Right on, Stock Trader. Obviously you work (or have worked) in an organization of significant size. I always tell people: "Dilbert is funny to those who have not experienced a large organization. For those of us who have, it is eerily uncanny." Not a week goes by that I don't say "That actually happened where i worked." (And as you say, often what actually happened is so much worse that Scott couldn't use it without non-organization people thinking he's crazy.) Other comments indicate that this is something that should, or even could, be fixed. It cannot be fixed. This is simply the way large organizations work.
Most large organizations are run from the top down. Those at the top believe that they know how to make the organization run better. Fortunately for some of these organizations, they have many employees who are smart enough, or obstinate enough, to do it their own way and make the organization successful in spite of management. A few very successful organizations are run from the bottom up. Those who know how to make the organization work better are actually listened to by management. Management learns what the employees know and adds what management knows and creates an awesome combination.
This is, of course, an overstatement. Those in management are usually very intelligent. Problem is that they can lose sight of the fact that some of the lowest ranked employees in the meanest jobs are also intelligent. If you want to figure out how to sweep a floor better, don't ask a vice president, ask a janitor. From what I have read, General Motors, for all its problems, does listen to the people on the production line in figuring our how to assemble a car better.
you're right that most people would not admit they don't deserve an award, but in this case I think that if there was no money involved Dilbert figured that embarrassing the phb would give him far more enjoyment than a piece of paper ever would.