Maybe it is handed to the fresh out of school with bright blue eyes and full of good intentions.
Everybody does it. We are survivors and on our first few days at work we suck up the culture, eager to fit in and become successful. After a few days we have forgotten that we are trying to work with our customers and we work against our customers. It does not sound like a big difference but there are oceans of difference.
A major problem is our eagerness to fit in; to not ask stupid questions; and at all costs avoid confrontations. So we cruise past potential troubles; guided by a tsunami of expectations.
So what is the problem with the culture in Volkswagen? Everything but it is probably similar to the culture in major banks. There is likely to be lots of industries and lots of major companies with a corrupt culture that need to be fixed. The professional board directors do not seem to be able to fix it so the last one standing is the shareholders.
The corruption of things is becoming such a huge matter that it is no longer possible for boards or management teams to ignore the voice of individual shareholders; they may be right!
This is the time for increased activism not only by professional shareholders but everybody. Stand up and make your voice heard; this is the year of stakeholder engagement.