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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
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 yesterday 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 2 days ago 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 7 days ago 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
Systems 1 versus Systems 2 Thinking Has anyone ever taken credit for your work? If so, how did you feel? How did you handle it? Were you able to convince your boss of the wrongdoing? These are some of the questions that arise when trying to deal with an unethical... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2016 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Justice as Fairness Gained Through Wisdom, Truth and Knowledge Fair-mindedness entails a conscious effort to treat all viewpoints alike, without reference to one’s own feelings or self-interests, or the feelings of others, such as a friend or organization. Fairness is the underlying element of the philosophical concept of justice. Aristotle defined it more than 2,000 years ago: “equals should be treated equally and unequals unequally.” In other words, individuals should be treated the same unless they differ in ways that are relevant to the situation in which they are involved. For example, if two employees are being considered for a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2016 at Ethics Sage
Joseph, in that case an accommodation should be made to protect the health and safety of the woman much like would happen for those with a disability. The pregnant woman would not be discriminated against because that entails treating one person or set of persons differently than others when there is no basis to do so. Pregnancy would count for such a basis making accommodation the best way to go.
Developing a Process to Effectuate Change in the Workplace A change agent is someone who alters organizational systems to achieve a higher goal. The goal may be to increase output, alter the corporate culture, or make other changes that improve organizational efficiency. A successful change requires thoughtful deliberation and preplanning... Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2016 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Wells Fargo and Volkswagen Violated Their Own Code of Ethics Arguably, Wells Fargo is the most unethical company in the U.S. How else can we explain why the company allowed its employees to open more than 2 million unauthorized accounts, sticking customers with almost $2.5 million in fees? On November 25, 2016, Wells Fargo asked the court to allow decisions about dozens of lawsuits filed by customers over fake accounts to be taken outside the court, no doubt to mute the harm done to thousands of customers. An unethical German company with widespread activities in the U.S. is Volkswagen. VW... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2016 at Ethics Sage
Workplace Ethics Advice Readers: Due to my increasing ethics outreach activities, I have developed a new website: Please "Like" my public page by sharing it on social media. My new site serves as a repository for my ethics blogs & activities, and a Newsletter that you can sign up... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2016 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Ethics Sage Readers: Due to my increasing ethics outreach activities, I have developed a new website: Please "Like" my public page by sharing it on social media. My new site serves as a repository for my ethics blogs & activities, and a Newsletter that you can sign up for. As of January 1, 2017, my current blog site will serve as an archive for previous blogs and the new site will have my current blogs. Free Speech Rights on College Campuses are Being Stifled In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s victory, some colleges are looking to become sanctuary campuses.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2016 at Ethics Sage
Native American Rights Ignored Once Again It’s my view that very few people care about the rights of Native Americans so it is the media’s job to embed it into our national conscience because of historical rights violations that date back to 1889 when President Benjamin Harrison made the first of a long series of authorizations that eventually removed most of Indian territory from Indian control. The media has routinely failed to champion Native American causes because the potential violations of their rights is not a sexy enough issue for the mainstream media to care. This explains why we have... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2016 at Ethics Sage