This case is designed to help students analyze decision making from various ethical perspectives and to use stakeholder analysis. The case perspective is that of the CEO of Degussa AG, a multispecialty chemical company, headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany. Degussa is considering whether to submit a bid to supply its anti-graffiti coating, Protectosil ® , for a new Memorial to the Murdered Jews in Europe being planned for Berlin. Degussa’s ethical dilemma is that a former Degussa subsidiary, Degesch, manufactured and supplied (...) the Zyklon B nerve gas used by the Nazis to kill Jews in the concentration camps during World War II. Although Degussa has made attempts both to acknowledge and to atone for its war-time Nazi collaboration, public disclosure of its bid has the potential to engulf Degussa in controversy when activists and Jewish leaders learn of it. Students are asked to evaluate the bid’s benefits and costs to Degussa’s stakeholders, to consider the relevance of a company’s historical legacy to contemporary decision making, and to explore how German corporate history during and after the Holocaust has parallels to human rights issues in other countries. (shrink)
This case explores the ethical dilemmas faced by Wolfgang Thierse and other board members of the Memorial Foundation for the Murdered Jews of Europe. They must decide whether Degussa AG, a memorial subcontractor, can continue working on the memorial, despite Swiss andGerman media reports that a former subsidiary of Degussa’s, named Degesch, manufactured and supplied the nerve gas that killed Jews and other individuals in the Auschwitz concentration camp. The board’s decision is complicated by negative publicity the memorial has received, (...) by the fact that Degussa has already applied its anti-graffiti coating to some of the pillars that form the memorial’s main design, and by questions of whether the board exercised due diligence when Degussa was originally proposed as a project subcontractor. Students are asked to help Thierse reach a personal decision about Degussa’s continued participation and, in his role as board chair, formulate a discussion strategy for the upcoming, potentially volatile board meeting. (shrink)
Two fundamental paradigms are in conflict. Expert systems are the creation of the artificial intelligence paradigm which presumes that an objective reality can be understood and controlled by an individual expert intelligence that can be replaced by machinery. The alternative paradigm assumes that reality is the subjective product of human beings striving to collaborate through shared norms and experiences, a process that can be assisted by but never replaced by computers. The first paradigm is appropriate in the domains of natural (...) science and mathematics but dangerous in social sciencet business and, especially, the law. Expert systems are constructed on the basis of a number of metaphysical assumptions that are invalid in the legal domain. These assumptions are assimilated through a number ofcommonplace metaphors that guide the thoughts of the majority of people entering the computing field who are usually trained in first paradigm subjects such as mathematics and the natural science. This inappropriate paradigm hinders our progress in the field of computers and law. We need to adopt a socially orientated view of tbe nature of reality, of language, of meaning, of intelligence, and of reasoning. It will be easier then to build computer systems to facilitate social interactions in the legal domain and easier to understand why boxes that try to imitate legal expertise are intrinsically fraudulent. (shrink)
: Focusing on the legal cases that have been litigated in the United States, and making references to popular culture, this article considers whether marriages in which one of the partners is transgendered necessarily challenge or necessarily reinforce heterosexual hegemony.