|29th IBIMA Conference
3 - 4 May 2017
Innovation Management, Environmental Sustainability, and Market Competitiveness: The Case Study of Volkswagen’s Corporate Strategy in the Context of the 2015 Emissions Scandal
Michael Studeny, Andreas Bartels, Manfred Rauch, Mathias Scheiblich, Melanie Buchmüller and Vanessa Just,
This study seeks to clarify the interrelations between Volkswagen’s innovation management, environmental sustainability, and market positioning as components of its corporate strategy in recent years. In September 2015, Volkswagen (VW) became embroiled in an emissions scandal in the United States and globally. This scandal may follow from its initial failure to develop an economically and environmentally sustainable business model. Both the backlash to this scandal and VW’s recent recovery of its market share can be expected to be closely related to the market importance of sustainable consumption. While technological innovation already forms an important part of VW’s business strategy, its market competitiveness has primarily rested on premium-brand car sales, such as those of Porsche and Audi, that drove its profits based on new, innovative automotive products. This case study indicates that a successful repositioning of VW in the global marketplace will demand both a targeted, ecological sustainability-oriented deployment of VW’s technological assets and a reframing of VW’s corporate image in environmentally friendly terms as a basis for the long-term economic sustainability of the company.