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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
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... Continue reading
Posted 10 hours ago at Workplace Ethics Advice
Are Business Schools using the Best Approach to Teach Ethics? The other day I reflected on a lecture I gave to my ethics students on how to apply philosophical reasoning methods to teach business ethics. I wondered whether my students were grasping the difficulties that exist in making one’s voice heard when faced with ethical dilemmas in the workplace. While I truly believe even business students should be exposed to philosophical reasoning methods to analyze conflict situations in business, I do worry that their learning may stop at applying the methods but fall short on taking the ethical action needed... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Ethics Sage
Tim, you may have misunderstood my points in this blog. I do not support quotas for women because I do not believe they are necessary. Women are more capable on their own to increase representation on the board. In fact, I said "I believe it would be a mistake to impose quotas. It implies women are not qualified on their own merits and need a push to break through the glass ceiling. In fact, a 2010 Mckinsey study found that across all industry sectors, companies with the most women on their boards of directors significantly and consistently outperform those with no female representation: by 41 percent in terms of return on equity and by 56 percent in terms of operating results." I also said, "I believe the relative lack of women in the boardroom threatens to stifle innovation and growth in business. Women are increasingly involved in the workforce; they now comprise about 50 percent. Women have attributes that add value to decision-making and that can help deal with ethical dilemmas. They bring a sense of intuitiveness and emotional connection with difficult issues that enables them to deal more effectively with challenges that may have a right and wrong component to it. Let’s face it, it is the men who have ruled corporate America and Wall Street for far too long and who were at the helm of a variety of financial crises, the most recent of which was the meltdown of the system in 2008."
Please note that the comments in your piece seem to imply that I wrote the blog in question. In fact, it was a blog written by a reader that I decided to post as a guest blog on my website. The comments in this blog do not reflect all aspects of my position. I certainly agree with your discussion of emotional intelligence of women.
Etiquette and Ethics Lacking in the Workplace and Society By age sixteen, George Washington had copied out by hand, 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior In Company and Conversation. They are based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. The first rule is: “Every Action... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Workplace Ethics Advice
Productivity Suffers post-Super Bowl: A Good Reason for a Holiday? Now that we know the Seattle Seahawks will play the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, it is time to dust off the long-standing argument that the day after the Super Bowl should be a national holiday. What’s the point of going to work with a hangover and excessively-bloated feeling? Can we really be productive that day? Is it worth turning on the lights and paying the electricity bill to have millions of people fake their way through the day? You may be wondering what anyone of this has... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2015 at Ethics Sage
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. You make some excellent points. My opinion is that quotas are not a good thing for women or any minority group based on the Justice Theory that posits equals should be treated equally; unequals, unequally. Of course, it all depends on how you interpret equally. For me, women are more than capable of competing with men for top management positions and on an equal footing without the help of quotas. The fact that they currently may be under-represented is more a function of years of having to work harder to get to that position. Things are changing and will continue to in the future, and more C-Suite jobs will become available for women. For example, women make up nearly half of the US workforce at 47%, according to the most recent data, and 51% of people employed in management and professional jobs. And while they still earn less than men — a woman makes about $0.78 for every dollar a man is paid according to a recent US Census Bureau report -- the gender pay gap is at an all-time low. Thanks so much for selecting my blog for your assignment. Steve Mintz
Jack, thanks for commenting on my piece. I understand your point of view. For me ethical decision-making can come down to one's perspective and competing actions can evoke different perspectives on ethics. I do not believe the ends of reversing the President's executive actions on immigration justify the means of attaching it to the DHS funding bill. I see these as separate issues. Also, since I think it's wrong to jeopardize DHS funding by adding amendments that will, in all likelihood, lead to a Presidential veto of the bill, the issue is two wrongs don't make a right. It is a complex issue to be sure and I value your perspective on this issue.
Toggle Commented Jan 18, 2015 on Who Speaks for the American People? at Ethics Sage
Republicans in the House haven’t learned the lesson of the Mid-term Elections It’s business as usual in the Republican-led House of Representatives. Yesterday the House voted to overturn President Obama's immigration actions from last November -- and to unravel a directive from 2012 protecting immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children -- sending the bill to the Senate where it faces an uncertain fate. The House voted 236-191 to approve the legislation, which funds DHS through the rest of the budget year to the tune of $40 billion. But as part of that bill, Republicans added provisions to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2015 at Ethics Sage
From the Golden Globes to Foreign Bribery: Sony Pictures Embarrassed Again No one was surprised last Sunday night when the hosts of the Golden Globe Awards, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, took a swipe at Sony Pictures for the tasteless comments made by some executives that were released after a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 14, 2015 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Basic Principles of Ethical Behavior How do you know if you are an ethical person? Most of us would say it’s knowing the difference between right and wrong. But that’s not enough because a person of integrity acts on his or her convictions about right and wrong regardless of the consequences. There is a difference between knowing what the right thing to do is and doing it. Let’s assume you are being pressured by your boss to manipulate the financial statements. An ethical person refuses to go along because it violates honesty. But, does it make you disloyal to your... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2015 at Ethics Sage
Ethics, Cultural Values, and Effective Decision-Making in an Open Workforce Model One of the newly emerging structures in workplace organizations is the “open workforce” model, a trend that has been fuelled by globalization and digitization. Firms increasingly rely on external staff as well as their permanent in-house employees to meet... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2015 at Workplace Ethics Advice
New Law in California Replaces Personal Responsibility with Ethical Relativism California has become the first state in the nation to prohibit schools from suspending or expelling students who engage in “willful defiance” behavior. One reason for the passage of Assembly Bill 420, according to the sponsors, is that it has been disproportionately used statewide to discipline African-American students and, in some districts, Latino students. In 2012-13, African-Americans made up about 6 percent of total enrollment, but 19 percent of suspensions for defiance. Other minorities also may be more susceptible to suspension or expulsion for behavior such as talking back to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2015 at Ethics Sage
Bribery Payments Illustrate the Failure of Ethical Leadership at Alstom and Avon Violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) seem to be occurring at a more rapid rate than at any time since the 1970s when bribery by companies such as Lockheed led to the passage of the Act... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
PCAOB Sanctions Fifteen Firms for Violating Auditor Independence Rules On December 8, 2014, the SEC announced that it was sanctioning eight firms and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) was sanctioning seven others for violating auditor independence rules when they prepared the financial statements of brokerage firms that were their audit clients. Essentially the firms prepared the financial statements for clients and audited their own work thereby inappropriately aligning themselves more closely with the interests of clients’ management teams in helping prepare the books rather than strictly auditing them. The SEC didn't go to court. The eight firms agreed... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2014 at Ethics Sage
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Americans Rate Nurses Highest on Honesty, Ethical Standards In a recently issued Gallup Poll, Americans say nurses have the highest honesty and ethical standards. Members of Congress and car salespeople were given the worst ratings among the 11 professions included in the 2014 poll. Eighty percent of Americans say nurses... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Lack of Accountability at BOA for Mortgage Practices and Moral Hazard May Lead to another Financial Crisis How can it be that Bank of America has settled claims in excess of $66 billion for its role in the financial meltdown that spawned the economic recession in 2008 and no top executives have spent any time in jail? How do we explain that regardless of gross violations of ethical standards, no one is held accountable? Now we find out that four whistleblowers will collect a total of more than $170 million for helping investigators get a record $16.65 penalty against BOA,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2014 at Ethics Sage
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 12, 2014 Contact: Robyn Kontra 805-756-5331; rkontra@calpoly.edu Cal Poly, Professor Earn High Ranks for Research in Accounting Education, Ethics SAN LUIS OBISPO­ — A 2014 survey published by the journal Issues in Accounting Education ranks Cal Poly No. 32 overall for research in accounting education over... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 12, 2014 Contact: Robyn Kontra 805-756-5331; rkontra@calpoly.edu Cal Poly, Professor Earn High Ranks for Research in Accounting Education, Ethics SAN LUIS OBISPO­ — A 2014 survey published by the journal Issues in Accounting Education ranks Cal Poly No. 32 overall for research in accounting education over the past six years. The same survey also ranked Steven Mintz, accounting professor in the Orfalea College of Business, No. 41 for scholars publishing in the field of accounting education since 2008. The publication surveyed top industry research journals to rank the universities and scholars with the greatest contributions to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2014 at Ethics Sage
Kristen, it certainly seems that way to me as well.
Jack, I agree with you on the importance of risk assessment.
What you can do about Bullying in the Workplace If have blogged many times before including what is and what is not workplace bullying. In this blog I revisit the issue and focus on what employees and employers can do to educate employees about bullying and develop effective programs to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice
Right versus wrong is not Relative or Situational but based on Concrete Moral Virtues Recently in preparing for a lecture on moral education to my students, I came across an interesting essay titled Moral Education -- A Brief History of Moral Education, the Return of Character Education, and Current Approaches to Moral Education. It got me thinking about writing a blog on the issue of moral education -- where we've been and where we should go in the future to develop a more ethical society and restored our collective moral compass. Moral education refers to helping children acquire those virtues... Continue reading
Posted Dec 16, 2014 at Ethics Sage
Matthew: I'm glad you found my student's piece worthy of merit and I hope it helps in your own work. The student deserved an A+ but we stop at A grades. Still, I told it was an A++! Steve M.
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2014 on The Ethics of Fighting ISIS at Ethics Sage
Discrimination against Women Occurs on Many Levels I have blogged before about sexual harassment in the workplace. In this blog I look at the practices, and resulting ethics, of sexism. Sexism is both discrimination based on gender and the attitudes, stereotypes, and the cultural elements that promote this discrimination. Occupational... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2014 at Workplace Ethics Advice