Ethics Management – Answers to questions of the Time, Peter Zürn

1. Management and idea of man – Business management in the nineties

Nowadays, we often speak from the “social competence“ for managers in firms.
Instead of “social” we should better say “personal competence” or easily “personal authority”. Personality, also if it proves and develops, is always a really personal thing: you have it or you haven’t it – the personality. The good, the efficient, the successful manager is that, which can combine the practical constraints of corporate action with the maximum of correct conduct. With this action he became an approach-character – because he know what he wants, or not.
The autonomous the bounded, the moving, the to guide assistants are, the less they need a Guider. Each intervention, if direct, directive or corrective, is not the normal way and should only be the emergency.
The center of all guidance is the human – whatever alone or in groups. Guidance can be effective, to show strength and weakness all involved parties. But it can also operate nothing.
Guidance is integrative and additive, it combines and points ahead and doesn’t forget these are falter. But guidance includes also the joy and enthusiasm, at most effective this is with the right exemplified ideal. So a very good guidance includes also the base of human living and act like this.
Heinrich Nordhoff said, a long time before the cult word business culture the mind and style of the house was called: “Useful at a corporation are only that people, which work for it and the mind in which they do this.”
Humaneness in the guidance is not only an instrument for function – also when it works much better than force, command and obedience.
Also, when the machines, for example computer, alleviate the human being, the people are responsible by themselves for the program and the pulse. Their secret is not the volition, which knows only this one way and also not in the power, which inserts it one-dimensional and autistic.
Not only the knowledge in the big business management is important, also the implementation of lived awareness and practicability from the little steps of the internal daily life.
Not the counterfeit guidance technology out of old educational books, assort antecedent guidance ethic with the sense of responsibility dictate the idea of man of the manager for a better future of tomorrow. In addition it needs ideally the considerateness from the wise, the pluckiness from the brave and the conservativeness from the knowing which put themselves in the service of the actualization from the business objective.

2. Economic feasibility and humaneness – For a positive personnel policy in a commercial difficult time

AEG-Telefunken, Arbed-Saarstahl, Agfa-Kamerawerk and no ending: insolvency and unemployment have reached names, numbers and dimensions as nobody thought about in our economic-miracle-spoilt federal republic. The recessions aren’t holding, they suppose worldwide dimensions.
How we can hold, face the threat from individual persons, corporations, collective farming and also countries, their commercial existence and human personnel policy?

The function of all is existence protection in sense of mentality and also physical health of the human – whatever employer or employee, businessman, shareholder or unemployed. The human as an instrument to the function must not degraded. So it says the constitution. This base is binding for legislator and administration and also for labour-agreement-caps and partner of collective or individual negotiations and agreements.
Forceful in this sense the basic appointment charges, that employer and staff association have to work together faithful and for the best of the employee and of the business. Here the welfare of the single has the same grade as the corporation as a whole and its existence. So the humaneness and cost effectiveness are not antithetic but as a coequal principal of the economic order.
Staffing policy as an integrated component of the business policy of a company and is obligate to the rationale of the cost effectiveness. So, without good economy, the existence of the company and of course also of the employee is imperiled. Here the personnel costs are a big due. Relations must be checked repeatedly. This is not possible without economization and acclimatization of the abilities to changed requirements. Although it is amazing, that in times of need the staff produces much solidarity, that means wage sacrifice and extra work for example.
Personnel policy as a part of company policy is also bound on humaneness. That means, that the assistant isn’t only a cost factor and function owner to assort an own person with individual attitudes, ideas, positions and needs. The director should grant all assistant clearance, self-dependence and accountability. Of course, a pleased assistant is also ready to bail his achievement potential and to do things only for the collective of the company.
Humaneness is only the human own – the machine and systems have to serve them. We should risk, also with the contact in our company, to be human. That means to show weaknesses and strengths admit and accord, always having regard to our own mistakes.


This book was published by the Frankfurter Allg. Zeitung in 1989 and it is about ethic management in companies. Peter Zürn wants to say, that only a pleasant employee is also a good employee. The director only can handle this act – with humaneness. In every company the director should be a perfect management person, which can interact between stress and fairness between the assistants. The dilemma situation, which is described in this book, is, that many directors handle the contact with their employees wrong. With describing this situation and giving answers to the questions how to handle the contact right, he helps, to lead people in a company.

By Stefanie Amann