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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
Immigration Challenges and Solutions Let’s get real – we are not the exceptional nation we once were when the U.S. was built by immigrants who worked for the sake of money, to support a family, to gain pride and self-respect, and to give back to the country that gave it so much – that welcomed them with open arms. Ronald Regan famously said: “America is a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere." I believe that’s true. This is why we must find a solution and fast to the immigration problem. Most immigrants want to... Continue reading
Posted 4 hours ago at Ethics Sage
As I understand the purpose of signing up for the website, it is to have a relationship outside of marriage -- i.e., cheating one one's spouse. I consider that unethical. It violates the trust the other person has in the cheater and, unless it is fully disclosed to other party, it is dishonest. We have to certain core standards in society for all to follow. If not, then anyone does whatever anyone wants at any time for any reason, or ethical relativism. If two people want to agree that the other is free to be on such a site and look for other mates, that is their business. But, the whole idea of a relationship out of marriage is wrong to me. As for Ashley Madison not protecting privacy, that is certainly unethical because it is irresponsible and disloyal to its customers. However, it is the effect of the users action not the cause, which set off the questionable situation in the first place. Many people fail to see how ethics plays into their decisions because they act out of self-interest without considering how their actions affect others. It is a common situation.
Cannabis 101: The time has come for a University Degree in Responsible Cannabis Use --- Seriously? Did you hear that the Cannabis Integrity Authority (CIA) has been formed to teach business ethics, patient safety and help currently operating cannabis businesses establish professional standards? The professional association has opened the doors... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Workplace Ethics Advice
Don't be a Jerk Using Social Media 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 creepy people. Some of the postings I see are downright offensive, some engage in cyberbullying on line, and still others seem threatening to the targeted person. One reason the nature of social media postings is important from an ethical perspective is the anonymity of online postings seems to bring out the haters and others who could care... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2015 at Ethics Sage
Guidelines to Assess the Appropriateness of Social Media Postings in the Workplace Recently, an employee’s photos of co-workers on Facebook got her fired for violating employee handbook rules, including one against “disloyalty.” The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) investigated and ruled that her employer violated federal labor law by imposing... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2015 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Trump Lacks the Decency to be President of the U.S. Donald Trump has excused himself for his offensive comments about women by saying, “I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness. And to be honest with you, this country doesn’t have time either.” However, the country must have time for civility and good manners, qualities that Trump lacks and, in fact, his behavior illustrates the opposite. What kind of a leader makes statements such as threatening to run as a third-party candidate if the Republican National Committee and others do not treat him the way he wants to be... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2015 at Ethics Sage
Taking another Look at Who Should Lead Organizations Does having power tend to corrupt men more than women? A 2013 study done by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School suggests that women are less willing than men to sacrifice ethical values for money and social status, and that... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2015 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Conflicts of Interest between Non-audit and Audit Services threatens Independence What we see today in the accounting profession is troubling. Increased commercial activities threatens the independence cornerstone of the profession that underlies its public interest obligation. Audit firms are pushing the envelope in their involvement with non-audit services that makes it appear as though they might compromise their independence on the audit because of these relationships. Following the scandals at companies such as Enron and WorldCom, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was passed by Congress in 2002 that limited the non-audit services that audit firms could provide. For a short time... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2015 at Ethics Sage
Ethics, Leadership, and Role Models in Business I have previously blogged about the importance of mentoring in business. As a college professor I know all too well that today’s colleges students are not necessarily mature enough or lack interpersonal skills and will need help in the workplace to take the... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2015 at Workplace Ethics Advice
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 Aug 4, 2015 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 Jul 30, 2015 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