study will look at theperspectives of the following stakeholders:

  • Customers: The most significant stakeholder class for any commercial enterprise are its customers. Customers who purchased affected diesel automobiles from VW were misled and may beexposed to greater amounts of pollution(Einwiller 2019). Analysing their viewpoints will help us understand how their perceptions of the commercial enterprise's ethical and sustainability practise having been impacted, as well as how expectations of transparency suffer from being disregarded.
  • Buyers and shareholders:Dealers and shareholders give organisations financial support and look for ethical and environmentally friendly behaviour. The controversy caused financial losses and a large decline in Volkswagen's share price. Examining the opinions of shareholders as well as investors will expose their concerns concerning corporate leadership, risk management, and the influence of their investments' long-term costs and durability.
  • Workers: Staff members are crucial to the success and long-term viability of a company. a scandal hasconsequences for the VW staff, including process losses and low morale(. Reading their opinions will reveal the ethical standards they hold for their organisation, their opinions on how the company handled the crisis, and their concerns regarding the long-term viability of their jobs.
  • Government and regulating the federal government:Organisations and regulatory bodies supervise adherence to ethics and environmental legislation. The issue brought to light the need for stricter enforcement and cast doubt on the efficiency of the laws and regulations(Ferrell 2021). Information into the effects on the formulation of policies, regulatory strategies, and the expectation of moral behaviour from corporations will be provided by evaluating their viewpoints.
  • Advocates for the environment and public health: Sustainability and public health organisations recommend sustainable practices and improvements for the health of communities. The investigation harmed public well-being and the environment(Gargac, 2020). Analysing their opinions will show how they feel about corporate responsibility, what level of disclosure they demand, and how sustainable development initiatives within the car manufacturing sector are doing.

Evaluate the importance of business ethics at an academic level and its managerialimplications

Given their importance at the educational level and their management ramifications, the following are some of the most applicable normative and descriptive theories of business ethics that can be applied to the VW automobile employer emission scandal:

Normative commercial enterprise ethics theories:

Deontology: Deontological ethics is concerned with moral duties and ideas. Deontology can be studied academically to create a framework of moral principles that direct decision-making in business. Deontological principles can be used by managers to ensure moral behaviour within their teams, emphasising honesty, integrity, and respect for the law.

Utilitarianism: This philosophy places a strong emphasis on maximising utility or all-around happiness. In academia, utilitarianism research provides analysis of business decisions and their implications on stakeholders(Hair 2019). Managers can use the utilitarian perspective to help them decide what would work best for the greatest number of people, ensuring moral behaviour that benefits society as a whole.

Descriptive commercial enterprise ethics theories:

Stakeholder idea:The stakeholder concept recognises the moral obligations organisations have to a variety of stakeholders. Reading stakeholder theory at an academic level aids in understanding the many interests and expectations of stakeholders. Managers can use stakeholder theory to understand and rank the needs of various stakeholders, resulting in more moral decision-making and sustainable business practises.

Social contract notion: According to the social contract idea, moral principles are essentially founded on an explicit or implicit social agreement between people and society. Understanding the cultural expectations and norms that influence business ethics is made possible by reading about this concept in academic literature(Huang, 2023). Managers can use the social contract principle to make business decisions that are consistent with cultural norms, encourage moral behaviour, and uphold public trust.

Importance at an academic degree:

It is crucial to analyse business ethics at the academic level since it provides a theoretical framework and a thorough understanding of ethical concepts and frameworks. It gives students the knowledge and critical thinking skills needed to evaluate the moral implications of commercial practises, such as the VW pollution scandal(Jacobs 2020). Academic studies of business ethics help future business leaders develop their moral awareness, moral decision-making abilities, and feeling of obligation.

Managerial implications:

Information Enterprise ethics at the executive level are crucial for effective management and environmentally friendly company practises. Managers who value business ethics can foster moral cultures within their organisations, promote moral decision-making practises, and establish employee conduct codes(Kircova and Esen, 2018). Managers may enhance their company's reputation, foster stakeholder trust, and support sustainability and long-term success by embracing and upholding moral practices.

Investigate and evaluate approaches to sustainability and corporate social responsibility

To ensure their long-term performance and beneficial effects on the community as a whole and the environment, firms must research and evaluate corporate social responsibility (CSR) and long-term sustainability strategies (Kabeyi,2020). Finding effective methods for sustainability and CSR becomes even more important in light of the VW automaker's emission issue.

The following constitute a few essential steps that can be looked at and assessed:

  • Systems for environmental management (EMS): EMS frameworks, which include ISO14001, provide organisations with a standardised method to manage and improve their environmental performance. Examining the application and success of EMS in the car industry can provide insight into how businesses might build effective environmental management practices, such as preventing pollution, preservation of resources, and complying with safeguarding environmental regulations.
  • Life cycle evaluation (LCE): LCE is a tool used to evaluate a product or carrier's environmental impact throughout its whole existence cycle(Kealy, 2020)Organisations may identify the areas with the most adverse environmental effects and make educated decisions to reduce emissions, optimise energy consumption, and improve standard sustainability by conducting an LCE of cars and their modifications.
  • Supply chain sustainability: Studying and assessing the automotive sector's environmentally friendly supply-chain practices can help identify opportunities for reducing environmental harm while dealing with social and moral issues.
  • Organizational performances: Evaluating an organization's environmental and social performance, encouraging responsible procurement, and supporting initiatives that ensure fair labour practises and equality for everyone throughout the manufacturing process are just a few examples of what this could include.
  • Stakeholder engagement: Stakeholder participation in sustainability initiatives is essential for organisational success(Lee and Hu, 2018). Understanding stakeholder involvement practices in the auto sector can help shed light on how organisations collect input, involve stakeholders in decision-making processes, and manage concerns. Strong participation from stakeholders encourages transparency, increases consideration, and ensures that sustainable development initiatives are in line with their demands and desires.
  • Product innovation and eco-design: Analysing methods used in the automotive industry for product innovation and eco-layout can shed light on how businesses might develop more sustainable vehicles and technological advancements. Investigating Renewable fuels, lightweight components, and strength-efficient chemical substances, and implementing sustainability concepts into the design and improvement processes are necessary for this.
  • Corporate philanthropy and social projects: Examining and judging corporate philanthropy and social projects carried out by automobile businesses might reveal little about their dedication to social responsibility( Ma?aityt? and Virbaši?t?, 2018). This could entail looking at initiatives that address social and economic inequality, road safety, training initiatives, and community enhancement initiatives.
  • Reporting and transparency: Businesses want to openly track the results of their sustainability efforts. Comparing the reporting procedures used by different vehicle companies can reveal information about their dedication to accountability and openness. Analysis of sustainability reports, exposure to social and environmental effects indicators, compliance with the requirements for reporting and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) recommendations could all be part of this.

Hence, organisations can identify good practices, difficulties, and growth potential by researching and analysing these CSR and sustainability strategies used in the automotive industry.

Make informed judgements of business ethics dilemmas

Careful examination of several issues is necessary when making informed decisions about moral difficulties in light of the VW emissions crisis.

Following judgements emphasising important points:

  • Moral principles and values: When faced with a moral dilemma, it's critical to consider the underlying ideas and principles that guide ethical behaviour. Managers must reflect on concepts like accountability, integrity, fairness, and morality.By making decisions that are in line with the aforementioned Perspectives, individuals can maintain moral principles and promote longevity.
  • Stakeholder analysis: Assessing stakeholders' goals and viewpoints is crucial for making moral decisions(Radu,2020). Managers need to understand and be aware of the concerns of many different stakeholders, including consumers, staff, shareholders, and the general public. Administrators could make decisions that balance conflicting Interests and maximise their overall health by taking into consideration the impact of their choices on various stakeholders.
  • Ethical decision-making trends: Applying ethical decision-making trends provides a methodical framework for assessing ethical quandaries. Managers can be helped in making well-informed moral decisions by models like the based-on-consequencetechnique (the ability to think regarding the effects and implications of movements), the philosophical approach (focusing on moral duties and standards), and the unique characteristic of the ethics method (emphasising people and integrity).
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Supervisors need to confirm the applicable criminal laws and regulations. Prison conformity is important, but it shouldn't serve as the sole basis for moral judgements. Managers should think beyond their legal obligations and consider how a decision would affect moral principles and societal norms. As a result, decisions are ensured to be morally and legally responsible.

Results and impact assessment:

Evaluation of the effectiveness, outcomes, and effects associated with choices is crucial. Executives ought to consider into account both the short- and long-term effects on participants, the surrounding community, and the company's reputation(Valentini and Kruckeberg, 2018). Administrators can make decisions that minimise harm and advance durability by thoroughly considering the potential risks, advantages, and trade-offs associated with extraordinary possibilities.

  • Ethical leadership and organizational subculture: Organizational and the leadership of ethical and how moral judgement sets the standard for ethical decisions within a business. Managers should promote a moral way of life that emphasises principles, integrity, and openness. Managers may build a culture where informed decisions are supported and moral quandaries are resolved with accountability and integrity by encouraging a culture of ethical behaviour.

Hence, managers may prioritise ethical behaviour, support stakeholder interests, and contribute to the viability of the business by taking these factors into account and tasting them in an empirical assessment of ethical obstacles.

Access and utilise a wide variety of learning resources in the subject area

A thorough personal history must be completed, and this necessitates obtaining access to and utilising a wide variety of learning resources in the area of ethical behaviour in business and the long-term viability of the Volkswagen emissions issue.

  • Educational diaries and manuals: Access to scientific journals and publications provides priceless insights through careful analysis and study(Waibel 2018). Business ethics, environmental responsibility, and corporate wrongdoing are covered in in-depth research, conceptual frameworks, and concrete proof in publications such as the Professional Ethics Monthly and the Journal of Enterprise Ethics. These resources support a solid theoretical framework and facilitate a comprehensive investigation of the VW pollution issue.
  • Books and textbooks: Materials on business ethics and environmental responsibility offer a thorough study of the relevant concepts, ideas, and case studies. titles by manual include "Business Ethics Standards and Examples."
  • Velasquez and Jonathan T. Scott's "Sustainable Commercial Operations Enterprise: A One-planet Approach" includes in-depth talks on moral decision-making, corporate responsibility, and sustainable business practices(Yoo and Lee, 2018). These resources act as priceless resources for understanding the larger background of the VW pollution crisis.
  • Reviews and white papers: White papers and reports from government organisations and think tanks offer business-specific insights and advice. Frameworks and recommendations for ethical business practices can be found in studies from organisations like the Global Compact of the United Nations and the Alliance of Economic Association for Sustainable Development. White papers on environmental and corporate governance concerns offer expert analysis and practical solutions that can be applied to the VW pollution disaster.
  • Online databases and learning resources: A wide range of resources, such as study articles, papers from conferences, and dissertations, are accessible through online databases and academic libraries. Access to intellectual research and published material related to business ethics and environmental responsibility is made available through sites like Jstor, ProQuest,and Google Scholar.These sites aid in gathering different viewpoints, empirical research, and academic discussions that contribute to a fully-rounded knowledge of the VW pollution controversy.
  • Websites run by businesses and governments: Business websites, such as the reputable VW organisation website, provide information on government announcements, Environmental reviews, and activities. The environmental protection organisation and government-sponsored websites both provide regulatory statistics and information about emissions requirements and conformity (Zhang 2016). Those resources provide clear insights into the significance and particulars of the VW pollution issue.
  • Case studies and instructional materials: Case studies, instructional materials, and training tools from colleges and universities and ethics centres present actual ethical conundrums and remedies. Those Materials offer practical insights and aid in comprehending the complexity of business ethics(Zhang 2021). Case studies, in particular those focused on the VW emission crisis, offer a thorough analysis of the ethical issues raised, decision-making processes, and outcomes encountered by the company.


The VW emissions scandal exposed serious moral problems within the car industry and had a significant influence on the viability of the Volkswagen automobile firm. I have gained valuable insight into the ethical components of the controversy and its consequences for business ethics and sustainability through the examination of many different learning resources, including academic journals, books, reports, online databases, business websites, and case studies. To make informed decisions and address business ethics challenges, the practice has underlined the importance of business ethics principles, stakeholder analysis, decision-making applications, compliance with the law, consequence assessment, and moral leadership.


  • Enhance the management of ethics by placing a higher priority on its development and reinforcement while emphasizing honesty and openness.
  • Improve the participation of stakeholders by engaging with them directly to understand their principles and interests.
  • Establish effective compliance controls by implementing regular audits and precise rules to guarantee moral conduct and compliance with regulations.
  • Integrate environmentally friendly practices into business strategies and procedures to establish sustainability as a core cost.
  • bolster morals Education and research: provide a deeper understanding of moral conduct in business and responsible behaviour.
  • By following these regulations, organisations can reduce ethical hazards, improve efforts to promote sustainability regain confidence among stakeholders.


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  • BBC News, 2015. Volkswagen: The scandal explained (Online). Accessed from <> accessed on 19/05/2023
  • Blackwelder, B., Coleman, K., Colunga-Santoyo, S., Harrison, J.S. and Wozniak, D., 2016. The Volkswagen scandal.
  • Boone, L.E., Kurtz, D.L. and Berston, S., 2019. Contemporary business. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Einwiller, S., Lis, B., Ruppel, C. and Sen, S., 2019. When CSR-based identification backfires: Testing the effects of CSR-related negative publicity. Journal of Business Research, 104, pp.1-13.
  • Ferrell, O.C. and Fraedrich, J., 2021. Business ethics: Ethical decision making and cases. Cengage learning.
  • Gargac, J., 2020, June. Let's Get Ethical: Incorporating" The Office" and Engaging Practices into an Ethics Module for Capstone Students. In 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access.
  • Hair, J.F., Page, M. and Brunsveld, N., 2019. Essentials of business research methods. Routledge.
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  • Jacobs, B.W. and Singhal, V.R., 2020. Shareholder value effects of the Volkswagen emissions scandal on the automotive ecosystem. Production and Operations Management, 29(10), pp.2230-2251.
  • Kabeyi, M.J.B., 2020. Corporate governance in manufacturing and management with analysis of governance failures at Enron and Volkswagen Corporations. Am J Oper Manage Inform Syst, 4(4), pp.109-123.
  • Kealy, T., 2020. Evaluating sustainable development and corporate social responsibility projects: An ethnographic approach. Springer Nature.
  • Kircova, I. and Esen, E., 2018. The effect of corporate reputation on consumer behaviour and purchase intentions. Management Research and Practice, 10(4), pp.21-32.
  • Lee, Y.M. and Hu, J.L., 2018. Integrated approaches for business sustainability: The perspective of corporate social responsibility. Sustainability, 10(7), p.2318.
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  • Radu, L.D., 2020. Disruptive technologies in smart cities: a survey on current trends and challenges. Smart Cities, 3(3), pp.1022-1038.
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