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Steven Mintz
United States
My ethics knowledge and wisdom gives me a unique perspective on accounting and business ethics, fraud and whistle-blowing, societal and workplace ethics issues.
Interests: Reading, writing, blogging, ethics advice, traveling, eating, sports
Recent Activity
Pay it Forward Not everyone associates ethics with kindness. We think of it as part of good manners or civility. Yet, treating others with kindness evokes The Golden Rule – to treat others the way you want to be treated. One example of how we can take tangible actions to treat others with kindness is to “Pay it Forward.” April 28 is ‘Pay it Forward’ Day. Pay it Forward is a global initiative that exists to make a difference by creating a string of kind actions felt across the world. The idea is even small acts, when multiplied by millions... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Ethics Sage
What are Starbuck’s Corporate Social Responsibilities? I can recall back in December 2015 when Starbucks came out with the “red cup” to celebrate Christmas with its customers. The idea was when you went to the store and bought that tall coffee or a venti-sized Pumpkin Spiced Latte, the baristas would... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Workplace Ethics Advice
Cyberbullying Destroys the Culture of an Organization Workplace bullying refers to repeated, unreasonable actions of individuals (or a group) directed towards an employee (or group of employees), which are intended to intimidate, degrade, humiliate, or undermine, or which create a risk to the health or safety of the employee(s) including... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2017 at Workplace Ethics Advice
What Could United Have Done Differently? Last week we all watched as a United Airlines customer, Dr. David Dao, was dragged off the plane by an airport security officer because he was one of four passengers “chosen” to be kicked off to allow crew members to work another flight or risk cancellation. United claimed the four passengers were randomly selected. United acted in its perceived self-interest without regard to how it affected the customer who wanted to stay on the plane. The company’s decision was short-sighted, as many unethical decisions are. Other passengers were horrified by the incident. The public’s... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2017 at Ethics Sage
Maslow’s Hierarchy Can Serve as the Basis for Workplace Culture Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has been around a long time. It describes the basic needs of individuals to be happy and fulfilled in life. It can also be used to describe the expectations of employees from their work experience. Millennials... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2017 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Greek Virtue, Self-Actualization, and Happiness To the ancient Greeks, happiness is the end goal of life. Virtuous behavior contributes to moral excellence. Moral excellence can contribute to a happy life. Thus, being a moral person is essential to living a life of happiness. A person achieves happiness by possessing the dispositions (i.e., tendencies) to make the right choice at the right time in the right way. Morality applies to one’s personal beliefs and choices in life. Ethics is a set of rules that contribute to leading a moral life. We can view ethical behavior as a pathway to achieve a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2017 at Ethics Sage
Social Entrepreneurship a Key Value Millennials Seek in the Workplace Millennials are the first generation to make The Triple Bottom Line a core value in the workplace. They want to work for companies that have a balanced approach to success. They are committed to the three-prong approach to ethics to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2017 at Workplace Ethics Advice
What is Character? Character is the sum of qualities that define a person. These qualities include one’s intellect, thoughts, ideas, motives, intentions, temperament, judgment, behavior, imagination, perception, emotions, loves, and hates. Character manifests itself in the decisions we make. An honest person always tells the truth (or, at least, is committed to do so). A person of character avoids lies by omission (not disclosing all the facts another has a need to know) and lies by commission (outright lying). How does a person develop character? Character gains through its expression, and loses through its repression. Love grows through expression. Knowledge... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2017 at Ethics Sage
Transparency is the Key The ethical climate of an organization plays an important role in organizational culture. Organizational ethical climate refers to the moral atmosphere of the work environment and the level of ethics practiced within a company. Leaders determine organizational climate and establish character and define norms. Character plays... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2017 at Workplace Ethics Advice
The Pathway to Principle-Based Decision Making I recently wrote a blog on my Workplace Ethics Advice site on Principle Centered Leadership. Basic principles of ethics can help us lead a more fulfilling life whether on a personal or professional level. However, our commitment to act in accordance with ethical principles is often challenged because of pressures to do otherwise. Peer pressure can make it more difficult for young people to act in a proper manner when conflicting interests exist. Workplace pressures may cause us to react in a way that is inconsistent with our values. Pressure from a superior may... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2017 at Ethics Sage
The Devil You Know is Preferable to the Devil You Don’t Know The most important reason for the GOP to vote down the House Health Care bill is there is no reason to trust the Congress with anything, no less our health care. They have proven time and again that they are incompetent and unable to see the long-term effects of their actions. That’s one reason Obamacare passed in the first place. Do you remember Nancy Pelosi’s famous statement when the House deliberated about Obamacare? “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.”... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2017 at Ethics Sage
How to Build an Ethical Culture Warren Bennis, known as the leadership guru, wrote a book on leadership, Learning to Lead: A Workbook on Becoming a Leader. He distinguishes between management and leadership as follows. “There is a profound difference between management and leadership, and both are important. To manage... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2017 at Workplace Ethics Advice
A Roadmap for Ethical Action Ethical decision making can be a tricky thing because of competing interests, conflicts, and pressures imposed on you by others. Take, for example, a situation where your boss plays favorites in the workplace. You feel left out. You believe your boss may be involved in an inappropriate relationship with one of the favorites. What can you do? What should you do? How can you effectively express your feelings? Who should you turn to for support? Ethical decision making can be summed up in four steps: Gather all the relevant facts. Do you have concrete evidence... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2017 at Ethics Sage
Can Civility be Brought Back to Sports? It’s March madness once again. Once a year college sports fans turn their attention to filling out brackets and selecting the winner of the NCAA championship. For what it’s worth I’m picking Duke. I recently read that Duke’s 2006 national player of the year, J.J. Redick, has begun an effort to bring civility back to college sports. J.J. vividly recalled how it began, with some hecklers at his first road game for Duke. Over time, Redick remembers the chants turning into vulgar jeers and crude messages about his siblings. Today, Redick's goal is... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2017 at Ethics Sage
Misconceptions About Ethics There are many expressions of what ethics is. In a general sense, ethics (or moral philosophy) addresses fundamental questions such as: How should I live my life? What sort of person do I want to be? What are my responsibilities to others? It has been said that: Ethics is all about what we do when no one is looking. Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do. The one common thread is “what we do.” Ethics is all about actions and decisions. We face many challenges... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2017 at Ethics Sage
What is Protected Activity? The National Labor Relations Act protects the rights of employees to act together to address conditions at work, with or without a union. This protection extends to certain work-related conversations conducted on social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. Employees who act together on workplace issues – by, for example, meeting with a manager to lobby for better benefits or having a group discussion about the company’s safety record – are protected from employer retaliation. An activity is concerted only if it involves more than one employee’s concerns. An employee who complains about her own performance... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2017 at Ethics Sage
Follow the Two-Hour Tweeting Rule I recently read a book titled You Are What You Tweet by Germany Kent that provides guidance on how to use Twitter to create a positive social media experience. I highly recommend the book to learn tips and advice on how Twitter can enhance your well-being and improve your branding on social media. Twitter Ethics I like the expression “You Are What You Tweet” because it addresses proper behavior on social media. Let’s face it, some people use Twitter to vent, call out others they might disagree with, or post disparaging remarks about another person.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2017 at Ethics Sage
Excellent advice.
Firms Violating Audit Independence by Engaging in Inappropriate Relationships with Clients I have previously blogged about the increase in commercial activities by the Big-4 CPA firms that jeopardizes independence from audit clients. Many of these relationships create threats to independence that cannot be mitigated by any safeguards. Independence is impaired... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2017 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Are American Workers Adequately Trained to Fill High Tech Jobs? The word is out that the Trump administration has drafted an executive order to overhaul the H1-B visa program. Even though it is a move intended to protect American jobs from being shifted to workers from overseas – keeping in line with the American-first policies -- it could have unintended consequences for Silicon Valley and American workers in foreign countries. High technology companies claim they need to hire foreigners to fill jobs Americans are not trained to do. The problem is how to provide those skills and still permit American... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2017 at Ethics Sage
Questions About the Ethics of Millennials’ Social Media Practices The Millennial generation is the largest segment of the workforce (40%) with 75.4 million individuals expected by 2020. Millennials are motivated by different factors than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers. Employers need to understand how to motivate Millennials because they bring... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2017 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Thanks, Sabrina, for your comments. It does seem the problem of incivility is a global one. I agree that a good first step is to be better people with those we value as friends and in committed relationships. Please keep on reading and here is a link to my Facebook page in case you are interested: Steve Mintz
Calling all Trekkies You've watch dozens of segments of Start Trek: The Next Generation. But, have you ever stopped to consider the ethics message of the series. It's quite profound, as in the Duty, Honor, and Loyalty segment where Cadet Wesley Crusher is caught in a lie of omission during the investigation of an accident in a training exercise of Nova Squadron. The read the entire blog, go to my website: Please follow me on Facebook: Sign up for the free Newsletter on my website. Steve Mintz, aka Ethics Sage. Posted January 10, 2017. Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2017 at Ethics Sage
This is my last workplace ethics blog of the year. Going forward, this blog site will serve as an archive for my blogs through 2017. My workplace ethics blogs will appear under the “Blog” link on my new website. Please visit my website and sign up for a free Newsletter... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2016 at Workplace Ethics Advice
This is my last blog of the year. Going forward, this blog site will serve as an archive for my blogs through 2017. Please visit my new website, Steven Mintz Ethics, for future blogs and to sign up for a free Newsletter prepared for my loyal followers. HAPPY NEW YEAR! MAY 2017 Bring peace and Happiness to you and yours. The Keys to Doing Good by Being Good You’re probably familiar with the expression: It’s not what you say – it’s how you say it. Communication is about content and delivery. Let’s take assertiveness, a behavioral characteristic that means to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2016 at Ethics Sage