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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
LGBT Community Sensitively Portrayed on TV Show Congratulations to E Entertainment for its portrayal of the challenges faced by the LGBT community. I have watched the first two segments of the “I am Cait’ television show and have been touched by the LGBT adults who have so openly shared their experiences transitioning and coming out, and subsequent issues they face. In case you’ve been asleep for the past few months, the TV program depicts the life of Caitlin Jenner (previously Bruce Jenner) in his transition to a woman. For me the program is a wake-up call to the challenges faced... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Ethics Sage
Ethics & Compliance Initiative Addresses Organizational Ethics A recently released report on ethics and compliance which results from the National Business Ethics Survey points to culture, leadership and values-based ethics and compliance programs that make a big difference in increasing employee reporting of workplace misconduct free from retaliation. This study... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Workplace Ethics Advice
We need to return to a Caring Ethic Incivility in society is on the rise. Virtually all people believe this is so. Every day we witness inconsiderate behavior, ‘in your face’ interaction in communications with others, and other forms of rudeness. There are many causes of incivility not the least of which is the explosion of social media as a way to communicate, including rants on Twitter. The anonymous nature of postings on the Internet feeds into such disrespectful behavior. The lack of civility has now turned ugly with terrorist acts in churches, movie theaters, schools, and in the workplace.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2015 at Ethics Sage
Are Employees' Rights being Violated? The frequent use of technology in the workplace is undeniable as is the monitoring of employee postings in hiring and performance evaluation by employers. Social media sites and accounts can contain some very personal and intimate information about people. Consequently, employers, employees, job applicants, as... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2015 at Workplace Ethics Advice
How the Chinese Cheat in most aspects of Business How many of us have traveled to China and encountered someone on the streets trying to sell us a Rolex for about a couple hundred bucks? Copy watches are a major tourist scam in China. So, I guess I shouldn’t be surprise about the domain name scam. The email came last Friday from a company alleging that it will “register the China domain names and and ethicssage, and and internet keyword ‘ethicssage’ and have submitted their application.” They claimed to have been waiting from “Mr. Oliver Liu’s approval... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2015 at Ethics Sage
Corporate Culture: Tone at the Top and Ethical Leadership Companies can argue all they want that they are unique in their business. But the truth is, everyone has a competitor. However, there is one important differentiator in the workforce that could make or break your business: Culture. Corporate culture is... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2015 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, Honored for Ethics Research Accomplishments The CPA Journal honored Cal Poly accounting ethics professor Steve Mintz for his research in accounting ethics. He will receive the publication’s 2014 Max Block Award in the informed comment category for his article “Revised AICPA Code of Professional Conduct:... Continue reading
Posted Jul 15, 2015 at Workplace Ethics Advice
The Motive to Blow the Whistle Underlies its Morality I have always been intrigued by the philosophy of whistleblowing. Today's blog explores the philosophical underpinnings of whistleblowing as a moral act -- one of conscience and not motivated by self-interest. A broad view of whistleblowing is the disclosure by organization members (former or current) of illegal, immoral, or illegitimate practices under the control of their employers, to persons or organizations that may be able to effect action. This definition includes whistle-blowers who use internal channels (e.g., a hot line or ombudsperson) or external channels (e.g., the external auditors or the... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2015 at Ethics Sage
Social Media: The Good, the Bad, and the Potentially Ugly Social media. We can’t live without but can we thrive ethically with it? 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... Continue reading
Posted Jul 9, 2015 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Thanks for all your support these last few years.
Cultivating an Ethical Climate in the Workplace It's not easy to maintain an ethical posture in some businesses that routinely expect their employees to leave their ethics at the doorstep once they join the organization. In some cases the philosophy of top management seems to be that there is a difference between what is ethical at home and what is tolerated in business. Are there two standards of behavior -- one in the workplace and one in personal life? Ethics requires consistent behavior. Ethics requires practice. It becomes a habit that underlies one's behavior in all situations -- both at... Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2015 at Ethics Sage
Tips for Effective Integration of Millennials' Skills and Workplace Performance One of the biggest challenges for businesses today is integrating the Millennials or Gen Y twenty-somethings into a Baby Boomer culture. They are the newest generation to enter the labor market, arriving with their distinct ideas about what they expect... Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2015 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Fiedler’s Contingency Model and Situational Leadership Good Leaders are aware of the qualities that employees bring to the workplace and capitalize on them. Leadership requires not only setting direction for an organization but also motivating employees to align their personal and professional goals with those of the organization. In other words, good leaders develop a style that is a perfect match to their situation. What is your natural leadership style? Do you focus on completing tasks or on building relationships with your team? And have you considered that this natural style of leadership might be more suited to some situations... Continue reading
Posted Jun 30, 2015 at Ethics Sage
Abuse of Social Media in the Workplace on the Rise I recently read a piece about the five most unethical behaviors in the workplace. Arthur Schwartz points out that each day roughly 120 million people walk into a workplace somewhere in the U.S. Within the past year, almost half of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2015 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Civility and Ethics Training: Does it Really Matter? I recently read about Malcolm Smith, a New Hampshire Professor, who says he's been examining changes in kids' behavior for three decades. According to Professor Smith, courses on civility in elementary school could help reduce bullying. Professor Smith says his work has centered on issues of meanness, bullying, and incivility. Smith believes young people can be taught how to be nice. "You can teach empathy in nine weeks, one hour a week, and significantly improve a child's empathy,” Smith says. “Just like you can teach science or math, we ought to make... Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2015 at Ethics Sage
Ethics in Government and in Life are based on Consistent Standards of Right and Wrong Should we care that allegedly, the former House speaker Dennis Hastert sexually abused at least two students during his years (1965–1981) as a teacher and wrestling coach in the farm town of Yorkville, Illinois? What's... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2015 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Character Does Count Various definitions of character exist. One that I like comes from the organization CITRS, an acronym that stands for some of the basic tenets of character – Character, Integrity, Trust, Relationships and Success. According to CITRS, it is “‘client-centered’”, meaning that it develops programs to enhance what administrators and teachers are already doing. CITRS works within existing organizational constraints to help schools reach their goals by infusing character education and development within their existing curriculum, including the new requirements of the Common Core. Another organization, and one that I am more familiar with, is the Josephson Institute... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2015 at Ethics Sage
False Promises of Jobs and Student Loan Defaults are Ethical Concerns Perhaps you heard that ITT Educational Services, Inc (ESI) is involved in an enforcement action with the SEC. The SEC has taken issue with ESI's handling and disclosure of complex accounting issues that arose several years ago and disclosures... Continue reading
Posted Jun 11, 2015 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Where is the Outrage from Congress, the Candidates, and the Media? Last October about 250 Disney employees were told that they would be laid off. Many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on temporary visas for highly skilled technical workers, who were brought in by outsourcing firms, such as Infosys and Tata, based in India. Over the next three months, some Disney employees were required to train their replacements to do the jobs they had lost. Talk about adding insult to injury. Disney needs to be held accountable for its actions and questions should be raised about how this... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2015 at Ethics Sage
IRS Paid $5.8 Billion in Fraudulent Refunds I recently read that the IRS paid $5.8 Billion in fraudulent refunds from 2011 through October 2014. Over time, the IRS has stopped 19 million suspicious tax returns and protected more than $63 billion in fraudulent refunds. This past tax filing season identified... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2015 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Thanks for making those important points. Steve Mintz
Should the 2022 World Cup Selection of Qatar be Voided? Last November I blogged about the fact that football's world governing body, FIFA, was 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 had expressed concern over claims of wrongdoing in the bidding process. In total, five of FIFA’s six main sponsors had issued statements relating to the Qatar bid. Qatar was chosen to host the World Cup in December 2010, beating off competition from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the U.S. It seems... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2015 at Ethics Sage
Matt: Thank you for your insightful comments. I agree with virtually everything you said. I appreciate your interest in my blog. Steve Mintz
Thanks for your thorough analysis of SOX and restatements and contribution to my blog. I agree with most of the points you made. Steve