Everyone makes mistakes. And that includes the world’s biggest companies, which are reliably prone to gaffes, errors of judgment and wrongdoing.

Some of these moments could even be labelled as corporate scandals – the kind of incident which shoves firms into the spotlight and places their activities under detailed public scrutiny.

But do these events do lasting damage? Does an oil spill, fraudulent activity or other unethical behaviour really affect highly valued reputations, sales and market value?

Our research suggests not. In fact, our analysis of the effects of a wide variety of business scandals shows that only rarely is the effect as severe as we might imagine.

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