DCU Business School Faculty Insight: The Volkswagen Emissions Scandal – A fatal trust breach?
Prof. Finian Buckley a trust scholar at DCU Business School says the future for the Volkswagen brand is going to be very difficult.
Trust in a brand is built on three pillars, Competence, Integrity or Honesty, and Concern for customer. The reported rigging of emissions reading breaches at least 2 of these 3 pillars.
Unfortunately for VW, trust repair from integrity and concern for customer breaches are the most difficult to repair. Our research indicates that it is a slow costly process with no guarantee of success. They need to take several key steps to begin that process:
Identify and accept responsibility for the breach
Apologise openly and honestly – explain how and why this occurred
Consider “exiting” those responsible
Can reparation be made
Put in place structures that objectively (independently) ensure that this can never reoccur
Even with these in place will customers ever trust VW again?
Professor Finian Buckley is a Professor of Organisational Psychology in DCU Business School. For more on his research in the area of trust, please click here.
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