State of the art or Stand der Technik?
Imagine a cookery book, published by a prestigious organisation associated with the United Nations and written – allegedly – by experts in nutrition. Not quite ten euro, and from a reputable publishing house in Munich, bilingual German and English. It mentions all the common-or-garden ingredients you'd expect: flour and eggs, milk and rice, vegetables and fruit, beans and some more. It even mentions water and heat. Plus, the evil of hunger is condemned, Unequivocally. Is not your appetite welling up inside you?
Somehow the reading is unsatisfactory. Fair enough, just reading about eating will hardly fill the stomach. Meanwhile you have assembled the ingredients, and the equipment, but still something is missing. The UNO cookbook says that the ingredients must be attuned to each other.
The full satirical – but also scholarly (i.e. referenced) – review of the book is available in German. In "thyme", maybe, an English version may be available. But you have got the flavour, and that is enough "food for thought". The basic message is that, whether we are talking about cooking or ethics, merely listing the ingredients – or "values" – is nearly fraudulent. What would you think of a company that advertised succulent meals, but only delivered the raw ingredients without any precise instructions? Report it to the authorities for underhand trading or advertising? Why do otherwise with the ethics "experts", leading lights of dnwe (the German business ethics network)?
The satirical review was rejected by a dnwe "Professor" because it failed to adhere to a guideline for book reviews. This guideline had been published nowhere, i.e. it was secret. According to the person previously (i.e. a few months previously) responsible for book reviews, no such guideline had existed in her time. The review was passed on to the new people who considered themselves responsible. They (Sahr & Fetzer) never bothered to give any feedback.
Hans Küng, Klaus M. Leisinger, Josef Wieland
Manifesto Global Economic Ethic [sic]
Paul Charles Gregory
BLOWING THE WHISTLE ON DNWE
(4000+ words, written in 2011)
This is a detailed report (stemming from before the time this website was conceived) demonstrating that dnwe seeks to exclude those seeking to network. DNWE prefers unqualified careerists, skilled in intrigue, ignorant of the common rules of decency, to those who perform on the ground and indeed to those who have, demonstrably, undertaken an education in ethics.
Representatives of the financial services conglomerate Ernst & Young requested from me an opinion about a third-rate survey (published on first-rate paper) they had undertaken. When I failed to respond, they repeated the request. Among those requesting the opinion was a lady who later became and at the time of writing (8/2012) is still a member of the dnwe board.
I was so bold as to submit an opinion, as requested. I argued (conclusively, I think, as someone who works in finance) that the survey was completely worthless, both in terms of overall design (persons surveyed and manner of questioning) and in terms of its presentation (dishonesty, meaningless sentences). Board member Sahr and another dnwe notable did not respond, and Sahr avoided a man-to-woman discussion at a conference in Bonn (I had waited patiently opposite her at a stand-up table for her to finish another conversation, clearly wanting to address her, and she knew who I was, but she left abruptly). Details in the German. If you are seeking exemplars of pure arrogance untainted by competence, this is one place to look.
dnwe has a kind of supervisory board, whose duties are of an advisory nature. How people get appointed to this body is mysterious. I was somewhat upset to ascertain that one individual, who I had noted at a conference as being particularly imbued with a contempt for the public at large, had been selected for membership of this arcane body. Vague impressions of discussions a while ago are no basis for impuning people with being disingenuous, so I wrote to the individual concerned asking for a yes or no answer to a specific challenge. The media expert failed to reply straight.
On a couple of occasions the dnwe-Kuratorium, the semi-supervisory authority with a handful of names well-known in business ethics circles, has been appealed to or informed of dubious happenings. Response: zero or next to. Details and names in the German.