The Road to Hell

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1. What mistake did John Baker make? Why did he not realize this mistake when it occurred?

The mistake John made was comparing the Barracanians experience to the European experience. “My ancestors have been brought up in this environment for the past 200 or 300 years, and I have, therefore, been able to live in a world in which commerce (as we know it today) has been part and parcel of my being... In your case, the situation is different, because you and your forebears have had only some 50 or 60 years in this commercial environment. You have had to face the challenge of bridging the gap between 50 and 200 or 300 years.” John thought he was complimenting him on such great work with much less experience than the Europeans. He didn’t think he was saying anything wrong.

2. What would you recommend that Baker do now? Explain

I would recommend that he sits Rennalls down and explain that what he was saying wasn’t supposed to offend him or his culture. Try to correct ant miscommunications between them so there wouldn’t be any legal issues. Try to have Rennalls ask questions so he can get a better understanding of the message.

3. What does this case illustrate about human resource management in the international environment? Be complete in your answer.

Human resource would have to do more research on international cultures so there wouldn’t be any miscommunications. They need to learn how these international cultures live and how they communicate. Not being careful on how you put your words together can easily offend the other person. Maybe there can be a translator present to make sure what’s being said is understood they wait it should.
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