The appraisals are unethical when considered against the principles of deontology, too. Deontology means duty and the theory of deontology in ethics believe that a person is ethically and morally right only when they consider their duty in action. Unlike the theory of utilitarianism, the effects of the action are not considered, but rather the action itself is considered. Irrespective of the consequences of action, people are expected to follow their duty. Deontology states that people are morally obligated to act with respect to certain rules and conditions and only in following these rules are they ethical. There is an obligation to the course of action more than the result. Applied to the context of peer reviews as seen in the case of companies like Enron, no moral obligation was taken upon by the employees. Financial professions working with the company were expected to critically appraise their peers in an objective manner and get appraised likewise. This was a rule that was expected to be followed and yet the employees did not follow the rule. Per deontology, they had a moral and ethical obligation to just follow the rules and be part of the system, but they choose to fail their rules to rate themselves better and retain their jobs. Since neither utilitarianism nor neither deontology was followed, it could be said that financial professionals were pushed into unethical situations. Compensations, retaining one’s job etc. are some of the key issues for employees in an organization, but these should not conflict with their moral obligations in the company, too.
Finally, companies like Enron were more motivated on enriching their high-end professional such as the executives instead of investors (Flood, 2003; Fowler, 2002). People within the company were encouraged to also be on board. Employees were motivated to make profits and generate profits for the Executives rather than the shareholders and inflate contracts. Contracts that were not yielding any money were inflated and a wrong picture was presented to investors who continued to have confidence in the company. The lack of financial controls was often cited as the reason for Enron’s failure as financial controls would have enabled investors to have a clearer picture of the company’s actual status, however, financial controls should not have been the only way to achieve this. People also had an ethical responsibility as well as a legal one and they were seen to have ignored this. Financial professionals in the company who were aware of how the investors were not presented the right picture did not seem to take it up to their executives or question them. The few that did take up the issues were asked to be quiet about it. Once again, this is an example of how moral and ethical conflicts were silenced in the workplace. The challenges for the employees of Enron were to understand whether the right way even at the risk of losing their jobs should be pursued or not.