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Cross-Cultural Intelligence

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“The Road to Hell”

Case Analysis


Dexter Carr

Brandon Kelley

Allen Thomas

Organizational Behavior

Dr. Tom McFarland

Case Analysis:

The case analysis, “The Road to Hell,” address several issues that effect how communication with others from other cultures have potential to cause disaster. In this particular case we see that our interpersonal relationships along with cultural differences change others views on how individuals are perceived in the workforce. In this case, Mr. John Baker whom is the chief engineer of the Caribbean Bauxite Company, located in he West Indies has decided to relocate to another job as a production manager. There are many factors in the business community that influence communication integration. Baker is an expatriate who has had several years of experience working in different countries. Baker hires Matthew Rennalls to fulfill his position as chief engineer and has been at the corporation for two years. Rennalls received his B.S. degree in engineering from the University of London. Although Matthew is ten years younger and lacks the experience that Baker has, he demonstrates superb skills, knowledge, and ability on the job, which impressed his colleagues. But some of his coworkers have complained on his rudeness to the Europeans. Therefore, as a productive leader, Baker conducts an interview with Renalls to discuss his performance within the company up to this point. Could this be potential racial prejudice or a lack of communication skills on both halves due to their cultural backgrounds?

Baker’s intentions during this interview were not fulfilled as he had planned. As the chief engineer for several years, therefore his years of experience have made his company a successful corporation. His recent promotion has showed us that he has mastered the skills of chief engineer. Baker is about to leave the corporation, therefore he feels that there is a few skills and knowledge that will increase his performance and communication skills to ensure consistent productivity amongst his employees during his formal meeting. In the case we see that Baker demonstrates an authentic leadership style which in this case refers to the ability to influence others to embrace new vision and values in their own behaviors, and making hard decisions about human and other resources through communications with subordinates and others within the corporation. Baker’s intentions were to instill in Rannalls the characteristics of a good leader by providing him with feedback on his performance but his strong cultural beliefs cause conflict. Rennalls is from the West Indies and Baker a European individual, Rennals emotional intelligence has an effect on how he perceives Bakers intentions for the company. We also may consider that Rennalls may have been experiencing a level of stress. Sukananlaya Sawang tells us that there is a need to understand and identify how occupational stress affects employees within these organiazations, and specifically how diverse cultures differ in dealing with this stress (P.1). Baker wants to give Rennalls as much knowledge and skills as possible before he leaves the company definitely. High work performance, job satisfaction, and lower turnover rates are outputs that contribute to meeting organizational goals. Evaluation compares performance with goals to measure system effectiveness. According to P.C. Wright, feedback form evaluation affects choices of future inputs and management process. By addressing Rennalls issues, this will give him a chance to provide adequate input so that may contribute to poor employee performance (p.2).

As we know, both individuals in this case are from different cultures. Charlotte Shelton, along with others tells us that integrating two independent companies with divergent cultures into one cohesive organization is a daunting and delicate process. The process is even more challenging when they merge organizations has their roots in different cultures (p.4). Although we are not experiencing two organizations merging, but we do see two cultures coming together to work toward a common goal. Both Baker and Rannalls show how their societal values reflect in the cultural norms of the corporation. Employees expect to be treated accordingly. In this case we see that Ms. Jackson a current employee is upset with Rennalls rudeness. Baker wanted Rennalls to feel comfortable when he called him into his office for the meeting. We know this because offered him a cigarette. Baker did not recognize the nonverbal cues of his European employees because of his strong cultural beliefs. I feel that the lack of authentic communication played a role in this conflict. This type of communication is used to resolve difficult conflicts so that people feel heard. By deepening awareness of needs, we contribute to trust, safety, and improved communication. When people are understood, with cultures set aside, they are able to make request that meet everyone’s needs (Martha Lasley (P.1). Rennalls said that he noticed that Baker was friendlier to the Barracanians than with the Europeans. Rennalls demonstrated several cues about his opinions by joining the United Action Party where he felt that he could serve his Barracanians best by dealing with the export of bauxite.

In the beginning I felt that Baker and Rennalls were close friends and that by Baker telling him some problems that he had would not hurt him. In the case it is stated that they both joked and had fun with each other, which I would call a friendship, and in a friendship you should be able to give each other advice without getting mad at each other. So as you can see they only had this friendship because of the job and this has cause an interpersonal conflict. As I have learned that both the men have a problem with race in away.

In the case Baker and Rennalls have some interpersonal relationships problems, but it did not seem to be a factor in the beginning. As we can see, the problem escaladed when Baker talked more about the problems that Rennalls had. One may feel that Rennalls has not mastered the challenges of cultural intergration by learning how to create unity within his corporation. The interpersonal conflict they had is called intersender



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