Road to Hell 1. The Summary. The case “Road to Hell” by Gareth Evans is a story of two characters with different backgrounds, personalities and points of view and how these two characters interact. John Baker is a successful western chief engineer of the Barracania’s branch of a multinational company who was promoted to production manager of Keso Mining Corporation near Winnipeg. That’s why he had to assign his successor. Baker has been working to prepare Matt Rennalls to be his successor in the chief engineer’s position.
Rennalls, on the other hand, is a young engineer who represents the new generation of patriotic, well-educated Barracania’s professionals. The last meeting between two characters ended up badly. Instead of accepting the chief engineer position, Matt turns in his resignation, insulted by John’s interview. 2. The Problem. This case is the example of how people from different cultures do not take diversity into consideration.
They evaluate and measure each other by their own scales and perceptions, which often lead to serious misunderstanding and conflicts. Misunderstanding causes worse work productivity. 3. The Cast of Characters. John Baker is a successful western chief engineer of the Barracania’s branch of a multinational company. In the case it is mentioned that John Baker is an English expatriate, so we assume that he is white, possibly born in Canada.
Baker thinks he has an edge in working in a foreign country because he has experience in understanding a regional staff’s psychology and knowing exactly how to get along with locals. Matthew Rennalls is a young engineer who represents the new generation of patriotic, well-educated Barracania’s professionals. His four years as a student at London University made him especially sensitive to political, racial and equality issues involving relations between his culture and western influence. 4. The Chronology. Matthew Rennals writes an angry latter with proposal of his resignation. * John Baker and Matthew Rennals have the interview. * John Baker consider the appointment Matthew Rennals as his successor * John Baker is promoted to production manager of Keso Mining Corporation near Winnipeg * John Baker works as chief engineer of the Caribbean Bauxite Company of Barracam’a in the West Indies 5. The Issues. The main barrier to the problem solving is misunderstanding between people with different nationalities and cultures.
Baker knew a lot about Matt’s political views, racial issues sensitivity and intolerance to any discrimination of value of his country and people in the world arena. However, he still made a mistake building his interview from his own perspective. Baker gave some historical and personal suggestions that were not meant to be offensive. However, from Matt’s point of view, the suggestions were totally inappropriate. Through the interview, Baker emphasized several times the importance and leading position of European staff in the company.