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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
Analyzing the Ethics of Sharks for Shark Tank Nation Shark Tank is a reality television show where would-be entrepreneurs try to sell their new ideas for business ventures to one or more well-established investors (i.e. the Sharks) in return for a stake in the business. The show is based on BBC’s Dragon Den Series in which budding entrepreneurs get three minutes to pitch their business ideas to five multi-millionaires willing to invest their own cash. Shark Tank is so successful that it now has a following: Shark Tank Nation. Repeats of the show are shown every night during the week... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Ethics Sage
Ethics, Leadership, Respect and Responsibility form the Basis on an Effective Mentoring Program A formal mentoring program can be used to develop employee skills, leadership characteristics, and a commitment to the ethics of the organization. Mentors are an important resource for new employees to help navigate the sometimes choppy waters... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Workplace Ethics Advice
Architect of Obamacare Admits to Misleading the Public about the Bill MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of Obamacare, should be fired by MIT for violating academic integrity by purposefully lying about the effect of the bill on Americans and disguising its true nature as a tax, not a penalty, for those who do not enroll in one of the available health plans. There is no excuse for his behavior and recent admissions demonstrate that he knew the true nature of the bill; what it was trying to accomplish; the lack of transparency in misleading the public; and... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Ethics Sage
Whistleblowing Incidents Influenced by The Bystander Effect I have previously blogged about “The Bystander Effect” and how it accounts for situations where observers of wrongdoing stand idly by without intervention while harmful behavior goes unchecked. Those who might be able to act to stop the wrongdoing do not do so... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Your Actions and Words on Social Media Define Your Character I recently read a blog post about “10 Social Media Blunders That Cost a Millennial a Job – or Worse.” This got me thinking about the way I address the issue in my ethics class. To me, the nature of a person’s blog posts or comments on other blog posts say a lot about their ethics and respect for civility. What’s needed now is for someone, or some group, to develop a code of ethics for those using social media especially targeted to Millennials. Some of the postings I see... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2014 at Ethics Sage
Ethisphere list Includes Companies with Questionable Behavior Last week I read a piece about the most ethical companies that caught my eye because it suggested that Blue Shield and other companies pay Ethisphere to be considered one of the most ethical companies in the world. Ethisphere develops a list each... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Several Countries Claim Unethical Behavior in Selection of Qatar Football's world governing body Fifa is under growing pressure from a number of sponsors after its decision to award the 2022 World Cup to Qatar. Sony, Adidas, Coca-Cola, Visa and Hyundai/Kia have expressed concern over claims of wrongdoing in the bidding process. In total, five of Fifa's six main sponsors have issued statements relating to the Qatar bid. Oil company BP and the maker of Budweiser beer, who also sponsor the World Cup, have also registered their concerns. Only airline Emirates has so far declined to comment. No surprise there as... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2014 at Ethics Sage
Are their Shared Values Among Workers of Different Generations? Generation gap analysts believe that shared experiences condition generational groups to see and act differently than other generational groups; hence, the emergence of a generation gap. These generational differences, they believe, cause us to communicate and use technology differently and have... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
‘Tar heel-Gate Raises Many Ethical Issues about the Behavior of UNC Officials If you’re a sports fan, by now you have probably heard about that paper-class scandal that I call “Tar heel-Gate” where 3,100 student-athletes at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill were essentially allowed to take classes without attending classes and given grades good enough to keep them eligible to play men’s football and basketball. For 18 years, these students at UNC took fake "paper classes," and advisers funneled athletes into the program to keep them eligible, according to a scathing independent report released last week. "These... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2014 at Ethics Sage
Ethical Legalism is at Heart of Yelp’s Posting Policies Last month the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that the online review site Yelp can change the ratings of businesses on its site as it sees fit. Yelp was accused of lowering the ratings of companies that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Does the Increased Bureaucracy Justify the Protection Afforded Students? New federal rules issued on Monday aim to make campuses safer by requiring colleges to train students and employees on preventing sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking. The rules also include new categories for identifying hate crimes (gender identity and national origin) and specify that students can choose advisers, including lawyers, to accompany them in campus disciplinary proceedings. The rules will take effect in July 2015. Until then, colleges are expected to make a "good-faith effort" to comply with the rules. "These regulatory changes provide new tools to improve... Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2014 at Ethics Sage
Our Values define who we are in Life and in the Workplace Acting in accordance with company values in the workplace is the key component in developing an ethical organization culture. Still, are there any situations where one’s values can be compromised for the greater good? If so, what are... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Is it Morally Right for the U.S. to Bomb ISIS Positions? This blog was completed by a student of mine in my ethics class. I thought she did an excellent job in identifying the ethical issues surrounding whether the U.S. should be fighting ISIS. She chose to remain anonymous so I will simply thank her for her contribution. I have added some of my own thoughts to her piece. As violence escalates in the Middle East by the radical Islamic group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, many Americans are questioning whether the U.S.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2014 at Ethics Sage
Are Tax Inversions an Ethical Practice? Apple, the world’s biggest company by market capitalization, captured attention last month with the introduction of a digital watch, larger iPhones and a slick electronic payment system. Amid all the hype, there was scarcely any mention that much of its hardware is made outside the U.S.— or that Apple’s sophisticated lawyers and accountants could be expected to keep its American taxes low, partly by stashing much of its profit overseas. It seems that most American consumers, investors and politicians have tacitly accepted that if a company is profitable, doesn’t violate the law and produces... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2014 at Ethics Sage
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The Golden Rule Provides Ethical Guidance on Dealing with Bipolar Employees Imagine that you have bipolar personality disorder and it creates special challenges for you in the workplace. Well, according to the National Institute of Mental Health bipolar disorder affects approximately 5.7 million adult Americans, or about 2.6% of the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
The Ethics of Performance Evaluation The performance evaluation system developed by an organization should be built on the ethical principle of fairness. Performance evaluation is a way of sending a message to employees about how they are performing with respect to the goals and long-term strategies of an organization. A... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
How will we know if a College Education is “worth it?” Many questions are being raised about whether it “pays” to spend four or five years getting a college education. The answer always seem to focus on the return on investment concept. In other words would a college student paying $100,000 in tuition earn enough during his or her lifetime to justify the high cost. The problem is this is the wrong question to ask about the value of a college education. The true value of a college education, and one that can’t be reduced to dollars and cents, is... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2014 at Ethics Sage
Leaders need to identify the Telltale Signs of Zombie-ism We’ve all seen them and dealt with them from time to time. They are “workplace zombies” that suck the energy and spirit out of their co-workers and make life miserable for those around them. The result can be a malaise that... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
What Motivates a Person to Blow the Whistle on Financial Wrongdoing? Whistleblowing has become a more accepted practice in our society in part because the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act sanctions the practice under specific circumstances. The questions I address in today’s blog are: What are the values exhibited by a whistleblower? Is the would-be whistleblower an ethical person or just someone looking for a big payday? How might we make such a determination? The award has been described as incentivizing whistleblowing because it may encourage a disgruntled employee to gather information about financial wrongdoing and then inform the SEC of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2014 at Ethics Sage
On social media, anything you say or do can be used against you in the court of public opinion I have previously blogged about sexual harassment in the workplace. This blog was written by Amanda Jaylene. I thought my readers would benefit from the discussion of sexual harassment and social... Continue reading
Posted Sep 25, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
U.S. to Blame for ISIS and World War III The proverb the enemy of my enemy is my friend suggests that two parties can or should work together against a common enemy. Some have used it as the guiding principle of when to interfere in Arabia, including the U.S.’s own foreign policy. Well, it has backfired big time and now that policy has brought us to the precipice of World War III. To be sure it is a new kind of war – a war against radicalized Islam that detest our values of religious freedom and liberty for all. It... Continue reading
Posted Sep 23, 2014 at Ethics Sage
Newport Beach School District Actions are Unethical Last week I read that a high school graduate wants her diploma invalidated and has asked for "education do-over." She claims her brain injury led to her being rushed through to graduate. Crystal Morales, a Newport Beach high school graduate, is asking the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 18, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice