The Road to Hell
John Baker was a chief engineer of the Caribbean Bauxite Company
of Barracania, who was being promoted to Keso Mining Corporation
near Winnipeg, a Canadian enterprise.
His final task is the assessment interview with the successor, Matthew
Rennalls, the able young Barracanian.
Baker is an English expatriate, who preferred working overseas,
because he felt that he had an innate knack – better than most other
expatriates- of knowing just how to get along with the regional staff.
It was pointed out to Baker that not only was Rennalls one of the
brightest Barracanian prospects on the staff as at London University
he had taken first-class honours in the BSc engineering degree but he
was also the son of the minister of finance and economic planning, he
also had no small political pull.
What went wrong?
Baker in the beginning of his interview with Rennalls, encouraged
him by listing his good points, which were his technica labilities.
He then told him that he had noticed that Rennalls was more
friendly and get on better with his fellow Barracanians than he was
“It will be necessary for you to get on well with expatriates,
because until the company has trained sufficient people of your
caliber, Europeans are bound to occupy senior positions here in
A few more comments were given by Baker to Renanalls stating
the superiority of the Europeans.
As a result, Rennalls gave his resignation in the company the next
Character sketch of Rennalls
His four years at London University made him
sensitive to any sign of condescension on the part of
He was ambitious, he did not lie in politics, because,
he wanted to put his engineering talent to the best use
Why this problem happened?
Different culture between European and Barracanian.
There was some racialism, even though Baker knew
Rennalls is sensitive to political, racial, and equality
Baker emphasized a lot on European employees being
Rennalls thought that Baker tried to insult him.
Baker was not intentionally behaving as a racist, but an old
saying stays true: The road to hell is paved with good
Through this case we can analyze the importance of
understanding the people around you. John Baker’s intentions
towards Matthew Rennalls were not based on a bad
premonition. His lack of understanding the behavioral
characteristics of his coworker was his major downfall.
One business ethic that must hold sacred is the ethic of not
offending our coworkers. John Baker forgot this ethic and that
is why he was not successful in admonishing his coworker.
Baker must invite Rennalls back to the company and
apologize to him.
Find someone to replace Rennall’s position.
Baker needs training about his perception of others
and cultural diversity.
The Barracanians and other expatriates need training
to learn the cultural differences in the company.