Transparency and Ethical Considerations in Business Organizations: A Comparative Case Study of Crisis Relations Strategies of Volkswagen and Mitsubishi Motors

Philip Effiom Ephraim


The strongest global brands can suffer loss or even ruin in the event of crisis. The effective management of communications during crisis is essential to ensuring that trust is rebuilt and dented brand image is quickly repaired. This study qualitatively evaluated how communication strategies were employed by Volkswagen and Mitsubishi to address crises stemming from recent corporate scandals. Guided by Coombs and Benoit's crisis management theories, the study compares both strategies in terms of: timeliness of response, media selection and rhetoric of messages. Analyses of primary and secondary data show that both Volkswagen and Mitsubishi breached corporate values and were not transparent to stakeholders worldwide. The study argues that Volkswagen ignored early warnings, thus resorting to post-crisis communications using varieties of media with a mixture of apology and sales marketing activities. Mitsubishi's response strategies were timelier and voluntary. Mitsubishi employed fewer media and maintained rhetoric with a strong appeal to pathos.


crisis Relations, Transparency, Ethics, Strategy, Volkswagen, Mitsubishi

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Transparency and Ethical Considerations in Business Organizations: A Comparative Case Study of Crisis Relations Strategies of Volkswagen and Mitsubishi Motors


crisis Relations, Transparency, Ethics, Strategy, Volkswagen, Mitsubishi





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International Journal of Online Marketing Research
Vol 2, Issue 2, 2016 Page: 1-9

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Philip Effiom Ephraim
Cyprus International University, Business Administration Department, Department Member

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