The European Business Ethics Network (EBEN) has in its membership both national chapters across Europe and individual members. The full name of the German chapter is
DNWE Deutsches Netzwerk Wirtschaftsethik — EBEN Deutschland e.V.
Both the European and the German organisations claim – or rather, hope – to present a bridge between the academic and business worlds.
contra-dnwe is unaware of any directory of members of EBEN, as would be requisite in any association describing itself as a network. Nor has there been any forum (e.g. on an intranet) where members can discuss business ethics or present their individual understanding of business ethics. There is an associated academic journal which, remarkably, claims copyright on contributions, contributions that have not always been of quality. (This is in marked contrast to Business Ethics Quarterly published by the North American Society for Business Ethics, a purely academic association. SBE would seem to practice the kind of open, democratic and decent governance so sorely absent from dnwe.)
The existence of the website you are reading (www.contra-dnwe.de) and the charges levelled against dnwe were brought to the attention of the President of EBEN in November 2013.
The annual meeting of EBEN is being hosted in June 2014 in Berlin by dnwe.
Here is a summary of the points made in correspondence with the President of EBEN:
dnwe as represented by its officers
- has repeatedly engaged in censorship in various forms. That is, it has repeatedly and consistently suppressed debate on key concerns of business ethics
- its officials have engaged in vote rigging and have otherwise endorsed the manipulation of elections
- the board can be shown to have blatantly disregarded at least one set of resolutions by members at a properly constituted general meeting
- dnwe officials have discouraged networking among ordinary members
- appointments (of a sort that is anyway superfluous or inappropriate in a network) have been made in secret while active members and constructive contributions have been sidelined
After elaborating these points, the excerpt from the letter proceeds to argue for a properly constituted EBEN and ends with a defence of business ethics as an essential element, distinct from law and markets, in a modern economy.
> Read the large-font PDF (6000 words).