Saturday, July 19, 2008

Say What?

Although there is more than enough evidence that every business person should be skeptical about the academic push to teach business ethics, I offer as Exhibit A. the following paragraph from an article entitled "The Ethics of Governance," by Josef Wieland.

Wieland is the director of the German Business Ethics Network's Centre for Business Ethics. I challenge anyone to read this paragraph through and make any sense of it the first time.

"The elements of governance ethics are the moral resources and behavioral constraints and extensions deriving from organizational rules and values as well as their communication in and via cooperation projects. Accordingly, it is not the notion of action, but of governance which is its point of relfexion. Governance structures are sets or matrices of communicated formal and informal rules and value that constitute the cooperative actor as constraints and furnish him or her with explicit and implicit rules of the game for contractual and organizational relations for the realisation of specific transactions."

Alan Greenspan, in Congressional testimony, could not have said it any better. The only thing more painful than trying to digest such a mass of words must have been the labor required to get it out.

Here is what Wieland is trying to say. "The written rules of ethical behavior in organizations can help promote ethical conduct."

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